Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Thu, Sept. 19

Letter: To oust corruption, limit terms, spending


Buz Williams recently wrote two columns on political corruption (Dec. 12 and Dec. 19). Normally, I disagree with most of what Buz writes, but these columns actually showed some balance between Republicans and Democrats (though he gave Tea Party Republicans a clean rap sheet). The bottom line is that money and greed corrupt, especially in politics.

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in "Citizens United" that the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) meant corporations, unions and other organizations could donate almost unlimited money to promoting political positions, and to denigrate/support candidates. Multi-millionaires like Soros and the Koch Brothers can do likewise. With a string of related organizations, the source of money can be hidden so the backers are unknown. If you think that your donation of a few hundred dollars to one politician carries the same weight as thousands of dollars to multiple candidates, your head is in the sand.

The income gap between the richest Americans and the lowly worker bees is increasing annually because money talks and politicians listen. Many of those who bankroll our political system enjoy a lucrative payback, so they won't push for more equitable laws.

Other westernized countries don't allow money to be the main political driver. In the UK, a limit is put on the total amount each candidate can spend, including money from supporters. Each candidate is given the same amount of free media time, and cannot buy more. These limits are strictly enforced, so the candidate's position on the issues is largely what decides who wins.

One solution here is term limits, thus avoiding career politicians. Representatives' terms should be four years, not two, as currently they have to continuously beg for reelection funds, and therefore are not focusing on the work at hand. A maximum in Congress of 12 years combined should keep our senators and representatives more interested in our good and not their own.

Nigel Reynolds


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