Campaign Finance Abuse: Everybody Does It

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WASHINGTON: The FEC doesn’t want any trouble -- it just wants its $24 million back. One day after Judiciary Committee Republicans added campaign-finance abuses to their winter impeachment parade, the Federal Election Commission gave them someone else to think about: Bob Dole. An agency audit found both Clinton and Dole guilty of illegally using DNC and RNC money to fund so-called "issue ads" – the very violation over which Janet Reno is considering an independent counsel for Clinton right now.

Special Report Her expected demurral, due Monday, will no doubt incense Republicans as always, but the FEC isn’t after anyone’s head. Seeing no criminal intent on the candidates’ part and ready to blame the whole mess on bad advice from the lawyers, the commission simply wants the repayment of federal matching funds -- $17 million from Dole and $7 million from Clinton. Hmmm. Forget impeachment, forget censure – maybe Clinton should just write us all a really big check.