Former Vice President Al Gore, pledging to help John Kerry fight “outrageous and misleading” Republican attacks, said Wednesday that he will donate more than $6 million to various Democratic Party groups.
Drawing from funds left over from his 2000 presidential campaign, Gore pledged to donate $4 million to the Democratic National Committee. The party’s Senate and House committees would each get $1 million, and the party from Gore’s home state of Tennessee would receive $250,000.
The figures were included in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that Gore planned to release later Wednesday.
The money comes from Gore’s general election legal and accounting compliance fund, which showed $6.6 million on March 31.
In addition to distributing the money, Gore is releasing the entire $240,000 left in his recount fund, money raised to challenge results of the disputed 2000 Florida presidential election to the Florida Democratic Party. The outcome in Florida and the subsequent Supreme Court decision on the recount ensured President Bush’s victory.
Under FEC rules, money in such compliance funds can only be used to pay for lawyers and accountants to comply with federal election law. But the rules also permit money left over in such accounts to be transferred to a national, state or local party committee, or to be donated to charity.
Can't give directly to Kerry
Gore could not transfer or donate the money directly to the Kerry campaign. But if he transferred the money to the DNC, for example, the restrictions under which the money was originally raised would no longer be in effect, FEC officials said.
The former Tennessee senator and Bill Clinton’s vice president, Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the electoral vote to Bush in one of the closest elections in history. He is coming late to Kerry’s bandwagon.
He shocked the political community late last year by endorsing then front-runner Howard Dean, whose campaign collapsed several weeks later in Iowa, leaving the former vice president and other Dean supporters without a candidate in the Democratic presidential race.
Gore, who has been relatively quiet since then, said in the statement: “The outcome of the election is extremely important for the future of our country.”
Gore added, “I want to help John Kerry become president and I want to help Democrats retake control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives,” and he said he would help Kerry fight “outrageous and misleading” attacks from the White House.