Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: elections

April
22nd

ELECTIONS: Reduce influence of big money

It was good to read about retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens’ new book, in which he calls for an amendment to the Constitution regarding election finance reform.

It’s important to note that two U.S. representatives, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have stated that since the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision, “decision-making is often colored by the prospect of facing $5 million in anonymous attack ads if a member of Congress crosses an economically powerful interest.”

Washington state’s citizens’ Initiative 1329 is calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reduce the influence of big money

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April
7th

TACOMA: Metro Parks bond costs too high

There are two large issues with the late April Metro Parks bond issue proposal. First, if approved, the new assessment would be a 50 percent tax increase from the current Parks levy.

The second issue is that Metro Parks currently covers 86 percent of the medical premium costs for employees. This is not a reasonable or sustainable expense for the taxpayers to support long term.

I suggest the voters ask themselves the question, “Do I want to pay this increased tax assessment for the next 28 years?”

April
4th

ELECTIONS: Citizens are being disenfranchised

Re: “High court ruling lifts lid on campaign donations” (TNT, 4-3).

The recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a takeaway from the average citizen with limited means. If money is free speech, then the financially less endowed are immediately put at a disadvantage.

The ability of all citizens to engage in this mockery of the First Amendment is now controlled by how rich or not rich you are. If, as the Constitution says, we are all born equal, then no other consideration of free speech need apply. If we are all born equal, then only non-monetary free

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April
3rd

ELECTIONS: Supreme Court pronounces us an oligarchy

Re: “High court ruling lifts lid on campaign donations” (TNT, 4-3).

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow virtually unlimited campaign donations by the rich, this nation officially pronounced itself an oligarchy. Now we have a government owned and operated by a few private citizens whose corporations the court regards as “persons,” whose money the court regards as “speech.” We have lost our democracy.

These elites and their congressional shills aim to dismantle the progressive reforms of both Roosevelts, Kennedy and Johnson civil rights legislation, and the Great Society programs. They turn both working and middle classes into

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April
3rd

ELECTIONS: Public funding of campaigns important

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

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March
17th

ELECTIONS: Let’s take back our democracy

The News Tribune raises a valid concern in calling for electronic disclosure of Senate campaign contributions (editorial, 3-16). In the current environment of huge campaign contributions by wealthy individuals and corporations, timely disclosure gives the public some inkling of who is funding elections – or should I say, who is buying our elected officials?

But the real issue is the campaign contributions themselves. Big money is absolutely corrupting our political process. Shockingly, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (2010, Citizens United vs. FEC) that corporations are people and money is speech! This defies common logic and has opened the

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Jan.
22nd

ELECTIONS: Why vote for ‘lesser of two evils’?

Is it time for a third political party to emerge?

What would happen if all those who say, “I voted for the lesser of two evils” actually voted for a third candidate who was their real first choice? My view is that it would challenge the rule of the two big-money-dominated parties now in power and restore true integrity to democracy.

The “lesser of two evils” voters’ rationale is that a vote for a third party candidate would be wasted and therefore contribute to the power of the party they most emphatically don’t want to have win. This rationale must

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Nov.
29th

ELECTIONS: We need to get big money out of politics

Re “How to get our voices – and our dream – back” (letter, 11-25).

The word “mandatory” leaped out at me in this letter. It’s a challenging word when we rugged individualist Washington voters talk politics, but as the writer points out, it is sometimes necessary to make something happen.

Taxes for schools, roads, police, parks etc. – these we accept as mandatory. Shouldn’t “mandatory” apply to the perhaps more basic public concern: maintaining a fair electoral system to make these good things happen? I believe it should.

There is an organization in Washington state that is geared to

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