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Rich Candidates

April 19, 1998

"Rich Question for Voters" (editorial, April 12) once again does injustice to Ross Perot's candidacy by saying that his money gave him an advantage in the campaign. While it is true that Perot used $60 million of his own money, the Republican and Democratic candidates had over $60 million--from federal funds, PACs and special interests, and from their respective parties. Perot had to spend a lot of his funds just to have his name appear on the ballot.

Whenever anybody chooses to run as a third-party candidate, he is automatically penalized, especially regarding funding.

Campaign finance laws aren't leveled at wealthy candidates, and they shouldn't be. The real problem isn't how the candidate spends the money--it is how he raises it--that is, whether he is held accountable to voters or to the moneyed interests that buy his soul.

BRIAN SHAPIRO, Encino

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