AMERICAN INGENUITY is always remarkable to behold, but never so much as when it applies itself to the pursuit of money. So it is with astonished admiration that we regard the solicitation for funds currently being mailed by the Hughes for Congress Committee on behalf of Rep. William J. Hughes, a Democrat from the Second Congressional District of New Jersey.

The invitation, which is brown and beige (for those who have not yet received one), is entitled "An Evening at the Casino," and has a drawing of a roulette wheel on the front. It goes as follows:

"The Honorable Jim Wright, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, cordially invites you to an evening of entertainment, and breakfast in honor of Representative William J. Hughes, Friday evening and Saturday morning, September 22 and 23, 1978, Resorts International Hotel" and so forth. "R.S.V.P., Card enclosed." "Contribution: $250 per person."

The "itinerary" includes transportation from Washington to Atlantic City and back again, a "show at Resorts International Hotel," a breakfast honoring Rep. William J. Hughes; and "accommodations at Resorts International Hotel (double occupancy)."

Now, we certainly do not wish to tell Mr. Hughes how to run his campaign. But it occurs to us that his extraordinary "evening" has some inherent drawbacks. No dinner, for one. Friday-night traffic, for another - unless the committee plans to hire a plane, which would cut into the take. Then there's the hotel show, which is respectable enough (Bill Cosby - we checked), but undoubtedly will also sport those famous casino girls (of whom we've only heard) who can be so distracting to dignified political events. But we might add that it would seem advisable for the committee to get its $250 per person in advance, and in cash, if the roulette wheel on the invitation means what we think it means.

That's really all we had to say. Except, of course, to use this space to send our regrets.