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Ex-Officials Accuse Pro-Israel Lobby of Vote Law Violations

Associated Press

A group of prominent Americans filed a complaint today against 54 pro-Israel lobbying and political action committees, charging them with violating federal election laws.

Among the complainants are James E. Akins, formerly ambassador to Saudi Arabia; George Ball, undersecretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations; Paul Findley, a former Illinois congressman who contends he was defeated in 1982 because of a campaign by the pro-Israeli lobby, and Retired Adm. Robert J. Hanks, who headed the Navy’s Middle East Task Force.

The petition to the Federal Election Commission focuses primarily on the activities of an influential pro-Israel lobby called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It contends that the lobby violated the law by failing to register as a political action committee even though it allegedly targets political candidates for support and contributes to their campaigns.

The complaint also charges that 53 pro-Israel political action committees made excessive contributions to candidates in the 1984, 1986 and 1988 election cycles.

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