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Los Angeles Government

March 21, 1993

In response to "Riordan Was Key Backer of Measure He Shuns," March 17:

The primary reason for my financial support of Measure H, the public matching funds measure approved by Los Angeles voters in 1990, was to dilute the influence of special interest donors at City Hall.

But the reform idea behind taxpayer funding of city elections, to increase competition and reduce the influence of lobbyists, is off to a very poor start in the campaign for mayor. As The Times reported on Feb. 16, the first election under new laws intended to dilute special interest influence suggests that most of my major opponents, all elected officials, are relying on entrenched networks of city-related business interests to help fill their coffers.

I believe for a candidate for mayor to take public funds now with the city facing a major recession and facing a deficit of up to $500 million is fundamentally wrong.

A Times poll last month showed that 62% of voters agree with my position.

While my elected opponents have taken tens of millions of dollars in gifts, honoraria, campaign contributions and taxpayer expenses to entrench themselves in office, I will continue to exercise my right of free speech to communicate with voters without taking a penny of taxpayer money.

Voters won't be fooled by my opponents' efforts to make this an election about public matching funds. This campaign is about the failure of politicians to ensure public safety for every citizen and their failure to respond to the worst deficit crisis in the city's history, made worse by the possible loss of $350 million in state aid.

RICHARD J. RIORDAN

Los Angeles

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