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ANDERSON ACCUSES COOK OF A FLIP-FLOP ON SPENDING

SHARE ANDERSON ACCUSES COOK OF A FLIP-FLOP ON SPENDING

Democrat Ross Anderson said Friday that Republican Merrill Cook has flip-flopped on supporting voluntary spending limits.

Anderson - after a trip seeking donations from Washington-based special-interest groups - prepared a giant poster of a 1994 newspaper story where Cook was quoted saying he supported voluntary spending limits of $250,000 to $300,000 in House races.At the time, multimillionaire Cook was running against Enid Greene, who was pouring millions into her campaign (illegally, it was discovered later), and former Rep. Karen Shepherd, D-Utah, who attracted heavy donations from special-interest groups.

Anderson said he offered a contract to Cook to mutually agree to limit their spending to $250,000 during the general election in their U.S. House campaign, but Cook declined to consider it.

"That's another flip-flop on a key issue by him," Anderson said. "He's bought 99 percent name recognition with the $3 million he has spend on six prior elections. Even with the limits I proposed, he would have had a huge ad-van-tage."

Besides the $250,000 limit, Anderson also proposed limiting donations by a candidate himself to $25,000, and requiring that at least 65 percent of money raised come from individuals living in the House District.

Anderson said he will not live by those limits either, now, saying he cannot do so and compete with Cook if he does not live by them, too.

But he said, "Money should not control who serves in Congress. It should not be limited to the extremely wealthy or those who can raise enormous amounts from special interests."

The most recent campaign financial disclosure forms show Cook raised $509,974 through June 30 - and 97 percent of it came from his own pocket. Anderson had raised $154,157, and 81 percent of it came from individual donors (although 17 percent of the total came from fellow attorneys).

Eariler in the week, Cook said he has spent only what was required to win tightly contested convention and primary races, and said providing his own money shows he is not beholden to special interests.

Cook, meanwhile, attacked Anderson for taking money from liberal special interests including Gay and Lesbian Democrats, Handgun Control Inc., and the pro-choice National Abortion Rights Action League.

During Anderson's trip to Washington this week, he met with more pro-choice groups, labor unions, environmental groups and Democratic Party officials seeking to raise funds. He said he was encouraged, and should be able to finance a strong campaign.