A federal judge in Alexandria refused yesterday to let a Maryland printing company seize campaign funds of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Bob Dole, saying the company failed to prove that Dole was willfully trying to avoid paying his debts.
However, the action by Judge Oren R. Lewis left standing two separate suits against the Dole campaign, each claiming that Dole owes at least $179,000 in debts.
Dole (R-Kansas) received less than two percent of the vote in last Monday's Iowa Gop caucuses and has indicated he is reevaluating his campaign, which has also raised less money than he said he anticipated.
Yesterday Lewis denied an attempt by Computer Business Supplies of Washington, Inc., located in Rockville, to seize Dole's campaign funds deposited in the First American Bank of Alexandria. The firm claims Dole; his campaign committee, Response Marketing Group, Inc., a political management firm, and others owe it 179,335.16 for printing work done between April and July, 1979.
James R. Treese, an attorney for Columbia Business Supplies, said the amount of Dole's campaign money in the bank was $13,000. He added $236,000 in federal campaign matching funds was recently spent by Dole on the Iowa campaign.
Lewis said Dole was under "no obligation" to pay off one creditor before another, and that political campaigns often operate in debt until fundraising events are held after the race. He denied to request to seize the 13,000.
Still outstanding is a federal court suit against Dole by Computer Business Supplies to obtain the funds. Also outstanding is an Alexandria Circuit Court suit, filed against Dole by Response Marketing Group, seeking $238,336 in allegedly unpaid bills. The Response Marketing Group suit includes the $179,000 sought by Computer Business Supplies, which it had once hired to work for Dole, according to court papers.
No trial date has been set in either case.