Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Democratic Senator Assails Gore Fund-Raising by Vice President Is Indefensible, Torricelli Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Democratic Senator Assails Gore Fund-Raising by Vice President Is Indefensible, Torricelli Says

Article excerpt

A Democratic senator turned up the heat Sunday on Vice President Al Gore's fund-raising efforts.

Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., said on "Fox News Sunday," `I do not personally believe it is appropriate for the president or the vice president of the United States to directly solicit contributions through telephone calls."

He added, "I'm not going to be in the business of defending the undefendable." Torricelli was referring to a Washington Post story Sunday that quoted Democrats as describing Gore as their party's "solicitor in chief" in last year's campaign. Separately, George Stephanopoulos, a former White House senior adviser, said on ABC's "This Week" that the Democratic National Committee had installed separate telephones, fax lines and computers in government buildings to allow people there, including Gore, to work on political projects. Newsweek magazine quoted then-White House counsel Abner J. Mikva as warning in a 1995 memo that any type of fund raising - even telephone calls from government offices - was illegal. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., made a similar point in calling for an investigation into a reception Vice President Dan Quayle held at his residence in 1990 for donors to the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle. Waxman cited an August 1990 letter from Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., invoking the chance to visit the vice president's home for members of the Inner Circle during the group's fall briefing in Washington on Sept. 23-24, 1990. Nickles was chairman of the Inner Circle. "`It's one of the most historic homes in America," the letter from Nickles began. "And, because it's also the home of one of America's most famous families, few individuals decline an invitation to attend an event there." The letter to "Inner Circle Nominee" was accompanied by an appeal to send money to the GOP. Members received a formal printed invitation saying that Vice President and Marilyn Quayle "request the pleasure of your company at a reception in honor of the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle on the lawn of the Vice President's Residence" on Sept. …

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