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w 22A THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1997 w s c No outside prosecutor will help Gore more than Clinton At-minin-iMii dismiss her move as partisan. pj0H makine from his White ing convicted of filing fraudulent torical legacy. According to a num- was the attorney general dismiss her move as partisan edged making from his White ing convicted of filing fraudulent was the attorney general implicat- - i iir.i i : :,! .'I CONTRIBUTIONS ea in vvaiergaic aim unyuouucu. "This has the potential to be a significant campaign issue nextf, year, by intensifying the anger of core Republicans against the whole Clinton administration," Di Vail said, and raising the issue of political ethics among women. mnHAratAC cnhnrhanitps and OtW ber of pollsters and scholars of the presidency, Clinton came away from the Reno decision as strong or as weak as he went into it "I'm not sure it will make a difference," said Jeffrey Tulis, a University of Texas political scientist. "He seems to me remarkably unfazed by all of this. But if you think he's not accomplishing much now, he won't be able to do more because of this" decision. Linda DiVall, a GOP pollster, saw negative fallout for Clinton, Gore and the Democrats in general. "The credibility of the attorney general is now in question," she said, "and that is as damaging to Clinton as John Mitchell's downfall was to Richard Nixon." Mitchell Within minutes ot ner announcement, Common Cause President Ann McBride upbraided Reno for "turning a deaf ear" to the head of the nation's premier law enforcement agency. Still, had Reno gone the other way, matters would have been much worse for the White House and Gore, more so than his boss, stood to suffer acute political damage regardless of the ultimate legal outcome. Previous independent counsel probes have dragged on for years, and this one surely would have lasted well until the presidential election season. Far beyond the immediate issue of the 40 telephone fund-raising solicitations Gore acknowl financial documents, said, It is not a happy thing to go through an election, as he did, when you're under federal investigation." But Mclnturff reinforced Rath's view that "the tarnishing of Gore's image has already happened; the visit to the Buddhist temple will remain in people's minds. The question -has been planted and it won't go away." The impact on Clinton, on the other hand, seems less direct To date, the campaign controversy has only dented his strong standing in the polls. With no more elections in his future, the primary political concern was the effect a special prosecutor would have on his ability to govern and his his House office, an ouisiae proue would keep alive at least in the political arena the larger questions surrounding the tactics employed by the Clinton-Gore campaign to collect large sums of campaign cash. "Absolutely, he is better off," said Tom Rath, the Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary in 2000. "He doesn't have to fight a two-front war with lawyers on one side and politicians on the other." Bill Mclnturff, a Republican pollster whose clients have included former Arizona governor Fife Symington, who resigned after be From LA "I frankly don't think this matter nds," said White House press secretary Michael McCurry. "It wilt continue' to be a subject of discission. It will continue to be ...ia matter of inquiry for the Justice Department. It will continue ho be a source of partisan political attacks on the president and continue to be an item which soiie news organizations choose to investigate." "Any decision not to ask for an independent counsel does not mean that a person has been exonerated or that the work of the campaign finance task force has ended," Reno said at an afternoon news conference where she ci owing vuicia. .. But Ed Sarpolus, a Democratic pollster in Michigan, said, "The y public is not paying as much attention to all this as the Republicans would like. As long as the economy is good, they will pass this off j as typical of what politicians -do. 1 They don't see that what Clinton ;' and Gore have done has harmed them personally." ! vowed, "we will continue to vigor ously investigate all allegations of illegal activity. The dour assessment on a day WEDNESDAY IS YOUR PREVIEW DAY ALL STORES OPEN EARLY BOTH DAYS 8AM that provided otherwise welcome news grew in part out of the realization that even without a special prosecutor, by its own count the White House is under investigation on a variety of fronts by no fewer than 20 Republican-led congressional committees or subcommittees. ' ; Moreover, even Reno's decision did not come without a political catch. While she found no reason t6 trigger the independent counsel ' statute, FBI Director Louis 'Freeh made known his disagreement ynth : that judgment, handing Republicans and other critics, a tailor-made argument to ' governor son had v f v money seized INDICTMENTS From 1A Louisiana! And both Edwardses have performed either legal or Consulting work for a variety of Casino; companies in Louisiana mmmQW, l 1 EEmq ;g,t I r I Alfani overcoats Jog sets for her Nylon, silk, fleece and more. Club Room dress shirts Broadcloth solids in pure cotton. ; ; Neutral Zone quilted anorak In moderate sportswear. Fleece lined. Reg. $60 Sale $30 - Single-breasted in traditional colors. since the - former governor, left Office.- 1 ' DeBartolo. withdrew from the casino project after the Loui siana State Gaming . Con trol Board de manded that he turn over - all documents-s that he had previously provided to the grand jury. 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Edwards has said that he won most of the money at casinos, but federal prosecutors have said that the cash was generated by illegal activities. A federal District Court judge has given federal prosecutors until Dec. 12 to win indictments. Edwards did not return a call to his office on Tuesday. But lawyers for Edwards and his son portrayed the investigation as a final and futile effort by embittered prosecutors. "I think it has stuck in the government's craw for decades that he was acquitted back in the mid-'80s when he was governor," said Michael Fawer, who represents the former governor. DeBartolo announced his resignation in a statement in which he said his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, would become chairwoman of the team. York is chairwoman and chief executive officer of the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp., which owns the team. Edward J. 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