Letters to the Editor

Citizens United ruling is a disaster

In this election time, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's decision to deregulate money in politics has further blurred the distinctions between corporate and individual. This is generating much public interest.

In a range of rulings beyond elections, the federal judiciary has expanded corporate constitutional rights and eroded legislated public protections.

In the structure of a corporation, individual actions are separated and persons do things collectively that an individual might not do — such as give money to support candidates for which he/she would not vote. It is important to remember a corporation, by law, is required and designed to make money at any cost. The result of the recent Supreme Court decision to us, the voting public, is proving to be a disaster.

My hope is that these public conversations will lay the foundation for election reform. Just what do we want this reform to look like? Not one of these discussions is useless, and these conversations and actions are necessary as free, independent and honest election processes are being eroded.

Louise Shawkat


Amending Constitution will take time, effort

The influence of big money on our political system has reached new heights with the decision of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. As a result the true voice of "We the people" is even harder to hear both in Congress and at the ballot box as the megaphone of special interests drowns it out.

What to do? Appealing directly to Congress has been suggested recently in this column. Since Congress is part of the problem, it is like entering a "David and Goliath" battle without a slingshot. It will take a grass-roots movement, and the good news is that it is evolving. One partner in this effort is the Move To Amend organization (www.movetoamend.org).

We do realize the immensity of this task, but cities, counties and states are starting to raise their voices. Like most other great social changes it takes a grass-roots movement, and it will take perseverance and time.

John Limb


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