ANGIE CANNON And DONNA St.GEORGE Herald
James GARNER, Barbra STREISAND, Phyllis GEORGE, Jimmy CARTER,
Tipper GORE, Vidal SASSOON
Saturday, February 4, 1995
Bill and Hillary Clinton received $608,000
from nearly 6,000 contributors in 1994 to defray their legal expenses
from the Whitewater probe and a sexual harassment lawsuit, according
to a financial statement released Friday.
Despite the donations, however, the Clintons
still owe their high-powered lawyers nearly $1 million. Prospects
for keeping pace with the legal bills appear dim. By the end of
1994, donations were dribbling in at a rate of about $35,000 a
The fund -- the first ever for an American
president - accepts contributions of up to $1,000 from individuals.
It has come under fire from critics who say it is unseemly for
the Clintons to receive donations, especially from people who
may have a stake in government actions.
Contributors ranged from Hollywood stars
Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn to ordinary Americans who said
the president has been getting a bum rap.
The fund was established last June to defray
the Clintons' personal legal expenses in the federal investigation
of the Whitewater land deal and the sexual harassment lawsuit
filed by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones.
Entertainers helping the president included
actor James Garner, writer and radio personality Garrison Keillor
and opera singer Roberta Peters.
Business executives, political figures and
more than two dozen Washington lobbyists and insiders also kicked
in to the presidential defense fund.
But a lot of regular folks from all 50 states
also ponied up, although most of the money came from California,
New York and Washington.
Anna Rachel Miller, a retired high school
English teacher in Cheyenne, Wyo., has mailed in $100 a month
since the Clintons' defense fund was started -- for a total of
"I disapprove of the mean and hateful
campaign that's being waged against them," Miller said. "It
isn't prosecution. It's persecution."
Thirty-three Floridians made contributions
to the fund totaling $18,450.
Top givers ($1,000 each) included Coral Gables
investor William Rollnick and his wife, photographer Nancy Ellison;
Panama City banker Joe Chapman; and GTI Corp. President William
Harger of Winter Park.
Former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown Jr., his
wife, Phyllis George, and their two children, Lincoln and Pamela,
who now live in Fort Lauderdale, each sent $1,000.
A number of Florida retirees, small-business
owners and homemakers sent in smaller contributions, saying they
support Clinton and believe he deserves to be defended.
"I think he's one of the greatest presidents
and his wife is one of the greatest first ladies we've ever had,"
said Gabriel Glantz, a retired lawyer from Michigan who lives
in Tamarac. He sent $300 last August.
"I love him, I love his wife, and I
love his programs. I wish I had contributed more," Glantz
Barbara Stenstream, a registered independent
who is an antiques dealer in Boca Raton, sent in $200 last July.
She said she believes the president "has a good heart, and
he's really trying to help people."
Stenstream said she believes the allegations
"are all political, from Arkansas Republicans and the ultra-right
wing. It's a smear campaign. I don't believe a word Paula Jones
Kenneth F. Boehm, chairman of the National
Legal and Policy Center, which has sued the defense fund, said
it should be shut down.
"This slush fund is deeply resented
by the American people," he said. "The first family
should pay their own legal bills."
In his State of the Union speech last week,
Clinton called on Congress to stop taking perks from lobbyists.
But the next day, Senate Republican leader
Bob Dole of Kansas called that a "cheap shot" and slammed
Clinton for accepting contributions from lobbyists for his legal
defense. The fund immediately announced it would refuse to accept
further contributions from lobbyists.
Some of the prominent contributors to President
Clinton's legal defense fund:
* James Garner, actor, $1,000
* Garrison Keillor, writer, radio personality,
* Sean Penn, actor, $1,000
* Roberta Peters, opera singer, $250
* Barbra Streisand, actress/singer, $1,000
PUBLIC, POLITICAL FIGURES:
* John Y. Brown Jr., former Kentucky governor,
* Phyllis George, former sportscaster, $1,000
* Hugh L. Carey, former New York governor,
* Jimmy Carter, former president, $1,000
* Rosalynn Carter, former first lady, $1,000
* James Carville, political consultant, $1,000
* Hillary Rodham Clinton, first lady, $1,000
* William Jefferson Clinton, president, $1,000
* Tony Coelho, former House Democratic whip,
* Lloyd Cutler, former White House counsel,
* James J. Florio, former New Jersey governor,
* Tipper Gore, wife of vice president, $1,000
* Cyrus Vance, former secretary of state,
BUSINESS, UNION EXECUTIVES:
* Edgar Bronfman Jr., chief executive of
Joseph E. Seagram & Sons Inc., $1,000.
* Arthur Coia, president of Laborers' International
* Vernon Jordan, Washington attorney, $1,000
* Richard C. Leone, president of Twentieth
Century Fund, $1,000
* Charles Manatt, Washington attorney, $1,000
* Laurance S. Rockefeller, philanthropist,
* Vidal Sassoon, hair products executive,
* Maurice Tempelsman, importer and investor,
* Lew R. Wasserman, chairman MCA Inc., $1,000
Herald Washington Bureau
All content © 1995 THE MIAMI HERALD