Bush Spent More on Fla. Recount
Jul. 27, 2002
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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Bush campaign spent $13.8 million on lawyers, salaries, travel and hotels to win the Florida recount vote, roughly four more times than the Gore campaign spent, according to Internal Revenue Service documents released Friday.
The Gore campaign spent $3.2 million in its losing battle for Florida's 25 electoral votes, mostly from large gifts. Donors included Hollywood producer Stephen Bing and actress Jane Fonda.
In contrast, the Bush campaign contributions were almost all $5,000 or less, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Public Citizen, an activist group that advocates enforcing election laws, said Bush's recount fund evaded a campaign-finance disclosure law for a year and a half. The campaign only filed the required forms on the last day of an IRS amnesty program for groups that don't comply, Public Citizen said.
Failure to meet the amnesty deadline could have resulted in fines of as much as $6.92 million, Public Citizen said.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a lawyer for the Bush recount, said they had no legal obligation to release the document. The only reason they made it public was to avoid controversy.
``We don't think we have a legal obligation to file this,'' he said, adding federal election law doesn't require recount funds to be reported.
Gore's recount committee disclosed to the IRS its receipts and expenditures more than a year ago.
In addition to paying for lawyers, phones and campaign staff salaries, the Bush campaign $13,000 to Enron Corp. and $2,400 to Halliburton Co. for the use of their jets.