to plague and divide candidates. For Idaho Republican Rep. Helen
Chenoweth, misuse of money has become a potential Achilles' heel.
According to the state's Democratic Party, Chenoweth's campaign
illegally hired a company she owns. Now, Chenoweth won't say why
her campaign paid $35,000 for rent and office space to her
Consulting Associates although it also rented a cheaper and larger
office nearby. "It's not that I can't remember," she told the
Spokesman Review. "It's that I don't want to say anything until I
know that it's accurate."
In Utah, charges of
campaign finance fraud have caused troubles for another
high-profile first-year Republican. On March 5, Rep. Enid Waldholtz
announced that she will become the 43rd congressperson to retire
this year. Charges are pending against Waldholtz, who blames her
husband, Joe, for stealing money and illegally diverting it to her
campaign - without her knowledge. Waldholtz said she needs time off
to deal with legal problems.
In Colorado, the
race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Hank Brown has divided
Democrats over the ethics of accepting PAC money. Candidate Gene
Nichol vowed to run a campaign free of Political Action Committee
contributions, saying, "Polluters have bought one of the most
anti-environmental Congresses in history." Contenders Phil
Perington and state Sen. Paul Weissman followed suit, but Denver
attorney Tom Strickland and Denver councilwoman Ramona Martinez
refused to bar PAC money. They are now the front-runners, with
Strickland leading the polls.
Strickland says he
has to play the PAC game in order to beat the Republican - either
Wayne Allard, a congressman from Loveland, or state attorney
general Gale Norton. Neither champions environmental
In Oregon just a month ago, most
Democrats favored feisty populist Rep. Peter DeFazio in the race to
replace retiring Sen. Mark Hatfield. But DeFazio backed out, citing
money. Apparently he didn't want to compete against millionaires
Tom Bruggere and Harry Lonsdale in the Democratic primary, or
millionaire Republican Gordon Smith in the general election. A
front-runner for the May 21 primary has yet to emerge.