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Video shows a Reagan reception for GOP donors

During a reception in the East Room of the White House 10 years ago, Ronald Reagan thanked dozens of Republicans for their $10,000-plus donations and pledges to "campaign hard" for GOP nominees.

"And let me ask you now," he continued before the receptive crowd, "and I know this is silly, but can I count on you to help?"A videotape of the Sept. 30, 1987, event suggests that Republicans may have used the White House to generate money long before President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore used it to make fund-raising calls.

The reception was held for the Republican Eagles, who are $10,000 donors to the GOP.

The video footage, which surfaced Thursday, is the latest piece of evidence unearthed at Reagan's library in California. The Associated Press obtained a copy of a written transcript of the tape.

Last month, the AP reported that documents it obtained from the Reagan library showed Reagan made telephone calls to fund-raising events from the White House and Camp David and promised donors on one occasion they would be visiting the White House "quite often."

Jan Baran, a Republican campaign finance attorney, said on ABC that Reagan's appeal to the Eagles may have violated the law.

"President Reagan may have made a solicitation, although very indirectly," he said.

Democrats, beset by months of attacks about whether Clinton or Gore may have solicited donors from the White House, were hesitant to comment.

"But we will reiterate that no solicitation or request for funds or financial support occurred at any White House coffees so far as we are aware, and, certainly, no solicitation for funds was ever made by the president," White House special counsel Lanny Davis said.