GINGRICH ETHICS ATTACKED

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Three Democratic House members today accused Speaker Newt Gingrich of ethical improprieties in accepting free cable TV time worth $150,000 to $200,000 from Glenn Jones, the seventh-largest U.S. cable operator. The three, representatives Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) and Harry Johnston (D-Fla.) filed a complaint with the House ethics committee, claiming that Jones has a vested interest in proposed congressional reforms. Gingrich spokesman Tony Blankley tried to turn the tables by claiming Johnston is in a group of lawmakers who meet regularly to dig up dirt on the speaker. Gingrich previously was accused of improperly using tax-deductible donations to fund his politically-oriented college course, which airs free of charge on Jones' cable system. The fresh complaint contends that Jones has "substantial interests" in telecommunications reform, cable deregulation, and the large Public Broadcasting System funding cuts being considered by the House.