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Weld, Kerry Cap Spending

Restrict Senate Campaign Expenditures to $6.9 Million Each


In an unprecedented move to cut campaign spending, Gov. William F. Weld '66 and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) announced Wednesday they have agreed to a spending cap in their senate race.

The novel arrangement limits both candidates to $6.9 million in overall spending and $5 million in electronic and newspaper advertising, retroactive to July 1.

The contract, which is enforceable in court, also caps spending from personal funds (contributions or loans) at $500,000 and prohibits third-party expenditures seeking to influence the election.

In a joint statement, both candidates praised the agreement, calling it a major step towards campaign reform.

"This agreement is good for the state and a model for campaign reform across the country," Kerry said. "As a longtime advocate of campaign reform, I'm pleased that the two campaigns were able to come together and reach this agreement."

Weld, a Republican who is challenging Kerry from the governor's office, agreed that the pact is an example for campaigns across the country.

"I am pleased that we have been able to reach this agreement to keep spending down in this Senate race by restricting personal donations, minimizing soft money expenditures, and limiting paid advertising," said Weld. "This unprecedented bilateral agreement creates a model for limiting the influence of money in political campaigns."

The pact is more surprising because while both candidates have a history of not accepting money from political action committees (PACs), they are also both quite wealthy.

The national record for campaign expenditures during a Senate race is $29.9 million, spent by California Republican Michael Huffington in his unsuccessful bid for the Senate against Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 1994.

The agreement also includes provisions allowing the subtraction of expenditures from third party groups from the spending cap or allowing the other candidate additional money should a third party spend after the cap has been reached.

The arrangement allows for spending by the National Senate Campaign Committees within the limit of no more than $574,000 in coordinated and $17,500 in direct contributions.

Up to $2 million of volunteer or grassroots activities are also allowed and not deducted from the cap.

Materials from The Associated Press were used to compile this report.

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