Rep. Jim Wright's views on a politician's personal and campaign finances have changed markedly.

In 1967, Wright wrote an article entitled "Clean Money for Congress," assailing the evil effect of money on public men and saying he never accepted more than $100 from anyone. Two years later, he wrote the House ethics committee chairman pledging to make his tax returns public voluntarily each year. He did so only once.

In the 1975 update of his book "You and Your Congressman," Wright again called for disclosure. "I see no reason why each member should not be expected simply to file, in addition to this {annual disclosure statement}, a copy of his income tax return," he wrote.

After being elected majority leader by a one-vote margin among House Democrats in 1976, Wright converted nearly $100,000 in campaign funds to pay off what he said was a mixture of old campaign and personal debts. The move was legal at the time, but created a barrage of bad publicity.

He told a Dallas reporter then that his personal business failures were an "embarrassment." He said he had been "a real purist" when he went to Washington in 1955, but added, "My position now is that if the law says it's all right, I'll take the money."

Over the past six years Wright has raised millions of dollars for his own and other House races. He has faced little opposition in reelection bids, and used a separate political action committee (PAC) to donate more than $650,000 to other candidates. In 1985, for example, he held a $1 million fund-raiser in Fort Worth and split the money between his campaign committee and his PAC.

Wright said in a letter to The Washington Post that he still supports campaign finance reform. He would "cheerfully abide" by spending limits if others did, he said.

Wright said in 1976 that his net worth was $68,000. By the early 1980s, it had risen to as much as $1 million, with oil and gas investments being especially lucrative. They, too, became a subject of controversy. In 1980, for instance, it was disclosed that Wright had invested the previous year in a gas well deal at the same time he was lobbying federal officials on behalf of its owners.

His latest disclosure statement suggests his net worth is back under $500,000, not counting the McLean house he bought in 1983 for $228,000. The house is now assessed at $305,000.