The following is from a political candidate who protests negative campaign practices.

Hi there. I'm Dunstable Fretley, your best candidate for commissioner of dogs and morals.

And although the balloting for this important new municipal office is a full year in the future, my opponents have already begun a smear campaign to discredit me.

Let's review the charges once and for all to see these slanders for what they are.

Taxes. The charge is that I have paid no District income taxes for 24 years. As a technicality, that is true. But I ask voters to consider the circumstances of this seeming illegality. I am not the only man who leaves such recurring nuisances as automobile licenses, batteries for wrist watches, insurance premiums, club dues and taxes to his wife. My Daphne, a respected professional woman, has for years been president of Daphne Snack Machines Inc. Her acumen and honesty have never been challenged. In this tax matter she may well have overlooked something. Who hasn't? Let me insist that my automobile inspections and license renewals have never been behind. I have no outstanding traffic tickets.

And you will recall that until I entered this race I was a private citizen with business interests. At no time did I foresee I would run for public office and be held up to public gaze or media nitpicking. This sudden fascination with a technical lapse in tax payments is nothing less than entrapment. They lure a man to run for public service, then pounce on him. But I think you, the public, have had it up to here with entrapment. Now is the time to say no.

Sleaze. You can always charge a blameless man with sleaze. It is the crime commonly urged against the crimeless. I am said to have a one-third interest in the Happy-Nite Escort Service. Is it suddenly a crime to invest in a perfectly legal business? Happy-Nite has a record of efficient service and a roster of satisfied clients. Many of our customers have been members of Congress, business leaders and out-of-town corporation personnel. Do you think any of them would deal with a service of less than impeccable reputation?

Cruelty. One of the most contemptible attacks is the claim that I paid little children to trap cats and dogs that wound up in Fretley's Eatery. I do not deny owning this specialty shop. You notice that this charge is never leveled against expensive French restaurants. There is snobbery and elitism at work here. I deny ever having paid children to trap anything. As a humanitarian I have encouraged people to bring in stray animals for neutering and other medical attention.

As for the meat mixture at Fretley's there may have been irregular cuts of meat on rare occasions. These things happen. For example, in hot dogs (which we refuse to sell) there may be ground-up infected cow eyeballs, and in candy bars (we will not sell these, either) you may find rat hairs. These are hazards of the food business that a pluralistic society must accept. Now the instances in which the government has found meat of "unspecified origin" at Fretley's are few and well within community tolerances.

So much for the defamation against me, all of it baseless as you see. The post I seek is newly created (combining dogcatcher and censor but with enlarged responsibilities) and no doubt my opponents think anything goes in attacking the leading candidate for a new office. Such slurs would not be tolerated in campaigns for more traditional seats.

The final charge that my wife is the founder of a house of ill repute is beyond the pale. In charity we have both contributed to two houses for wayward boys and homeless girls. One cannot monitor teenagers 24 hours a day. It is conceivable that here and there a youth has had sex, but that does not refute our charitable intent in providing them shelter. It is said our return on this "investment" has been "fabulous." I presume this refers to the sale of vegetables raised by children in these homes, a certain percentage of which has been returned by a grateful church to those who joyfully helped to establish these charities. The homes are of course administered by a church agency, and any criminal cases now pending against the Rev. Julius Tabitoo have nothing to do with my wife or me.

For 46 years I have had literally hundreds of dogs and cats and for 30 years I have studied pornographic films. I am by far the most experienced candidate in this race, and I thank you for your support.