Text of e-mail sent Wednesday by Texas Gov. George W. Bush to Vice President Al Gore in response to an earlier message from Gore:
Dear Mr. Vice President,
Thank you for your e-mail and your congratulations. I congratulate you as well, and look forward to a campaign that raises the important issues of our time _ reforming education, rebuilding our military and returning high standards to government.
Both you and I have made a number of campaign finance reform proposals. But before we debate these changes, it is important for Americans to know whether the current campaign finance laws have been obeyed and enforced. So I challenge you to clear the air on some serious charges. I hope you will encourage the White House and the Department of Justice to release all records and photographs relating to the investigation of fund-raising abuses by you and your administration.
In your e-mail, you spoke of restoring ‘trust in our electoral process.’ And that is the heart of the matter. New campaign finance laws are needed. What is even more important is the duty of public officials to obey the existing laws, and I’m afraid your own record does not inspire confidence.
In your note, you did not mention the matter of compulsory union dues being used to support political candidates _ a violation of worker rights. And I see that you did not mention this today, when you spoke to the AFL-CIO. This would have been an ideal setting to display your sudden interest in campaign finance reform, and to demonstrate your own seriousness on the issue. Your silence was not encouraging, because any campaign finance reform must be broad and fair.
Thank you for your e-mail. This Internet of yours is a wonderful invention.