I am writing in response to Rep. James A. Hayes's (D-La.) comments quoted in the Dec. 19 front-page story "Kuwaitis Pay $5.6 Million to Publicity Firm." Frankly, I feel that the representative's outrage at the Kuwaitis' hiring a PR firm is misplaced.
Obviously, the group Citizens for a Free Kuwait has been quick to learn the lessons of political life here in the United States. Though they fail to discuss problems and present solutions, politicians who spend unbelievable sums of money on negative, misleading and manipulative television ads are elected again and again. During his last campaign, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) spent twice as much as the Kuwaiti group paid to Hill & Knowlton.
We continually elect officials who blatantly hire speech writers and speak from prepared scripts. We accept "leaders" who, in order to function properly, must be miraculously transformed by PR teams after gaining office -- and we treat it as a joke instead of the serious threat to the national interest that it is.
I understand Rep. Hayes's concerns about foreign lobbying, but we need to realize that we have created the problem ourselves. Here money, television ads and manufactured images buy votes and influence decisions. We shouldn't be surprised if those with the means to do so use our system to further a cause that is of such importance to them. We have to recognize that the immorality lies in our system, not in their cause. LESLIE SPITZ-EDSON Washington