Being Governor Can Really Hurt Your Coffers

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Republicans are muttering about a securities rule that's putting a crimp in Gov. George W. Bush's juggernaut. Rule G-37 limits how much can be contributed by brokers and dealers in the public-bond business to state and local officials who can influence who gets that business, including governors and mayors. The restriction applies to anyone who does bond business as well as the firm's top executives, plus its PAC.

Bush will be able to take only $250 each from them. Though the undeclared GOP candidate raised a whopping $7.6 million in the first quarter, he's trying to amass enough loot to opt out of the public-financing system and its spending limits; so he's hoping for the maximum $1,000 from as many deep pockets as possible. Other G-37 victims: New Jersey's Republican governor Christine Todd Whitman, who's running for Senate, and New York GOP mayor Rudy Giuliani, if he runs. They can't even take the $250 unless the donor lives in their state. The rule isn't to be trifled with. A Morgan Stanley employee violated it with a contribution to then Massachusetts governor William Weld. The firm was barred from doing business with the state for two years.