James M. Cannon, vice chairman of former Senate majority leader Howard H.epublican Majority Fund, yesterday denied a quotation attributed to him in yesterday's editions. He was quoted as saying "Bush, Kemp and Dole are traveling all over the country with PAC money, and they are not supposed to do that." The quote appeared in the Oct. 21 issue of New York Magazine and should have been so credited in The Washington Post. Cannon said yesterday he does not know how other Republicans are financing their pre-presidential campaign travel.
In an attempt to restrict backdoor finance tactics being used by prospective presidential candidates, former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) has asked the Federal Election Commission to set specific ground rules on spending.
"Bush, Kemp and Dole are traveling all over the country with PAC money, and they are not supposed to do that," James M. Cannon, vice chairman of Baker's Republican Majority Fund, said, referring to Vice President Bush, Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.).
Baker's major charge is that other Republicans are using "multi-candidate" political action committees (PACs) -- which are legally restricted to supporting House and Senate candidates -- to, in effect, finance travel, field staffs and a host of other activities that actually amount to presidential campaigning.
Baker did not file a complaint against his competitors. Instead, he asked for an advisory opinion on whether activities related to his unannounced presidential campaign can be financed by his multi-candidate committee or should be financed by a special exploratory committee. Baker is the only potential candidate to set up such an exploratory committee.
Among the advantages to candidates who shift campaign costs onto a multi-candidate committee are that the expenditures do not count against spending limits and the PAC can take individual contributions of up to $5,000. For presidential units, the ceiling is $1,000.
John Buckley, a spokesman for Kemp, said Baker filed the complaint only to give credibility to his presidential bid. "There aren't more than three or four people in Washington who are convinced he is going to run," Buckley said.