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Special Interests

October 19, 1988

The special interest money in Washington has become the leading force in American politics. The average cost to win a Senate seat is $3 million. During the 1986 election, almost half of the members of the House of Representatives received 60% of their campaign funds from special interest political action committees. During this election year, it is a time for all voters to reflect on what they expect from their candidates.

The House of Representatives has not voted on any legislation to limit campaign spending since 1974. There has not been any legislation since 1979 to limit the campaign contributions of PACs, although the Senate had a number of members who went on record to support legislation to limit campaign spending and put an overall cap on special interest PAC receipts. This effort was blocked by a minority of senators in a filibuster.

The reform of campaign financing must become part of the agenda of the members of the House and the Senate if the citizens are to maintain any semblance of a democracy as developed by the constitutional convention 200 years ago. I would encourage all people to urge their representatives and senators to support such legislation and to join public interest groups that help to protect the interest of the taxpayers.

JAY LARRABEE

San Diego

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