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Ickes Told Gore Temple Event Was A Fund-Raiser

Calendar listed target amount three months before the event occurred


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 10) -- The latest batch of documents released by former administration official Harold Ickes indicates that Vice President Al Gore was informed three months before an April 1996 event at a Buddhist temple in suburban Los Angeles that it was a fund-raiser, The Washington Times reports.

It's illegal to hold political fund-raisers at religious institutions, and when revelations of the event first surfaced, Gore said he believed the event was purely for community outreach purposes. When documents emerged showing Gore was expected to express appreciation to attendees for their financial support to the Democratic Party, the vice president altered his stance, saying he wasn't aware it was a "formal fund-raiser."

Among the new documents is a calendar, stamped "The President Has Seen," that Ickes sent to Clinton, Gore, Gore's chief of staff Ron Klain and several others in January 1996. It lists a "Los Angeles" event seeking to raise $200,000. Other documents show that goal was raised to $350,000.

White House spokemsan Joe Lockhart told The Washington Times it wasn't clear either Gore or Klain ever reviewed the documents, and pointed out that the schedule merely indicated the city and made no mention of the temple. Lockhart said Gore stands by his earlier statement that wasn't aware the event was explicitly to raise funds.

The Democratic National Committee decided not to keep any of the $140,000 raised at the Hsi Lai temple, saying the source of the funds could not be verified.

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