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Just three weeks into his campaign, and Wesley Clark is already self-destructing. First his campaign manager quits after three weeks on the job, and now it looks like the General is breaking federal election laws:
Under the laws governing the financing of presidential campaigns, candidates cannot be paid by corporations, labor unions, individuals or even universities for campaign-related events. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) considers such paid political appearances akin to a financial contribution to a candidate.
Clark is getting paid as much as $30,000 for speeches, according to people familiar with his arrangement. He has two more scheduled for next week.
Clark, like any other candidate, would likely be permitted to deliver the paid speeches only if they did not "expressly" cover his campaign or his political opponents, the experts said.
But in his speeches, Clark has talked about his campaign positions and criticized President Bush's policies. At DePauw, during a question-and-answer session after the speech, Clark "absolutely" covered his political views on everything from education to the economy, said Ken Bode, a visiting professor of journalism who moderated the session.
What kind of organization did Clark put together? Don't they have someone who knows federal election law? If this is the best he can do, and if he's supposed to be the centrist Democrat standard-bearer, then the Democrats are in serious, serious trouble.Sphere It View blog reactions
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