Regarding Katherine Kehoe’s June 17 Point of View “Elections powered by people, not money”: I have witnessed the influence of money in politics become more pervasive and see it shape policy in Washington all the time.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed Super PACs to spend unlimited amounts on elections. As a result, a handful of billionaires and moneyed special interests, often from out of state, can in effect buy the allegiance of candidates.
According to opensecrets.org, as of April 8, there were 1,360 Super PACs that controlled nearly $700 million in the 2014 election cycle. Those figures will be much higher in 2016.
The rising influence of Super PACs and the prevalence of money in campaigns are helping destroy the American people’s confidence in their government. When special interests are allowed to spend unlimited funds to assist candidates, the people rightly question whether their voices will be heard.
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I agree with Kehoe: “Instead of an opportunity to learn a candidate’s vision, credentials and capabilities, elections have become a scramble to attract the biggest checks from mega-donors.”
That is why I advocate U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes’ Government by the People Act, which Kehoe mentioned.
We need a debate on campaign finance reform because the current system is not working for regular Americans. The future of our republic depends on it.
U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones
The writer, a Republican, represents N.C. District 3.