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Small cellular phone company wants Clinton campaign to pay up

February 8, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lisa Pretka Turner has something to say to President Clinton: Pay up.

The small Reston, Va., company owned by Turner and her husband, Jeff, is out $40,569.72 while she waits for President Clinton’s multimillion-dollar campaign to make good on its bill for cellular telephones rented before the Nov. 5 election.

The delay is costing her personally, she said.

``My husband and I took half pay in today’s check and in our checks two weeks ago because of this,″ Turner said Friday. ``And February is our slowest month here, so it’s definitely tight right now.″

Clinton-Gore campaign officials said they were working to clear their books as soon as possible. In all, the campaign owed $3 million to vendors, including Turner, as of Dec. 31, according its latest financial report.

``It’s not our intent to stiff anybody or drag our feet,″ said Eric Kleinfeld, campaign counsel. ``We particularly don’t want to hurt the small vendors.″

Kleinfeld would not comment further.

The campaign rented 37 phones from the Turners’ firm, InTouch USA, which has 18 employees. One of the phones is still missing, Lisa Turner said.

The campaign paid its first $1,800 bill. But Turner said despite several calls, she still has not been told when the rest of the invoices, sent between Nov. 21 and Dec. 17, will be honored.

So Turner turned up the heat. She faxed Clinton at the White House, wrote letters to her senators and congressman in Virginia, and started writing the Washington newspapers.

Her story appeared in The Washington Times on Friday, bringing a call from former Watergate conspirator-turned-radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy. After speaking on Liddy’s show _ and helping him get a few jabs in at Clinton _ Turner said the campaign still had not answered her messages.

``I thought for sure we would have heard something after that,″ she said.

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