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Meaningful Campaign Reforms?

The proposals of Congressman Joel Hefley [(D) of Colorado] in the Opinion page article "What Congress Needs Is Real Reform," June 2, miss the point of public anger with Congress and the president.

Although some of his ideas have merit, his goal and avowed hope is simply a change in the leadership from one party to another. However, neither his nor any other procedural reforms address the major cause of public disillusion, which is a campaign system that favors any incumbent or wealthy candidate over an honest but relatively poor challenger.

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Reforms that would help to level the playing field include public financing of congressional campaigns; free and equal TV time; abolition of the franking privilege; and a single, nationwide primary election for presidential candidates - preferably one with provision for "none of the above," which might eliminate all those listed on any ballot and force a new election with better choices.

It is frustration with the unlikely prospects for such meaningful campaign reforms that prompts many citizens to opt for the less desirable but more attainable alternative of term limitations. Allen F. Chew, Colorado Springs, Colo. Perot and MacArthur

In reading the Opinion page column "The Voters Will Reject Ross Perot," June 5, I am disappointed to see that while the author very clearly perceives Mr. Perot's shortcomings as a presidential candidate, he is not nearly so perceptive with regard to the electorate of 1992.

The author draws the analogy with Douglas MacArthur's abortive 1952 presidential bid. Yes, there are many similarities between MacArthur and Perot, but are there as many similarities between the electorates of 1952 and 1992? Perhaps not. The electorate of 1992 is not as homogeneous or contemplative as was the electorate of 1952. Today there is an increased - and not necessarily inappropriate - bias for action.

Voters may, unfortunately, identify more with Perot's abruptly authoritarian style. They may choose not to see the incompatibility of such a style with the presidency or the consequences of Perot's impatient bias for action.

This is not an indictment of the electorate of 1992. It is simply a recognition that times have changed and with them the American voting populace. I'm disappointed that the author fails to address those changes in his otherwise well reasoned comments. John F. Wellsman, Landing, N.J. Regulations won't help banks

The editorial "`Test' Home Loans," June 2, suggests racist practices within the banking community. It incorrectly infers that increased federal involvement is needed to correct the problem.

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The author has apparently forgotten about the savings-and-loan scandal. Flawed federal regulations imposed on these financial institutions ended up costing the American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars to correct.

The same result will occur if federal regulations are imposed on banks to correct alleged "racist" lending practices. Banks are under no obligation to loan money to individuals they consider credit risks. Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that borrowers meet lenders' criteria, rather than forcing lenders to lower their credit standards. Peter D. Konetchy, Byron, Mich.

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