AL SHARPTON - Mitch Perry

03/10/04

Election officials are recommending that Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton receive $100,000 in federal matching funds - and be the subject of an investigation into whether he deserves the money.

The mixed recommendation by lawyers for the Federal Election Commission will be presented to the six commissioners tomorrow for a probable vote, after debate over whether the outspoken candidate may have violated campaign finance rules.

At issue are loans and out-of-pocket payments made by Sharpton the activist preacher to Sharpton the candidate. The New Yorker's campaign is low on cash and is carrying heavy debts, but federal rules prohibit federal matching funds to any candidate who loans his own campaign more than $50,000.

Auditors said a review of Sharpton's campaign filings found he was owed $47,821.13 in loans or debts outstanding for more than 60 days. At the end of the 2003 filing period, Sharpton claimed he was owed an additional $53,000 but auditors said they could not determine if any of that debt was outstanding for more than 60 days.

No word on when Sharpton will drop out of the race, or if he will continue to campaign in what must be considered a disappointing primary run for the Reverend.......Last week in New York's Super Tuesday Presidential Primary, Sharpton did worse than in previous state wide runs for U.S. Senate, or when he ran for Mayor in New York City...

Chris Sullentrop is the Washington correspondent for Slate.Com, an internet magazine....He talked to WMNF last week about the ineffective Sharpton candidacy, particularly in comparison to Jesse Jackson's runs in 1984 and 1988 (roll tape#1 o.q."

With some Democrats")

The last news Sharpton made before the announcement by the FEC was earlier this week, with reports that he is talks with the William Morris Agency about a possible radio talk show, or a reality television series.

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