Campaign Has Become War Over Funds - WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON -- The American presidential campaign has devolved into dueling Republican and Democratic street protests, angry faxes, someone ...

WASHINGTON -- The American presidential campaign has devolved into dueling Republican and Democratic street protests, angry faxes, someone dressed as a cigarette butt in need of a shave and fake Indonesian money.
With 15 days to the Nov. 5 election, President Clinton and Republican challenger Bob Dole were in the midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan Monday campaigning while their minions were left in Washington to plot tricks against each other.



Associated Press
President Clinton reaches out at Cuyahoga Community College


First the Republican Party let out the word that there would be a demonstration in front of the Democratic Party headquarters demanding officials let Democratic fundraiser John Huang answer reporters' questions.

Republicans wanted Huang to appear publicly to explain why he targeted Asian-Americans with foreign ties to give money to the Democratic National Committee, the party's administrative and fundraising arm.

Huang was suspended from further fundraising by party officials but they refused to make him available to explain $450,000 from a couple with ties to the Lippo Group banking empire in Indonesia. He also did not explain $250,000 from a South Korean company that was returned after reports the contribution was illegal, nor $140,000 raised in a Buddhist temple in the Los Angeles area.

No sooner had the Republicans let out the word about the mid-afternoon protest, than did Democrats -- apparently tipped by some 'mole' counterspy -- announce a pre-emptive protest in front of Dole campaign headquarters 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the Republican event.

And right on time, a dozen young Democrats appeared and paraded with anti-Dole placards chanting ``Dole's desperate.''

They circled a man with old-fashioned black-and-white wingtip shoes dressed in a shabby costume of a cigarette butt with 5 o'clock shadow.

This was the 'butt man' -- the wheezing, hacking character that has followed Dole's campaign around the country protesting his acceptance of tobacco money contributions.

``Tobacco owns Dole,'' they shouted to a few reporters and the all-important television cameras. ``Dole is desperate.''

But around the feet of ``butt-man'' were scattered photocopies of Indonesian money symbolizing the Indonesia funding matter embarrassing Democrats, fake money placed there by an anonymous Republican Dole backer.

Fifteen minutes later and not far away, about 25 chanting young Republicans paraded with signs before the Democratic Party headquarters to ``free John Huang.''

``Indonesia dough -- just say no,'' they shouted.

That was the public phase of the campaign in Washington Monday.

Behind the scenes reporters were barraged by ``blast faxes'' -- machines that turn out faxes by the hundreds -- with Republicans unveiling a one-page sheet they called ``the daily Clinton scandal sheet.''

It contained excerpts of clips about charges Democrats had accepted improper campaign funds, a closing campaign issue Dole hoped would click with voters in order to help him catch up to Clinton in the polls.

Democrats in turn sent their own faxes hitting Dole on his latest proposal generated out of the foreign money campaign affair -- reform of campaign finance laws.

The Democrats accused Dole in a fax of ``blocking campaign finance reform'' for 10 years while he was a Senate leader.

They also made public a new TV ad against Dole, accusing him of ``desperate attacks'' in raising contributions as an issue and charged he had stopped reforms of the campaign laws.

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