Letter: Time to change the political money game - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Time to change the political money game

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Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 3:45 am

And so it begins: another silly season when we will be assaulted by misleading, deceptive, out-of-context and sometimes just plain deceitful political advertising from those who believe they know what’s best for us voters!

They will try to impress us with their colorful campaign signs plastered with endorsements from various groups or individuals, and they will talk a good game when the camera is on. They will try to convince us that they can make everything better by simply cutting taxes and regulations, and business will come flooding over our borders like Nicaraguan and Haitian refugees, exploding our state and federal economies as incomes rise across the board and poverty becomes a distant memory. Yet the rich keep getting richer while the majority of Americans continue to struggle dearly!

And now the Supreme Court has granted these very well-to-do Americans permission to finish buying our Congress so they can assure themselves of being totally free of government regulation and able to enjoy every possible tax break, incentive, write-off and no-bid government contract.

Stereotype? Or fact?

After 35 years, I’m sick of watching our elected officials fill their bellies at the government feed trough for 10 or 12 years, then retire to a healthy government pension, subsidized health care, maybe write a book and make $5,000 speeches. Or better yet, get a job as a lobbyist for a highly profitable corporation who wants you to use your influence in Congress to get favorable legislation passed by handing out huge amounts of money disguised as “campaign contributions.”

Don’t you think it’s about time we remember we live in a democracy where what’s best for the 90 percent is just as important, if not more important, than what’s important to the top 10 percent?

But how can we compete against the wealth of billionaires and corporate America? Quite simply, we can’t with the way the Supreme Court has recently rigged the political money game in their favor! Do you really believe the mega bank accounts of billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers give them any more right in a democracy to determine who is elected than “We the People” do?

I’m sure you know democracy would be far better served if we returned to publicly funded elections with strict overall time and spending limits applied to each type of elective office. Higher limits for presidential and congressional elections and lower limits for state elections. This will ensure we see far less negative advertising and more positive plans to address the many needs of our nation of over 300 million people. A further step of establishing a temporary commission in each state to review all advertising by individual politicians or associated groups to verify there is “truth in advertising” would go along way toward restoring faith in our broken political system!

Viva democracy!

Rod Livdahl


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