2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: July 16, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
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Pull the plug on political corruption hearings, say Libertarians

        WASHINGTON, DC -- Want to put an end to political corruption
and influence-peddling?

        Start by pulling the plug on the Congressional hearings on
campaign fund-raising now going on in Washington, DC, says the
Libertarian Party.

        "Ending this charade now would have two immediate benefits,"
said Steve Dasbach, the party's national chairman. "First, it would
save taxpayers millions of dollars. Second, it would deny politicians
the chance to use their past crimes as an excuse to write more bad
laws -- such as increased taxpayer funding for political campaigns.

        "More important, these hearings are pointless because they're
attempting to prove something that a vast majority of Americans already
know: That Republicans and Democrats are drowning in a cesspool of

        The hearings, which continue this week, focus on charges of
illegal fund-raising by the White House and Congressional Democrats
and Republicans. Sifting through the myriad charges of corruption
and influence-peddling will take until year's end, investigators
estimate -- and cost taxpayers more than $10 million.

        "Did Bill Clinton accept millions of dollars from shadowy Asian
businessmen to fund his re-election?" Dasbach asked. "Did Congressional
Republicans and Democrats accept millions from corporations and labor
unions in exchange for government contracts and corporate subsidies? Of
course they did -- and the American people know it.

        "Unfortunately, the politicians who are holding these hearings
are the same ones who wrote the laws they broke, and who created a
lucrative government treasure chest for the special interests to fight
over. Counting on politicians to enact reforms is like letting Mike
Tyson referee his next boxing match."

        In fact, recent public opinion polls show that voters already
know what politicians are spending $10 million to discover -- that
"corrupt politician" is a redundancy.

        * By a margin of 45% to 35%, Americans think the country's
foreign policy was for sale during the 1996 elections, according to a
poll released this week by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics.

        * A majority of Americans -- 51% -- believe that "quite a few
people running the government are crooked," according to a New York
Times poll taken last November.

        * An astounding 94% of Americans distrust the federal
government, a Washington polling firm found in May.

        "Politicians are well aware that they've sold the government
to the highest bidder," Dasbach said. "So why are they taking such a
perverse delight in exposing their sins on national television?

        "Perhaps because the real purpose of these hearings is to sneak
through so-called campaign finance reforms that will let them pretend
they've solved the problem -- while protecting their hold on power."

        For example, Dasbach noted that proposals are already being
floated on Capitol Hill to force taxpayers to completely subsidize
Democratic and Republican political campaigns and to compel television
networks to air political ads for free.

        So what's the real solution to cleaning up Washington, DC?

        "The only way to end political corruption for good is to strip
politicians of their ability to hand out favors at taxpayers' expense,"
Dasbach said. "And that means dramatically reducing the size and power
of government. After all, the only politician who can't be bought is
one who has nothing to sell."

The Libertarian Party                                      http://www.lp.org/
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100                          voice: 202-333-0008
Washington DC 20037                                         fax: 202-333-0072