diet coke for breakfast

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Posted by Jake
Clark May Have Broken Law in Paid Speeches (

Clark, a newcomer to presidential politics, touted his candidacy during paid appearances at DePauw University in Indiana and other campuses after he entered the presidential race on Sept. 17. 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.

Bummer for Clark is this is true. However, this is really another example about how campaign finance laws are completely impractical. Should it really be the FEC's job to determine whether you did or did not talk about your policies in a speech? I can see (and the article mentions later) why most candidates end up giving up speaking for money. Too much of a hassle to figure out what you can say.


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