Letters to the Editor

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ELECTIONS: How to get our voices back

Letter by Bill Nerin, Gig Harbor on Nov. 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm with No Comments »
November 22, 2013 10:39 am

Re: “Who stole the American dream and how can we get it back?” (Viewpoint, 11-13). The article reminded me of a Pew Research poll last month that revealed that only 19 percent of Americans trust the federal government as compared to the 1960s when 73 percent did. I suggest that the majority of us do not think that our elected officials listen to us; rather they listen to their wealthy campaign donors. The only way we will ever get our American dream back is by having mandatory public financing of federal elections. While we have public funding for the presidential race, both candidates in 2008 and 2012 refused to use it. In 2012, more than $6 billion was spent in all federal races – the highest amount ever spent! In 2012 there were more than 200 million eligible voters, thus each of us would have had to pay only $28 in taxes to have mandatory funding for that election. We not only need an amendment to have mandatory public financing of campaigns, but we need laws passed requiring instant identification of persons who buy ads; equal access by all candidates to debates on TV and radio; that candidates must use no money except that of public funding; and that in order to qualify, a candidate must collect a sufficient number of voters in one’s district to sign an endorsement and contribute a certain amount of money, such as $10. Until this is done, we will never have the American dream.

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