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War Chests and Congress

July 27, 1992

In The Times' Valley Edition of July 3, we read that three of our four Valley congressmen--Henry A. Waxman, Howard L. Berman and Carlos J. Moorhead--raise formidable war chests from special-interest political action committees (PACs). This is done even though each of them is running in a reasonably safe district, that is, their opponents haven't a snowball's chance in hell of defeating them.

What they do with their excess campaign funds is buy influence by contributing to the campaigns of other members of Congress and of state legislators. Their votes are bought by special interests and they, in turn, buy favors from other politicians. (It seems Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson of Los Angeles is the only one who refuses to be bribed by the PACs.)

Now we are faced with the idiotic proposition of placing term limits on our legislators. And why would anyone favor such a cowardly procedure?

Not because \o7 our \f7 legislator is no good, but because term limits seems to be the only way to get rid of members of Congress and the Assembly whose constituents refuse to see what thieves and power-mongers they are. Without term limits, Willie Brown will control Sacramento for as long as he wishes to. And the Waxman-Berman cartel will control Westside and East Valley politics for as long as it chooses.

Gilbert and Sullivan described most of our politicians well when they wrote: "I always voted at my party's call. I never thought of thinking for myself at all."

M. STEPHEN SHELDON, Studio City

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