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Charity by Gore, Bush – Both made big gifts to schools

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In the contest for president, with the two main contenders making charity a big issue, which candidate gives more to charity?

Texas Gov. George W. Bush gave nearly 22 times as much to charity in 1998 as Vice President Al Gore, who contributed a larger percentage of his taxable income than Bush, the Associated Press reports.

Bush, however, had a big one-time gain that year.

Gore and his wife, Tipper, gave $15,197 to charity in 1998, or nearly 7 percent of their taxable income of $224,000, AP says.

Bush and his wife, Laura, contributed $334,000, or less than 2 percent of their $18.4 million income.

The Bushes’ 1998 income included a one-time gain of $14 million from the sale of his share of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Gore and Bush both have urged support for charitable organizations and talked about the critical role they play in addressing social problems.

Neither presidential candidate has released his 1999 tax return.

The presidential contenders, both of whom contributed to a variety of charitable causes, made their biggest gifts this decade to universities, the AP says.

In 1998, Bush gave $150,000 to Southern Methodist University, his wife’s alma mater.

And in 1992, the Gores gave away more than $50,000 of an income of $623,000 to endow a chair at the University of Tennessee in memory of Gore’s late sister.

Gore drew sharp criticism in 1995 after disclosing on his tax return that he and his wife gave $353 to charity in 1997, after having donated $35,340 in 1996.

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