POLITICS: A Reform in Campaign Spending

The disaster of Watergate will yet benefit the U.S. if some lessons are learned, some long-range changes brought about. This week Congress almost certainly will approve a momentous reform that grew directly out of Watergate: the public financing of presidential campaigns.

The currying—or outright buying —of future governmental favors by private interests through campaign contributions to both parties has long been one of the most degrading features of U.S. political life. In Nixon's 1972 reelection campaign, it reached new depths. Last week the Greyhound Corp. became the 16th corporation to plead guilty to making illegal contributions.

The obvious cure for such...

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