First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, back on the "listening" trail in New York yesterday, found herself doing more than listening.
First there was the question about the financing arrangement for the purchase of the new Clinton home in New York: "Everything that we've done has been passed on by the Office of Government Ethics and has been legally approved and I have a lot of anticipation about moving into my house and getting settled in my house," she told reporters after an event with senior citizens on Long Island.
The Clintons signed a contract earlier this month for a $1.7 million home in the Westchester County community of Chappaqua. But they had to turn to friend and fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe for help. He is putting up $1.35 million of his money as collateral. The Conservative Campaign Fund has complained about the arrangement to the Federal Election Commission, claiming that personal loans and guarantees should be subject to the same $1,000 limit as political contributions.
Then came the criticism from Republican lawmakers for the way in which her exploratory campaign reimburses the government for the use of government aircraft for campaign activities. An amendment to campaign finance reform legislation under consideration in the House yesterday could force Clinton's Senate exploratory committee to reimburse the government at a higher rate.
"We have followed the rules," Clinton said. "We have reimbursed according to the formula which was legally required."
Dole, Quayle Attack Test Ban Treaty
With Democrats complaining about Republican stalling on a treaty that would ban all nuclear test explosions, Republican presidential candidates Elizabeth Dole and Dan Quayle yesterday made the case against the treaty.
President Clinton has asked the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by Sept. 23. He believes the pact would help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons while securing the large advantage the United States holds over the rest of the world in nuclear test data.
But Dole and Quayle argued in separate statements that the treaty would tie America's hands while doing nothing to deter rogue states from pursuing nuclear weapons.
Quayle charged that the treaty is the first step in a plan to "unilaterally disarm" the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Promises by the administration to maintain the stockpile while banning tests are "a fraud," he said.
Dole, meanwhile, worried that an indefinite period without tests could render the U.S. nuclear deterrent unreliable.
The test ban treaty was signed by 152 nations in 1996, but since then only 18 of the 44 countries believed to have nuclear capabilities have ratified it. Russia and China are not among the 18.