Letters to the Editor

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ELECTIONS: Public funding of campaigns important

Letter by William F. Nerin, Gig Harbor on April 3, 2014 at 10:34 am with No Comments »
April 3, 2014 12:24 pm

There is an old statement: “Things have to get worse before they can get better.” Perhaps this could be the outcome of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to increase the amount of money a citizen can give to candidates running for federal office.

For example, in the past a wealthy donor could give only $5,200 to an individual candidate up to a total of $48,600 (nine candidates). Now the total allowed is $2,433,600. How much can a middle-class and poor person give? Perhaps at the most a higher-middle-class person could give just one $5,000 donation to one candidate.

Who ends up having the greater influence on an elected official?

To provide all voters an equal voice with their elected officials demands that we have mandatory public funding of campaigns so that candidates cannot spend any more than that given from the public financing fund. In the 2012 presidential election, the total amount of money spent for the races for the White House and congressional seats would have only cost each voting citizen $20 if we had public financing of those campaigns.

I would happily pay $20 extra on my income tax in order to have mandatory public funding of campaigns, and thus have an equal voice with my officials along with a wealthy person.

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