Democrats Capitalize on Impeachment
JONATHAN D. SALANT
Jan. 29, 1999
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Democratic Party took in more than $2 million this month with a fund-raising letter designed to capitalize on anti-impeachment sentiment.
Incoming Democratic National Chairman Joe Andrew said the party raised twice as much as expected through the fund-raising letter.
Though the letter does not contain the word ``impeachment,'' Andrew said that was the underlying message of the fund-raising campaign.
``That's the only politics that people are seeing,'' Andrew said. ``They're sending $20 because they're upset.''
Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick criticized the fund-raising tactic.
``Republicans have always viewed the impeachment of the president as a constitutional issue and a matter of the rule of law, not a political issue,'' he said.
One of the House Republicans prosecuting the impeachment case, Rep. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, raised the impeachment issue in a fund-raising letter just a few days before addressing the Senate.
The Democrats' fund-raising letter asks for money to help President Clinton fight for his proposals on issues such as Social Security, education and the economy.
``The Republicans _ who are clearly more interested in putting partisanship before progress _ will resume their political grandstanding in an effort to cripple the Democratic Party and derail President Clinton's common sense legislative agenda for America,'' said the letter, signed by General Chairman Roy Romer.
Last year, the Democratic National Committee sent out a fund-raising letter over James Carville's signature that called independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr ``as objective as the Spanish Inquisition.''
Fitzpatrick said RNC fund-raising for January also was higher than expected. Direct mail brought in $2.9 million this month for the national party, he said.
``Republican donors are very energized by our new leadership team in the House and the aggressive agenda of issues,'' he said.