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Media cardinal says political advertising raises ethical questions

While political advertising can play on people's fears or misrepresent candidates' positions, the greatest ethical concern is how much money political advertising requires candidates to raise and spend, said Archbishop John P. Foley.

The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said multimillion dollar campaigns such as that waged by New York's new mayor, Michael Bloomberg, raise ethical questions.

The questions include those of the point at which political campaign spending becomes excessive, and the whether the requirement to have money for advertising keeps qualified candidates from running for office.

Archbishop Foley's remarks about advertising were read in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Friday, at a conference on ethics and democracy sponsored by the New Europe Foundation. A copy of his remarks was released at the Vatican.