WASHINGTON — Aides to Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut on Saturday accused retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, of "misleading" voters by failing to include information about his lobbying and business consulting activities in campaign advertisements.
Clark became "a multimillionaire lobbyist" after leaving the military by marketing his Pentagon contacts to private companies, said Craig Smith, director of the Lieberman campaign. "It is glaring that he leaves out of [campaign] ads ... that he has been a registered lobbyist longer than he has been a registered Democrat."
Smith said the campaign was not accusing Clark of wrongdoing, but that the former NATO commander was running on his record as a public servant while giving people only a "selective picture" of his activities.
"It looks like he was looking after himself by using the revolving door, lobbying people he used to work with in the Pentagon," said Brian Hardwick, Lieberman's deputy campaign director.
Chris Lehane, a senior advisor to Clark, said that Lieberman "should spend more time worrying about Al Gore's assessment of his candidacy and less time worrying about Gen. Clark's financial records."
Gore last week snubbed Lieberman, his running mate in the 2000 presidential election, and endorsed former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the Democratic presidential race.
Lieberman and Clark have opted to skip the Iowa caucuses Jan. 19 and are hoping for strong showings in New Hampshire's Jan. 27 primary. Each has been courting moderate Democrats and independents in that state.
News media reported in October that Clark remained a registered lobbyist for AcxiomCorp., a Little Rock, Ark., information-services company, until two weeks after he joined the race for the White House. News reports have also noted Clark's consulting work for WaveCrest Labs, which is marketing a motorized bicycle to the U.S. military.
In financial-disclosure forms to be filed Monday at the Federal Election Commission, Clark says his adjusted gross income grew from $84,000 in 1999, the last full year of his military service, to $1.6 million in 2002. Much of his income came from speeches and writing books, as well as from consulting.