Under intense pressure to give an accounting of its
pre-election fund raising, the Democratic National Committee
released a list of expenses and contributions Tuesday - but not the
full report normally filed by political parties.
The stack of papers given to reporters showed $10 million worth
of fund raising and what appeared to be mostly routine transactions
from Oct. 1-15. Spending was listed in a more haphazard fashion.
The documents showed nearly $6 million in contributions subject
to federal limits and $4 million in "soft money" - gifts not
covered under post-Watergate contribution limits.
The committee's general chairman, Christopher Dodd, said his
staff would "work continuously" to file a complete report with the
Federal Election Commission "as soon as possible." A party
spokeswoman said that would be by the end of this week.
The Democrats' initial decision not to file a pre-election
report, saying it was exempt from the requirement, was criticized
by Republicans and independent advocates of campaign finance
reform. It came after weeks of criticism of the Democrats'
fund-raising practices, including allegations that foreign money
might have been illegally channeled to the party.
"They give the word stonewall a bad name," Republican
presidential candidate Bob Dole said while campaigning in Denver.
He questioned whether the records released Tuesday were complete.
"You never get them all the first time with this
administration," he said. "You've got to go back and back and back
and back and back."
Dodd maintained the Democrats were not legally required to file
the report immediately since the party didn't spend any money on
President Bill Clinton or other campaigns during the 15 days
covered by the report.
Instead, it had planned to report that information Dec. 5, a
month after the election.
The Democrats were scrambling to release the information now,
Dodd said in a statement, because the party "is committed to full
"We made a mistake, and we corrected it today," Dodd said on
Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour said his
party would seek a court injunction to prevent the Democratic
National Committee from spending money until the report is filed as
required by law. The GOP expected to file the suit in U.S. District
In the report Tuesday, Democrats listed contributors' names and
addresses, transfers of money, and spending. Party officials said
the information also was turned over to the FEC.
Half of the soft money came from special-interest groups and
corporations. Big contributors included a trial lawyers' group,
which gave $50,000, an insurance industry gift of $25,000 and
Personal Health Care Inc. of Illinois, which gave $125,000.
A smattering of actors, producers and other Hollywood names
were among the givers: director Rob Reiner, playwright Neil Simon
and actor Michael Douglas. Financier George Soros gave $100,000.
The papers did not include some details required in FEC
reports, such as a summary of expenses and the purpose of each