Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee A. Iacocca is complaining that even though he insists he is not a candidate for the presidency, he's being treated like one. "I am not even a candidate, and they beat the hell out of you in the press," he said at a news conference called to discuss Chrysler profits.
Bemoaning some of the effects of the effort to draft him to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, he said, "It's not fair. Somebody threw my hat in the ring, and they're beating the hell out of my hat."
Lest anyone has doubts about his interest in running, Iacocca declared, "Let's put this to rest. There are no circumstances under which I would change my mind." Sharing the Collection
With charity toward all . . . the Rev. Marion G. (Pat) Robertson's political action committee, The Committee for Freedom, made contributions for two fellow Republicans -- who, like Robertson, may run for president. The PAC gave $5,000 to the Free Congress Laxalt Dinner Committee, a conservative Republican fund-raising dinner honoring Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.). It also gave $5,000 to the congressional campaign committee of Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.). Silver Charges
Having fought allegations in his last campaign that he profited by speculating on the silver market while sponsoring legislation that affected the commodity's prices, Sen. Steve Symms (R-Idaho) is fighting the charges once again.
Symms, in a tough reelection fight with Gov. John V. Evans (D), called the charges raised in the current issue of The Nation magazine "a phony issue." Symms said, "It is ludicrous and baseless to charge that I can influence commodity markets. I have bought and sold in the markets with profits and losses, but if the media would bother to follow the trades through they would see that I have lost money."
Silver trading is an issue close to home. Idaho is the nation's leading producer of silver. Big Money in Michigan
The talk in Michigan was that millionaire businessman Richard Chrysler might spend $2 million, much of it his own, in his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. During the Jan. 1-July 20 preprimary filing period, he spent almost $3 million, $2.7 million of it his own, with two weeks of spending time left until the Aug. 5 primary. State elections officials said this is the most spent in a Michigan primary -- more than Chrysler's three opponents together.
Chrysler, who refused to accept state matching funds to avoid the $1.2 million spending limit, has been accused of trying "to buy the nomination." Chrysler accused his rivals of "leaching off the taxpayers" by accepting public money for their campaigns.
A political unknown before his media campaign, recent polls show Chrysler tied or leading Wayne County Executive William Lucas in the four-way race for the right to challenge Gov. James J. Blanchard (D). Spending, Family Style
In Tennessee, another gubernatorial candidate -- this time a Democrat -- is being accused of trying "to buy" the nomination with her personal wealth. Chairman of the Public Utility Commission Jane Eskind, whose net worth is in the neighborhood of $39 million, has spent almost $3 million -- a state record -- much of it her family's money. The two other leading contenders, House Speaker Ned McWherter and Nashville Mayor Richard Fulton have spent a little more than $3 million combined.
The Eskind family lent Eskind's campaign $2.14 million and accounted for $690,000 of the $900,000 she received in individual contributions. She called her wealth a political asset, because, "I think it's obvious I'm not running for the money involved, the salary." The governor is paid $68,200 a year.
Polls show that Eskind moved from third place to second, within striking distance of McWherter. The winner of the Aug. 7 primary will face former governor Winfield Dunn (R) in the race to succeed Gov. Lamar Alexander (R). Polls
During the first half of 1986, 39 percent of voting-age Americans described themselves as Democrats, 32 percent as Republicans and 29 percent as independents, according to a Gallup Poll released today.
The Republicans peaked in early 1985, when the two parties were nearly equal in strength, with 37 percent identifying themselves as Democrats, 35 percent Republicans and 28 percent as independents