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April 20, 1994

AKERS, IBM EXECUTIVES, UNDER SCRUTINY OVER BUSH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

Senior IBM Corp executives are under investigation by the Federal Election Commission over allegations that they violated laws governing donations to presidential campaigns, the Wall Street Journal reported. Former IBM chairman and chief excutive John Akers, along with a dozen other executives, donated money to George Bush’s campaign within days of a fund-raising lunch in November 1991 – timing that prompted the Federal Election Commission to raise questions. Under federal election law, corporate officials may spend incidental time at their offices on personal political activities. But if corporate officials made any protracted and concerted concerted effort to solicit contributions from company employees, the time and resources could be considered illegal corporate campaign contributions. The Commission has also issued legal opinions that corporations cannot be used as a channel for political contributions by employees. IBM says it is co-operating with the Election Commission.

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