Question: How much money was spent, by your campaign, party, and outside 'independent expenditures', on trying to elect you? What interest group has invested the most in your victory, and why? What is one way you will defy a large donor in office?
Submitted from Amy of Portland, Oregon through washingtonpost.com (11/06/00)
Answer from Al Gore:
Ridding Politics Of Special Interest Influence
I do not accept any donations from political action committees (PACs)
and unlike my opponent, I have abided by all spending limits in this campaign. I challenged Governor Bush to forgo all soft money expenditures, but he refused.
Each campaign was provided with approximately $67 million in federal funding for the general election in lieu of donations. My campaign will have exhausted most of these resources by the end of the campaign. I do not coordinate spending with the Democratic Party, and there is no way for me to know how much has been spent by independent groups.
During the primary, when candidates raise much of their own resources, the vast majority of my contributions came from citizens not affiliated with any interest group.
I think we need to rid politics of the powerful influence of special interests. The McCain-Feingold bill to ban soft money from politics and reform the campaign finance system will be the very first bill my administration sends to Congress. There are some big choices at stake in tomorrow's election. My opponent does not support the McCain-Feingold legislation. He does not support a ban on soft money.
As president, I will take on the powerful insurance industry, the HMOs and the big drug companies. My opponent supports a Patients' Bill of Rights that is backed by the insurance industry and leaves out 135 million Americans. He supports a prescription drug benefit backed by the drug industry that forces seniors into HMOs. He has raised and spent more money in this campaign than any politician in history, much from special interest groups.