We welcomed the mention of our political action committee in "Business PACs: Now, outside candidates have the inside track" (Washington Outlook, June 22).
While it's true that many business and labor PACs favor incumbents (as have individual givers), CIPAC has always taken a keen interest in challengers. In the 1990 congressional elections, we contributed more than $132,000 to challengers and candidates for open seats. By comparison, we contributed $87,800 to incumbents. We make every effort to determine which candidates are most likely to advocate legislative programs that promote the interests of our employees and the business community.
Somewhere along the line, many business PACs began to view their contributions primarily as a means to gain access to elected officials. At best, this is a sharply Machiavellian view of politics. At its worst, such giving helps freeze the status quo. In some measure, this philosophy is responsible for continued calls to eliminate PACs. To those business PACs that are rediscovering the need to "invest in your future" and work for change, we welcome you back to the fold.
Cooper Industries Political