Rick Lazio on Government Reform

Rejects use of soft money

LAZIO: We have rejected the use of soft money in this campaign. My campaign has neither raised nor spent a dollar of soft money, which is a very different experience from my opponent. We could have easily decided to go down that road of trying to raise a lot of money in very large denominations, but decided against it. If you look at the average donation that I receive, itís like less than $100.

CLINTON: He received a million dollars in contributions from the home-building industry.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Average donation is under $100

Q: Campaign finance. Mr. Lazio, youíve taken contributions from the housing industry, and you serve on a committee that regulates housing.

LAZIO: If you look at the average donation that I receive, itís like less than $100. In the House, of course Iíve been very active on housing issues.

Q: But have you gotten heavy contributions from the housing industry?

LAZIO: Weíve gotten contributions from a whole range of people with different interests that are important to the quality of life of New Yorkers

CLINTON: He received a million dollars in contributions from the home-building industry and from the manufacturers of homes. And in return, at least there is an appearance that he did several things. He fought to weaken the safety standards for manufactured housing and in-home building.

LAZIO: Thatís absolutely false. And you know it, Mrs. Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, Mr. Lazio, you just referred to The Daily News, which ran an investigative article which made exactly that point.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Public financing of elections is welfare for politicians

Q: Do you support campaign finance reform?

LAZIO: I voted for campaign finance reform. I have run this campaign abiding by McCain-Feingold. We have not raised a dime of soft money. I do not agree with public financing because the voters should decide who is elected. We should not have welfare for politicians.

CLINTON: I think we need to change the system of campaign financing. I just have to remark that Mr. Lazioís campaign violated the very simple agreement that we entered. Last month, Mr. Lazio said that this was an issue of trust and character. If New Yorkers canít trust him to keep his word for 10 days, how can they trust him for six years on issues like Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs and education?

LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton, no lectures from Motel 1600 on campaign finance reform. I took a legitimate contribution of clean hard money. My opponent objected. Because I have a commitment to campaign finance reform and to this agreement, I refunded the money.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Demands Hillary sign ďFreedom from Soft Money PactĒ

LAZIO: I have right here a pledge that I sent over to my opponent. Itís a ban on soft money pledge. Iím willing to say we will neither raise nor spend a dime of soft money and ask all outside groups to stay away if my opponent is willing to do the same.

CLINTON: In May I made exactly that offer. I said, ďLetís forego soft money, but letís also be sure we donít have these independent expenditures.Ē If you will get signed agreements from all your friends and will not be running so-called independent ads, will not be doing push polling, will not be doing mass mailings with outrageous personal attacks, I think we can have an agreement.

LAZIO: Iíd be happy to get signed agreements, but I want to get it done right now. I donít want any more wiggle room. Here it is. Letís sign it. Itís the New York Freedom from Soft Money Pact.

CLINTON: Well, I would be happy to when you give me the signed letters.

LAZIO: Sign it right now.

CLINTON: Weíll shake on it.

LAZIO: No, I want your signature.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Fully fund the National Endowment for the Arts

On Arts. Lazio was one of only 15 Republicans who bucked the party leadership and voted for full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Ban soft money & issue ads

On Campaign finance. Lazio has voted for legislation that would ban donations of largely unregulated soft money to political parties and restrict the ability of parties to run issue advertisements on behalf of candidates.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Supported a Term Limits constitutional amendment

On Term limits. Lazio supported a constitutional amendment that would have placed a 12-year limit on the terms of senators and representatives.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

No soft money; yes full campaign disclosure

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 ( Jul 2, 1998

Term limits: 12 years for Senate & House

Lazio supports terms limits of two 6-year terms for Senators, and six 2-year terms for Representatives.
Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 ( Jul 2, 1998

Voted YES on banning soft money.

Campaign Finance Reform Act to ban "soft money" and impose restrictionson issue advocacy campaigning
Reference: Bill sponsored by Shays, R-CT; Bill HR 417 ; vote number 1999-422 on Sep 14, 1999

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