Letters to the Editor

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ELECTIONS: McCutcheon ruling amounts to poll tax

Letter by John S. Selby, Tacoma on April 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm | No Comments »
April 7, 2014 2:38 pm

The recent McCutcheon ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated limits on donations for candidates and political committees on the basis that they are limits on the free speech of wealthy people. What about the limits on free speech for the rest of us? We are all limited by the amount of money we can afford to give.

The courts have long recognized that a poll tax is a limit on one’s ability to vote. It is considered unconstitutional, because we all have the right to equal treatment under the law, i.e., we all have an equal right to vote, independent of our financial circumstances.

Eliminating limits on political donations is equivalent to placing a poll tax on the rest of us. Unlimited donations give unlimited influence over the candidates and the issues on which we are all supposed to have an equal vote. It is clearly unequal treatment under the law and just as unconstitutional as a poll tax. We might just as well give rich people 10 votes each.

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