Re: “Citizens should update, fund Public Disclosure Commission” (Peter Callaghan column, 8-28).
Thanks to Callaghan for his insightful accounting of the Public Disclosure Commission’s beginnings, purpose and present needs.
Having come to Washington in 1990, I knew little of this agency. But as I began to see more clearly how money so powerfully controls our political process, I became painfully aware of how powerless I am as an individual voter donating at most $100 to a candidate’s campaign.
I have written letters to both federal and state elected officials. Sometimes I get no response, and other times I get a general programmed letter that never answers directly the questions I ask. I bet if I were a huge donor or ranking official of Boeing, Microsoft or a labor union, I would get a very personal letter or perhaps even a phone call. No wonder the average citizen feels impotent and is cynical of our electoral system!.
I consider Callaghan’s suggested enhancement of our PDC a No. 1 political reform that we need ASAP. I would further suggest that in the voters pamphlet in each candidate or initiative section there would be a website address that would take us directly to a page on the PDC website that tells us who are the largest donors to that campaign. Then at least I could see who has the greatest inroad to the candidate’s ear or impact on an initiative’s passage or defeat.