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Speaker of the House Jim Wright

June 25, 1988

As a registered Democrat, let me assure Raymond Price that I have no problem at all with a House Ethics Committee investigation of House Speaker Jim Wright's alleged improprieties regarding the publication of his book (Op-Ed Page, June 9).

If Wright is found guilty of violating ethical canons, then let him suffer the penalty. As the most important symbols of our democracy, our elected officials should be particularly careful to be impeccable models of honesty.

That said, Price seems disingenuous in making Wright's alleged "sleaze" a symbol of 35 years of a Democrat-controlled House. There is no reason to believe that the House's self-serving ways would be any less entrenched if the Republicans had been in control these many years.

And, as unpalatable as venality in our representatives may be, it does not compare as "scandal" to activities such as Watergate and Iran-Contra, which strike at the heart of our constitutional government. These, let it be noted, were implemented under, and with the blessings of, Republican Presidents.

BILL BECKER

Woodland Hills

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