I was greatly disappointed by Alan Miller's one-sided article on Rep. Anthony Beilenson (Times, March 24). Contrary to that article, Beilenson was not, as a practical matter, outspent by challenger Jim Salomon. Beilenson, through the indirect use of public funds, was effectively able to outspend Salomon by an almost 2-to-1 margin.
In the last six months before the November election, Beilenson printed and sent, at government expense, four mass mailers to the voters of his congressional district. Those mailings totaled nearly 1 million pieces of mail--a figure that places him at or near the top in unsolicited franked mail among House members. That free campaign exposure would have cost a challenger close to $200,000. Further, biographical information sheets and Beilenson calendars, given away at Beilenson campaign events, were also printed at government expense.
The article also mistakenly stated that Beilenson had no campaign office. In fact, Beilenson maintains two district offices funded and staffed courtesy of U. S. taxpayers. Callers who telephoned these government offices to discuss campaign matters were allowed to leave a message, and a campaign staffer would return their call. Two free offices for six months with full-time reception and answering service would cost a challenger as much as $50,000.
Anthony Beilenson simply does not need money from political action committees. His unethical abuse of House privileges and the use of government staff and services to promote his reelection efforts give him all the support he needs.
SCOTT A. MEEHAN