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Where Is Mr. Smith?

December 23, 1990

Money affects a citizen's decision to run for elective office in two ways. The money needed to pay for a campaign is obvious, but the money to live on--both now and in the future--is even more important. In most professions, service in government will hurt prospects for advancement. The wealthy living on investments, entrepreneurs no longer wishing to be involved in the business, lawyers who desire to join politically oriented firms and others who wish to become lobbyists or pseudo-government activists can gain by government service. Teachers, scientists, engineers and other professionals only sacrifice their careers. Ask anyone who has taken time out from a career to raise a family: The interruption results in a loss of seniority and salary, and a loss of the experience and further career development necessary for advancement. A citizen legislature will be possible only when, for example, a schoolteacher can serve in office without leaving the classroom.

KEITH PRICE

Los Angeles

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