Ari & I
     White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
      May 3, 2001, 12:30 p.m.
      by Russell Mokhiber
    Mokhiber: Ari, yesterday, I asked you about Koch Industries, which last month pled guilty to a
    felony environmental crime.  The question was -- the campaign took money from the company and
    from the employees, and you said --  it couldn't have taken money from the company, because it's
    illegal to take money from the company.  Which is true, but I went and checked, and in fact, Koch
    Industries Political Action Committee (PAC) gave $5,000 to the campaign. And the political action
    committee is controlled by the company.  Back to the original question --

    Ari Fleischer: That's not accurate.

    Mokhiber: It is accurate.

    Ari Fleischer: The political action committee is comprised of voluntary contributions from employees.

    Mokhiber: But the company decides how to spend it.

    Ari Fleischer: The political action committee decides how to spend it.

    Mokhiber: But the company controls the political action committee.

    Ari Fleischer: It's not corporate -- the political action committee is a voluntary committee -
    Is there a question?

    Mokhiber: Yes, there is a question -- which I think you dodged yesterday -- given that this money came
    from what is now a convicted corporate felon, does the President have a policy on accepting money from
    convicted felons, and should he give it back at least to the PAC, which is controlled by the company?

    Ari Fleischer: Again, you are making a tie between individuals and corporations. That's not the case.
    Corporations cannot give campaign contributions and the campaign did not receive corporate contributions.

    Mokhiber: Excuse me, could I follow up, Ari?

          -Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

    White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate
    Crime Reporter. He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman.
    He can be reached at:

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