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Related Stories
 Up In Smoke (TIME, 06-22-98)

 Analysis: Tobacco Battle Ends But Battle For The Issue Continues (06-19-98)

Related Sites
 Sen. Daschle's Web site

 Federal Election Commission Web site

 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Web site



Daschle Calls For Probe Into Tobacco, Health Care Ad Campaigns

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 2) -- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle is calling on Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate whether the tobacco industry and health insurance companies are violating federal election laws with their ad campaigns targeting federal legislation.


In a letter to Reno, the South Dakota Democrat based his request in part on a complaint filed Monday with the Federal Elections Commission by the National Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The anti-tobacco group says the tobacco industry, which has poured $40 million into ads opposing the recently defeated McCain tobacco bill, plans new ads endorsing Republican senators who voted to kill the bill. The group charges that effort violates federal laws that prohibit corporations from contributing money to candidates.

"I fear that these practices will constitute a trend and result in yet another loophole in our campaign finance laws," Daschle wrote. He said the National Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' complaint "makes a persuasive case that this next phase of advertising is solely intended to affect the outcome of federal elections, not public policy."


In addition, Daschle called on Reno to investigate the health insurance industry, which he said "is now employing an identical advertising strategy in it attempt to defeat federal reforms of managed care practices and health maintenance organizations."

Tobacco industry spokesman Scott Williams said that its advertising would comply with federal law. Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for the American Association of Health Plans, characterizing Daschle's call for an investigation "an attempt to silence our ads and to gag us."

"Our ads are focused squarely on the issue of government mandates, both state and federal, and not even on any specific piece of legislation," Pisano said.

In Other News

Thursday, July 2, 1998

Tripp Completes Day Two Of Testimony
Poll: Most Americans Hold Unfavorable Views Of Tripp, Lewinsky
Daschle Calls For Probe Into Tobacco, Health Care Ad Campaigns
Trie's Lawyer Asks Judge To Dismiss Fund-Raising Charges
HMO Bashing Becoming 'Contagious' In 1998 Campaigns
Texas Gov. Bush Steps Away From GOP Attacks On Bilingual Education
Chinese General's Son Blocked From Working On Sale Of Satellite
Statue To Be Added To The FDR Memorial
New Documents Show Chung Lobbied Administration For Chinese Oil Firm

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