Sat, Oct 21, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Anti-Chen camp accounts for its protest expenditures

POT VERSUS KETTLE?'Red' campaign organizers reacted angrily to DPP questions about their finances, saying they had been perfectly transparent

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

As of Oct. 11, the anti-President-Chen-Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign had spent in excess of NT$62 million (US$1.87 million) of more than NT$100 million in donations, with some NT$48.82 million remaining in the coffers, campaign organizers said yesterday.

Following the initial disclosure of its finances last week, the anti-Chen campaign yesterday further publicized its use of millions of dollars in donations and promised to offer periodical updates on its finances.

The campaign, initiated by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) in August, received donations totaling NT$111 million.

Transparent

With receipts piled on a table nearby, Lu Tai-nien (呂台年), a deputy coordinator of the campaign who is responsible for finances, argued that the campaign's expenditures were transparent, while condemning the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for casting doubt on its finances.

"Every receipt can be examined by the public ... What right does the DPP have to question our finances? Does it have the courage to ask President Chen to offer receipts from his special allowance expenditures?" Lu said at a press conference at The Mayor's Residence Arts Salon.

A closer look at the expense list revealed that advertising and promotional materials, including balloons, banners and stickers, accounted for the largest expenditure of NT$30.2 million.

This was followed by big-ticket items such as event expenses (NT$19.07 million) and "incidental" items (NT$4.04 million), which include cleaning fees, raincoats, fire extinguishers and recording fees.

Allegation

Campaign spokesman Jerry Fan (范可欽) and deputy coordinator Hsu Po-yun (許博允) also took the opportunity to dismiss allegations by Fei-Fang Weekly magazine that they have profited from the campaign.

The magazine accused Fan, a well-known advertising executive, and Hsu, a composer and founder of a cultural association, of awarding contracts for the campaign's advertising and stage projects to their agencies or companies they are associated with.

Citing the fee for advertising and promotional items as an example, Fan said that NT$30.20 million was "the cheapest advertising and promotional fee" he had ever seen.

"Media companies should know how much advertising and promoting a big event costs. It's easy to tell whether or not a company has profited from the campaign's events," Fan said.

Fan and Hsu said they would file lawsuits against the magazine for slander.

According to Lu, the daily budget for the campaign since it scaled down the size of its events is about NT$200,000.

Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), news coordinator of the campaign, said the movement would announce its next steps on Monday, which would include a photo exhibition on the Oct. 10 "siege" of the Presidential Office and the publishing of a book on the event by next month.

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