Temple Scandal

March 20, 2000

The American people will probably be hearing more about what could be called the "Temple Scandal" during the 2000 presidential campaign. Al Gore may be able to ride to the White House on the nationís prosperity, but he will no doubt have to answer lots of questions between now and November about this 1996 fund-raising scandal.

A key question will be how the news media covers the ongoing investigation about the scandal. Recently a federal jury in Washington convicted longtime Gore fund-raiser Maria Hsia of concealing the source of the $100,000 donated at the Buddhist temple fund raiser. Although she was convicted on five felony counts, the major media failed to cover the story in a significant way. If scant coverage of other actions in the case continues, then it is possible that the "Temple Scandal" may not be as significant an issue in the campaign as many expect.

However, the Republican Party will no doubt show television ads featuring footage of Mr. Gore at the Buddhist temple. But it is also likely that the American people will not consider this a major issue in the campaign or accept Mr. Goreís perspective on the incident.

Recently Al Gore has been comparing himself to John McCain who was involved in some campaign irregularities as a member of the Keating Five. Gore says, "Like John McCain, I bring the lessons from personal experience to a strong commitment to change this system." Senator McCain turned the unfortunate incident into his justification for campaign finance reform. Perhaps Mr. Gore will be able to do the same.

The issue rests with the media and the American people. I believe the "Temple Scandal" is serious and justification for voters to consider if they are about to elect someone who will bring scandal to a White House that has already been rocked by various scandals these last few years.

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.