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Clinton Visits N.Y. To Honor Jackie Robinson

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President also raises soft money at fund-raising event

WASHINGTON (April 15) -- The fund-raising scandals in Washington may be causing a stir, but they're certainly not stopping President Bill Clinton from continuing to squeeze in more fund-raising, including the kind he wants outlawed.

In between events designed to stop children from smoking and to honor baseball legend Jackie Robinson, Clinton was back in his fund-raising mode, this time looking ahead to the 1998 congressional elections.

"Your presence here today will help the American people make a good decision in 1998," the president told a small but lucrative luncheon gathering, sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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Organizers said it was expected to raise between $600,000 and $700,000, mostly in so-called "soft money," the unrestricted sums that the president says he wants banned. In his remarks, Clinton made no mention of the fund-raising scandals.

So far this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised nearly $2 million. That's about $700,000 more than during the same period two years ago, after the Republicans first took control of Congress.

Clinton reminded his fellow Democrats that last November's congressional outcome for the Democrats could have been different.

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"It is worth noting that even though they were outspent, often by breathtaking margins in the last 10 days -- unimaginable amounts in some of the seats -- with only 9,759 votes spread across 10 congressional districts, the Democrats could be in the majority today," Clinton said. "That's how close that election was."

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Throughout the day, the president repeatedly spoke of the triumph of two black athletes -- Jackie Robinson's entry into Major League Baseball 50 years ago and Tiger Woods' win at the Masters golf tournament this past weekend.

The White House had invited Woods to become the president's latest guest aboard Air Force One on this trip to New York, but Woods didn't want to change his planned vacation. The president's aides expect Woods to show up at the White House in the not-too-distant future.


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