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CAMPAIGN 2000

Reform Party's Funding Fight Heard at FEC

August 26, 2000|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Pat Buchanan, seeking $12.6 million in federal matching funds for his presidential campaign, submitted evidence Friday to the Federal Election Commission that he says shows he is the rightful candidate of the deeply divided Reform Party.

The FEC made available letters of support that Buchanan presented from party officials in Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and New Mexico.

The FEC requested evidence last week after receiving funding requests from Buchanan and his rival in the party, John Hagelin.

The Reform Party, which emerged as a third party in the 1992 election, suffered an acrimonious split at its convention in Long Beach earlier this month. Members linked to party founder Ross Perot backed Hagelin, and a contingent of other delegates backed Buchanan.

Hagelin has yet to respond to the FEC request for evidence that he will be listed as the party's nominee in at least 10 states, but he told reporters he would do so soon.

Spokesman Bob Roth said Hagelin may submit certifications from as many as 30 states next week. "We are taking our time doing it right," he said.

The Reform Party is eligible for public financing because its nominee, Perot, received more than 5% of the vote in 1996. Officials have said that if both candidates qualify as the party's nominee, the funds may be equally divided.

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