Time has it all wrong, House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach said last week.

The Iowa Republican said the magazine is considering three finalists for its Person of the Century: Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But the list is too tilted toward politicians for Rep. Leach's taste.

"While in my view these are extraordinary public figures, they don't qualify as the person of the century," he said in a wide-ranging dinner speech on government and the economy.

Time, he said, should draw candidates from business, the arts, science and technology, because achievements in those areas are the century's hallmarks.

The scholarly lawmaker offered an alternative list led by Louis Pasteur, the father of biogenetics; Albert Einstein; and Pablo Picasso.

Showing some hometown favoritism, Rep. Leach also nominated a few famous Iowans, including John Vincent Atanasoff, whom experts consider the overlooked father of the computer; and James Van Allen, a pioneer of deep-space exploration who discovered the powerful radiation belts around the earth that were named after him.

Rep. Leach said his opinion of the influence of government officials has dwindled as revelations about their imperfections have multiplied.

"In the approaching century … men and women of finance and commerce will play the leading roles in defining our future," he said.

For example, "Bill Gates' Windows software is not only a portal to the future, but has done more to advance Woodrow Wilson's one-world vision than the policies of any politician of the century."


Iowa banker Daniel L. Krieger is the new chairman of the American Bankers Association's Community Bankers Council.He succeeds Joe Williams, president and chief executive officer of American Heritage Bank in El Reno, Okla., at the helm of the 110-banker group. Mr. Krieger is president of Ames National Corp., a $600 million-asset four-bank holding company.

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