January 20, 1998
Dear Mr. Coggins:
Thank you for contacting my office with your thoughts regarding campaign finance reform. I appreciate your efforts to keep me informed as Congress continues to wrestle with this important issue, and I ask that you continue to forward any information or ideas you believe to be of particular interest.
The Repubican Majority is committed to overhauling the campaign finance laws that have been in effect since 1974 and the post-Watergate period. However, the campaign finance movement suffered with the Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 1996, that federal spending limits on state and national party organizations do not apply as long as the parties spend money independently of a candidate's campaign. Nonetheless, the new majority is committed to changing and reforming Congress to make it more accountable to the people who it is intended to serve.
It is important to see what revelations regarding illegal campaign contributions arise during Senate and House investigations. The U.S. Department of Justice has also launched their own preliminary inquiry into Vice President Gore's fundraising calls from his office. In the coming months, with mounting evidence being produced of improprieties taking place in the White House over the past several years, Attorney General Janet Reno will have to make a decision about appointing an independent counsel to investigate this matter. From the evidence which has been gathered so far, I believe the Attorney General needs to make this appointment to remain honorable and non-political.
In the House, we have passed term-limits legislation, a line-item veto for the President and a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring Congress adheres to the moral and legal principles outlined by our campaign finance system as it currently exists and as this nation's Founding Fathers envisioned these procedures. As different legislative initiatives are brought forward, you may be assured I will continue to fight for reforms that the American people and the constituents of Georgia's 8th District supported in the 1994 and 1996 elections.
Again, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter. If I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress
[retyped from letter]