Are WorldCom Gifts Tainted Now?

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Some political leaders, in light of the recent WorldCom scandal, are looking to divulge themselves of political contributions from the company. Third District Congressman Chip Pickering said Tuesday he plans to keep his.

"They were legal contributions, playing by the rules," said Pickering, campaigning Tuesday in Neshoba County. "My opponent has taken $85,000 in illegal contributions that he had to return and pay a $25,000 fine for taking illegal contributions. I think if you break the law, you should have to return it. If you keep the law, play by the rules, then you shouldn't have to return it."

In fairness to democratic Cong. Ronnie Shows, Pickering's opponent in November, it's unclear which alleged illegal contributions Pickering was referring to. But Shows said earlier this week he will give his $6,000 WorldCom contributions to a fund for WorldCom employees.