ISSUES '96: THE BUCKS START HERE

THEY PRETEND TO FROWN ON IT, BUT CANDIDATES ARE ADDICTED TO SOFT MONEY. NO WONDER THE RULES HAVEN'T CHANGED

Sometimes Washington is actually as unseemly as people imagine. Take the case of John Boehner. A year ago, the Ohio Congressman handed thousands of dollars of tobacco-industry campaign checks to half a dozen Republican colleagues right on the House floor. And if that weren't bad enough, Democratic leaders cut short the very press conference they had called to criticize him. Why? Reporters, knowing that Democrats had done the same, were turning their questions on them.

One reason the public is cynical about government is the belief that money buys influence in proportion to the gift. And no type of campaign giving...

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