David Broder has apparently been covering politics too long if he really meant what he said in his June 21 column. Surely it is only in the political arena that someone can say with a straight face that there is no difference between donating money to a politician and giving him advice. There is a great gulf between the two. It is one thing to influence a decision through reasoning, arguments and evidence supporting them; it is quite another to influence decisions by paying for them.
The problem with political money is that it gives the impression that votes and decisions are for sale. Monied interests certainly give their money with influence in mind; politicians desperate for reelection seek it out.
Case in point: on June 18, The Post published a short article on why Sen. Robert Dole opposes public financing of senatorial elections. This is the same Bob Dole who has been raiding the federal till to finance his own presidential campaign. Sen. Dole has yet to make any public statement explaining why public financing is acceptable for presidential bids but not for senatorial ones or, for that matter, why he takes so much PAC money. Apparently he doesn't care about where the money comes from as long as the checks clear.
Given the hypocrisy of the current system, given the thorough lack of trust most people have in the integrity of their leaders and given the fact that money is the fuel of campaigns, it seems perfectly logical to have the money come from the public. It is the only way to ensure that Congress will serve the public. STEPHEN A. SEITZ Arlington
In all the debate over public financing of congressional races, one fact seems to be ignored: that any such scheme will be, in essence, a taxpayers' subsidy of television stations.
The largest part of a campaign budget goes directly into the coffers of local telecasters. Why not eliminate the middleman (the taxpayer), and require the stations to offer free time for political ads? They're licensed by the taxpayers to provide a public service. Isn't it about time they provided some?
ROBERT E. HERRING Washington