Texas Gov. George W. Bush today announced he has decided not to accept federal matching money, a move that's certain to lead to the earliest start of major presidential campaign ads in history. Presidential candidates who accept matching money have to accept limits on how much they will spend based on each state's voting population. In Iowa and New Hampshire, the states with the earliest delegate selections, the limits have had the effect of forcing candidates to hold off on ads until nearly the start of the presidential election year. Four years ago, Steve Forbes' decision to skip the matching funds and begin advertising early posed a major problem for Bob Dole. Now, both Gov. Bush and Mr. Forbes, who earlier decided to forgo matching funds this year too, are free to start advertising against each other. Mr. Forbes is already advertising.
Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.