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Know the West

Saga of Enid Waldholtz

  Utah Democrat Karen Shepherd is considering a bid to retake the congressional seat she lost to free-spending Republican Enid Waldholtz.

Authorities continue to investigate allegations Joe and Enid Waldholtz are at the center of a $1.7 million check-kiting scheme which may include violations of federal campaign-spending laws in the 1994 race against Shepherd.

Waldholtz, a darling of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, spent $1.8 million in personal funds to beat Shepherd, who in one term had built a record of support for environmental causes. FBI agents now question the source of those funds, putting the entire election - and Waldholtz's political future - in doubt.

Waldholtz claims she knew nothing of any financial improprieties and blames her husband entirely. Polls show a majority of Utahns don't accept her explanation.

Joe gave himself up to the FBI six days after vanishing from Washington's National Airport Nov. 11. He now awaits a date to testify before a federal grand jury, though his attorneys say he is negotiating with federal prosecutors on a plea bargain that could include testifying against his wife. - Tony Semerad