Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook condemns plans to limit the Congressional election fundraising investigation

February 27, 1997

NEWS RELEASE

Washington, D.C., February 27, 1997 — Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook today condemned attempts to confine the Congressional investigation into election fundraising to just the Presidential election as “a transparent attempt to cover up the flood of special interest money swamping Congressional races and the methods used to raise it”.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Claybrook pressed for what Senator Fred Thompson originally promised — a “no-holds-barred investigation to expose abuses throughout the political system”. There are reports that pressure is being exerted on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Thompson, to limit the investigation to the Presidential election.

“Public trust in our system of government is dangerously low. After announcing a wide-ranging, bipartisan probe, to prevent Senator Thompson’s panel from investigating Congressional races would erode confidence even further,” said Claybrook.

“To limit the investigation to the Presidential election is to miss more than half the story,” she said. “Major Congressional fundraising abuses have been noted in the media again and again. They must not be ignored.”