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{Fred]Thompson’s ‘testing’ ploy raises eyebrows (GOP gnats attack)
The Hill ^ | June 29, 2007 | Sam Youngman

Posted on 06/29/2007 7:48:12 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) may be violating Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws by failing to report funds raised in the second quarter, which ends tomorrow — giving his probable presidential campaign a one-month fundraising advantage over his rivals in the third quarter.

Republican or Democratic rivals could file a complaint against Thompson if he enters the 2008 presidential race and it becomes apparent that he spent the month of June campaigning rather than wrestling with the decision to run.

Thompson is operating under the “testing the waters” clause of FEC laws, allowing him to raise money, travel and conduct polling to determine whether a bid is feasible. If he were to start campaigning, he officially would become a candidate, subject to filing requirements.

The law, however, is vague when it comes to the difference between testing the waters and all-out campaigning.

Those testing the waters are forbidden from referring to themselves as candidates, advertising or trying to get on a ballot.

Perhaps more importantly, the laws forbid such a person from “rais[ing] more money than what is reasonably needed to test the waters or amass funds (seed money) to be used after candidacy is established.”

Thompson attended at least one $2,300 fundraiser in Nashville this week, and as The Hill reported earlier this month, 100 of his supporters were asked to raise a total of about $4.7 million.

The Hill reported last week that Thompson has hired a Midwest/Northeast finance director, a move that could be seen as indicating he has made up his mind.

Thompson has been careful to say publicly that he is testing the waters, adding in Tennessee that those waters are “pretty warm,” according to reports.

And his campaign website is paid for by “Friends of Fred, Inc.” instead of something like “Fred 2008” or “Thompson for President.”

“One can’t help but see that Thompson again might be hearing the call to serve,” the website reads. “As he discussed less than six months ago, a door is opening and this time Fred Dalton Thompson may lead all of America through it.”

One Republican strategist and attorney said Thompson has been “amassing a lot of money, hiring staff and traveling to primary states … all of which is indicative of an ongoing campaign, not deciding whether or not to run.”

The operative added that Thompson’s actions of the last month are “inconsistent with the testing-the-waters phase and more like a candidate.”

A spokeswoman for the watchdog group Common Cause said, “If he intends to run he ought to just announce and get it over with,” adding that Thompson is being “coy” and not adhering to the “spirit” of the testing-the-waters phase.

While Thompson and his small staff have been careful about the way they describe the former senator’s actions, his supporters have not.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) was quoted this week referring to Thompson as the “only conservative candidate.”

Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo took issue with anonymous critics, but said such complaints are wholly without merit.

“All of the Thompson testing-the-waters committee activities have been and continue to be performed pursuant to these regulations which have been on the books for decades,” Corallo said in an e-mail. “I suppose those legal ignoramuses (or is it ignorami?) forgot to check the rules. They could have made a quick call to the [former New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani campaign which started out as a testing-the-waters committee this cycle.”

Indeed, most of the current campaigns started out with testing-the-waters phases or exploratory committees. Some continue to operate under the latter distinction, but they are required to report their fundraising totals.

If or when Thompson decides to get into the race officially, rival campaigns or citizens can file a complaint with the FEC, which would investigate whether or not Thompson was spending this time campaigning instead of testing the waters.

The complaint would have precedent. The FEC found evangelist Pat Robertson guilty of such an infraction in the 1988 race and required he pay a $25,000 fine. But the decision was made after the election was over.

Because of the lengthy process involved and the size of the fine, which is paltry compared to the lofty sums most campaigns are raising now, Thompson may not face much trouble if he were accused of skirting the law.

“I think the deterrent, frankly, is him being called on it,” a Republican strategist said.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: 21stcenturyreagan; election; election2008; electionpresident; elections; fec; fredthompson; gnats; gop; reaganlegacy; republicans; rfr; rudygiuliani; rudymcromney; runfredrun; trueconservative
I smell fear in the air. The more seriously the other campaigns (including the dems) take Fred, the more critical articles like this one you'll see. Notice all the anonymous sources in this article? The Rudy McRomney people have good cause to be scared...
1 posted on 06/29/2007 7:48:15 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Politicalmom
Sounds like the RINO and Rat candidates are terrified of Fred.

I wonder why. Is it perhaps because he will wipe the floor with them, before it's all over?

2 posted on 06/29/2007 7:50:00 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * wahoo wa! ... U.Va. Engineering '09)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“All of the Thompson testing-the-waters committee activities have been and continue to be performed pursuant to these regulations which have been on the books for decades,” Corallo said in an e-mail. “I suppose those legal ignoramuses (or is it ignorami?) forgot to check the rules. They could have made a quick call to the [former New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani campaign which started out as a testing-the-waters committee this cycle.”

LOL!! Kind of a verbal *smack*!
3 posted on 06/29/2007 7:50:42 AM PDT by LIConFem (Thompson 2008. Lifetime ACU Rating: 86 -- Hunter 2008 (VP) Lifetime ACU Rating: 92)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“may” “if” “if it becomes”..yada yada yada
4 posted on 06/29/2007 7:51:02 AM PDT by TornadoAlley3
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) was quoted this week referring to Thompson as the “only conservative candidate.”

The only conservative that has a serious chance to garner the majority of Republican votes for the primary. Hunter is a tad more conservative.


5 posted on 06/29/2007 7:51:07 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I smell fear in the air.

Even right here on Free Republic.

6 posted on 06/29/2007 7:51:15 AM PDT by Petronski (imwithfred.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Politicalmom; Sturm Ruger

FEAR THE FRED!!!!


7 posted on 06/29/2007 7:51:27 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Thompson is Duncan Hunter without the training wheels)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ya know it’s kinda funny. Pointing to facts in Fred Thompsons record are called attacks yet here you are calling names.


8 posted on 06/29/2007 7:52:29 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bit more drama, we ARE dealing with an actor here....

I smell.....

FEAR!


9 posted on 06/29/2007 7:53:40 AM PDT by Grunthor (Once a cobra bit Fred Thompsons' leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I smell fear in the air.

Exactly. When you start getting flak, you know you're over the target.

10 posted on 06/29/2007 7:54:25 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Thompson is Duncan Hunter without the training wheels)
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To: cripplecreek

Please illuminate me as to what names I called you.


11 posted on 06/29/2007 7:54:39 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Fred Thompson/John Bolton 2008)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Look at your title.


12 posted on 06/29/2007 7:57:34 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) was quoted this week referring to Thompson as the “only conservative candidate.”


I first read that as “Mitt Romney” not “Ron Ramsey.” (!)


13 posted on 06/29/2007 8:02:52 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed ("We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them, I won't chip away at them" -Mitt Romney)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Campaign finance laws really stink.


14 posted on 06/29/2007 8:06:10 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Alright, Fred, don’t ruin a good thing by dicking around would these stupid finance rules.

Low profile, get the message.

15 posted on 06/29/2007 8:08:51 AM PDT by ryan71 (You can hear it on the coconut telegraph...)
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To: cripplecreek

You have not attacked anyone on this thread, so I don’t think he was referring to you.


16 posted on 06/29/2007 8:10:12 AM PDT by steve8714 ("A man needs a maid", my ass.)
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To: ryan71

Low profile, get the message out. :)


17 posted on 06/29/2007 8:10:47 AM PDT by ryan71 (You can hear it on the coconut telegraph...)
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To: Beelzebubba

Give Mitt a few months. He may decide that this conservative thing isn’t working out so well and try something else.


18 posted on 06/29/2007 8:11:06 AM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (<---- is vacationing from gnats)
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To: cripplecreek

What is it that you think that means?


19 posted on 06/29/2007 8:13:42 AM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (<---- is vacationing from gnats)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve asked this question on several Fred threads and have yet to get an answer. Does Fred Thompson support the deportation of, or amnesty for illegal aliens?


20 posted on 06/29/2007 8:14:12 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: cripplecreek
So you consider yourself to be a “GOP gnat”, is that what you’re saying? I meant the campaign staffs of Rudy McRomney and the seven dwarfs. Are you a staffer for one of the GOP campaigns? If not, I didn’t call you anything....

Everyone: Lighten up! Didn’t we learn anything this last month? United we control this country; separated we can be played for fools by the elites and the Rockefeller Republicans!

21 posted on 06/29/2007 8:15:20 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Fred Thompson/John Bolton 2008)
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To: Old_Mil

Fred Thompson supports attrition, as has been answered several times.


22 posted on 06/29/2007 8:16:30 AM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (<---- is vacationing from gnats)
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To: Old_Mil

Fred Thompson on Illegal Immigration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQLFfTd2l44


23 posted on 06/29/2007 8:17:21 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Fred Thompson/John Bolton 2008)
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To: Resolute Conservative

“Hunter is a tad more conservative.”

Not when it comes to government spending.


24 posted on 06/29/2007 8:19:24 AM PDT by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: Old_Mil

Fred Thompson believes in securing our borders and enforcing current laws. He believes in removing the enticements that get illegal aliens here, like access to social programs and lax policies towards employers who hire illegal aliens.

Fred understands that the American public doesn’t trust it’s leaders to secure the border. Most importantly, he understands WHY:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN3z4mqRn7I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H3zhZu0S5w

http://jebstersr.freepgs.com/MLFAudio/FredThompson051807.wma

http://abcradionetworks.com/article.asp?id=409614&SPID=15663


25 posted on 06/29/2007 8:19:50 AM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (<---- is vacationing from gnats)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Candidates like McCain have been campaigning and fundraising for years. Even IF Thompson pulled in a little extra funds due to excitement over his potential candidacy, it doesn’t give him any sort of advantage over the candidates who have been in full campaigning and fundraising mode for some time already. Starting this late he’s already at a disadvantage.


26 posted on 06/29/2007 8:23:30 AM PDT by Spiff (Rudy Giuliani Quote (NY Post, 1996) "Most of Clinton's policies are very similar to most of mine.")
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To: cripplecreek
This is how Fred heads handle their candidate’s version of being fiduciary!
27 posted on 06/29/2007 8:29:34 AM PDT by restornu (Whatever time we have is being paid for with our life!)
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To: Old_Mil
You keep asking that over and over, true, but people keep responding to you over and over as well.. see the previous video before you post this question again...
28 posted on 06/29/2007 8:44:40 AM PDT by mnehring (Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) may be violating Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws.....

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

29 posted on 06/29/2007 8:47:54 AM PDT by Riodacat (Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge, truth and reality sucks....)
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To: cripplecreek; 2ndDivisionVet
2ndDivisionVet blindly wrote:
"Please illuminate me as to what names I called you."

cripplecreek cast forth light:
"Look at your title."

Thanks for turning the light on for us, cripplecreek!
30 posted on 06/29/2007 8:52:01 AM PDT by familyop (Duncan Hunter for President! ...or Newt Gingrich for President!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’d bet Fred has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. This is just whining.


31 posted on 06/29/2007 9:00:12 AM PDT by George W. Bush (Rudi: tough on terror, scared of Iowa)
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To: George W. Bush
The filing deadline is tomorrow I believe and it is getting to be almost a given he’ll report the fund raising and announce. Done and Done and we have Fred in the hunt...

The rest is just sour grapes...

32 posted on 06/29/2007 9:05:33 AM PDT by ejonesie22 (Don't worry hippie, we'll defend you too. Now fetch my Cafe Mocha will you....)
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To: familyop; All
Gnats is something Fred used to call people who try to dig up dirt on them. He also called those same people Bozo’s as well in another interview.

I personally think he was originally talking about Democrats. But Fred supporters have this kind of lore about the word gnat now, when a supporter of another candidate puts out some uncomfortable news about Fred, its as though they have a fear of him.

For example I could make a thread about this easily to debunk little attack piece on Duncan Hunter and how he lied and made a shady deal about his Alpine Home. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20061008-9999-1n8duncan.html

And you could call me a Duncan Hunter Gnat, and you would be right. Get it?

33 posted on 06/29/2007 9:07:25 AM PDT by RatsDawg
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To: RatsDawg
" For example I could make a thread about this easily to debunk little attack piece on Duncan Hunter and how he lied and made a shady deal about his Alpine Home.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20061008-9999-1n8duncan.html

And you could call me a Duncan Hunter Gnat, and you would be right. Get it?
"

No. Any evil, old-fashioned Republican like myself (you know, the kind of conservative who plots and schemes against China FRed) would probably suspect that you were a Democrat or Liberaltarian. If we were lefties who really feared and hated you, though, we might call you by the name of some detestable, dirty, little insect.
34 posted on 06/29/2007 9:46:03 AM PDT by familyop (Duncan Hunter for President! ...or Newt Gingrich for President!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The current candidates have nothing to fear but Fear, itself. Of course, even Fear is afraid of Fred Thompson.


35 posted on 06/29/2007 9:47:57 AM PDT by HKMk23 (Nine out of ten orcs attacking Rohan were Saruman's Uruk-hai, not Sauron's! So, why invade Mordor?)
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To: RatsDawg

BTW, I’m more conservative than most of us on several issues.

But my main concern is that we have a stronger defense. That includes refusing to build enemy nuclear arsenals by giving so much of our manufacturing base, engineering education and control over our economy to them.


36 posted on 06/29/2007 9:57:35 AM PDT by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt.)--has-been)
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To: Spiff

Fred Thompson plans to make up for his financial disadvantages by being a very likable Presidential candidate to many people during his entire run for the Presidency. Fred Thompson already has way too much attention put upon him for his present financial disadvantages to continue to be a serious problem for too long. I wouldn’t worry that much about Fred Thompson’s present financial disadvantages.


37 posted on 06/29/2007 10:03:37 AM PDT by johnthebaptistmoore
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To: familyop

China FRed? What do you mean by that?

Gnats are annoying, like the stories that try to destroy Fred. Thats what Fred was talking about. Mainly he called the Gnats the people who would dig out any kind of story to trash him.

Kind of what I did with Duncan Hunter. I mean did he lie about the size of his house so he could get cheaper taxes? I don’t think he did. It doesn’t make me a Democrat or Libertarian to question Duncan on this does it?

Thats how Hunter people talk about Fred. For example, people will say, Fred is a Member of CFR so I can’t trust him. However they have no quotes or any statements Fred has made about CFR, or how Fred feels about the organization, its all guilty by association. Or other trivial stuff like his dating habbits, or the fact he got a divorce. Or distort facts about his history of lobbying.


38 posted on 06/29/2007 10:23:38 AM PDT by RatsDawg
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) was quoted this week referring to Thompson as the “only conservative candidate"

LOL--not quite...

39 posted on 06/29/2007 10:31:09 AM PDT by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
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To: cripplecreek

The real Left, the Dems, love that the GOP is fractured. It gives them a leg up in ‘08. Whoever wins the nomination, the Party better support the ticket from top to bottom or ‘08 will be a monsoon of liberal wins.


40 posted on 06/29/2007 11:37:24 AM PDT by phillyfanatic ( w)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Would any of this be a problem if Fred weren’t doing so well?

Is the difference between ‘testing’ and ‘campaining’ determined by poll numbers?


41 posted on 06/29/2007 12:29:54 PM PDT by b9
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To: jellybean; girlangler; KoRn; Shortstop7; Lunatic Fringe; Darnright; babygene; pitbully; granite; ...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Fredipedia: The Definitive Fred Thompson Reference

WARNING: If you want to join, please be aware that this ping list is EXTREMELY active.

42 posted on 06/29/2007 12:58:36 PM PDT by Politicalmom (Nearly 1% of illegals are in prison for felonies. Less than 1/10 of 1% of the legal population is.)
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To: HKMk23
The current candidates have nothing to fear but Fear, itself. Of course, even Fear is afraid of Fred Thompson.
Great line!!!
43 posted on 06/29/2007 1:12:11 PM PDT by FlashBack (WoundedWarriorProject.Org)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I wonder if the other candidates shouldn’t be looked into as well. Didn’t Rudy’s exploratory last about 3 months before he announced (Nov 2006 - Feb 2007)? Fred’s is at about 1 month right? How much “seed” money did Rudy raise?


44 posted on 06/29/2007 1:22:12 PM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: mmichaels1970

Correct “exploratory” to read “testing the waters”.


45 posted on 06/29/2007 1:32:18 PM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: familyop
That includes refusing to build enemy nuclear arsenals by giving so much of our manufacturing base, engineering education and control over our economy to them.

And Hunter is doing a great job advocating this, how?

I haven't seen any YouTube videos of Hunter or him going on talk radio.

Hunter is running the worst presidential campaign since Gramm in 1996.

46 posted on 06/29/2007 3:23:24 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He’s just an undocumented candidate.


47 posted on 06/29/2007 7:21:53 PM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Fred knows all about campaign financing, having written (McCain Feingold)and investgated the Clinton ‘96’ dirty campaign. If the pigmy’s want to complain the elephant is going take a dump on them.


48 posted on 06/29/2007 7:45:12 PM PDT by Eagle74 (From time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots)
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