News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

November 4, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Nov. 4, 2012

(Continued)

Campaign finance shouldn’t be a secret

I saw an interview with James Bopp on Frontline which ran on PBS this week. Mr. Bopp was described as “The Father” of the Supreme Court case “Citizens United v. FEC” — which wrongly gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.

In the program I learned there are ways corporations can give unlimited amounts of money to candidates. The first is through a Super PAC which has to disclose its donors; and those that are classified as being “not for profit,” which do not have to disclose their givers. In other words, if you donate to a so-called “nonprofit” PAC it is a secret that only the owners of the nonprofit know.

Mr. Bopp said secrecy is good for democracy and furthermore it is OK to do because the average citizen has no interest in knowing who donated the money. He said he began his mission to overturn laws that limited and required transparency because conservative Republicans couldn’t win under the old rules of open disclosure. He thinks the secrecy part is great because most people don’t like to reveal their political preferences. This tells me it does matter to voters where the money is coming from.

Malarkey I say. The whole point of having a democracy is that we the citizens can know what our politicians and public servants are doing and what they support and lastly who is funding their campaign.

— Cathy McGuire

Terre Haute

SuperPACs work

for Dems too


As I perused the Sunday edition (Oct. 21) of the Tribune-Star, I was disappointed to read your headline “SuperPACS aim to purchase Senate seat.” As I read the article I concluded very quickly that Brian Howey had written a campaign piece for Joe Donnelly. The fact that you pasted a picture of Jim Bopp and Richard Mourdock prominently instead of Joe Donnelly and Harry Reid displays your bias in the printing of the article.

It is clear that Super PACs are contributing their support for the candidates that they deem best support their views. Mr. Howey is well known for his political view but he is stretching the point beyond reason with his article. As a person reads the article it is presented as if the only PACs of consequence are conservative. It seems that the union PACs, the various Democratic PACs and others of a liberal persuasion are not influencing the vote.

You have to get to the fourth paragraph from the end of the piece to read where the headline came from – as a quote from none other than Mr. Donnelly. He states, “I think that there are people out there trying to buy Indiana’s Senate seat.” Well thanks for that conclusion Mr. Donnelly! If Mr. Howey had mentioned the other Democrat PACs just in passing I would not be as offended and if you would use just a bit more discretion in setting up headlines I would have a bit more respect for your publication.

— Raymond E. Broshar

Terre Haute

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