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Campaign Fund-Raising Reform Urged

January 22, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Vice President Walter Mondale and ex-Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker released a statement Thursday signed by 189 former lawmakers urging current members of Congress to enact campaign finance reform this year.

``The fact that so many prominent former lawmakers support reform highlights the widespread dissatisfaction that exists and that there is a consensus for action,″ said Mondale. President Clinton asked him and Kassebaum Baker last year to work on building support for campaign finance legislation.

The statement said any legislation must ban ``soft money,″ unlimited contributions by corporations, unions and wealthy individuals that are supposed to be used for party-building activities rather than individual campaigns.

Also, it should contain complete and rapid disclosure of political contributions and expenses and independent enforcement of campaign finance laws, the statement said.

Among signees were former Senate majority leaders George Mitchell, D-Maine, and Mike Mansfield, D-Mont., and former Sens. Paul Simon, D-Ill., George McGovern, D-S.D. and William Brock, R-Tenn.

The Republican leadership in both the House and Senate, under strong pressure from Democrats, has agreed to have votes on campaign finance bills this spring.

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