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For Immediate Release:                                  Contact:  Ian Stirton
September 22, 1997                                                Ron Harris
                                                                  Sharon Snyder
                                                                  Kelly Huff

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORTS OF MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES SHOW INCREASES IN 'SOFT MONEY' CONTRIBUTIONS

WASHINGTON-Disclosure reports for the first six months of the 1997-98 cycle submitted to the Federal Election Commission showed Republican party committees continued to outraise and outspend Democratic party committees, but Democrats had a substantial increase in receipts when compared to the same period for the 1995-96 cycle. Both parties also showed an increase in non-federal, or "soft money" activity, when compared to the same period in the 1995-96 cycle, and both parties reported substantial debt.

Republican party committees raised in excess of $59 million for federal elections and spent $51.6 million from their federal ("hard money") accounts for the first six months of 1997, compared to the Democrats' $35.1 million in receipts and $33.3 million in expenditures. This is a 17% decrease in receipts for Republicans when compared to the same period of 1995-96, while the Democrats registered a 25% increase in receipts over that period. When compared to the same period in 1993-94, the last non-presidential cycle, Republicans registered an 18% increase in receipts, while the Democrats showed a 29% increase in receipts.

Contributions from individuals comprised the majority of receipts for both parties. Republicans reported $51.2 million from individuals and $2.7 million from PACs. Democrats reported $23.3 million from individuals and $4.6 million from PACs. While Democrats finished the 6-month period with $5.6 million cash on hand, they listed $22.6 million in debts. Republican totals were $11.4 million cash on hand and $10.7 million in debts.

Republicans raised $21.7 million in soft money for the first six months of this year, while Democrats took in $13.7 million. For the same reporting period in 1995, Republicans tallied $16.6 million, while Democrats raised $10.8 million. Soft money is raised outside the limitations and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act, and must be deposited in separate non-federal accounts, not to be used in connection with federal elections.

Charts attached to this release provide summary data for the financial activities of the two major parties during the first six months for the 1997-98 election cycle and comparisons for the same period in the previous five cycles. Comparable data on non-federal party activity are available for only the previous three cycles. The FEC began requiring national party committees to disclose their non-federal accounts in January 1991.

Federal Summary

Republican Party Federal Activity

Democratic Party Federal Activity

Republican National Party Non Federal Activity

Democratic National Party Non Federal Activity

Non Federal Activity for the first Six Months of the Election Cycle 1992-1998