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Letter: The best government money can buy

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 6:29 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 8:57 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Do you remember the old saying, “We’ve got the best government money can buy”? It seems we are rapidly moving in that direction thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States. Surely, it is the most partisan court ever.

In its Citizens United decision, this court decided, after over 200 years, that the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech bans any limits on political contributions by corporations or unions. This outrageous decision drastically increased spending on elections on the premise that a corporation is a person. Just who in a corporation is the person is unclear. It certainly isn’t the employees or even the stockholders.

Just recently, the five-person majority of the court ordained that no limits could be enforced on individual contributions to candidates.

This obviously enables a billionaire so inclined to attempt to buy an election.

About that same time as the court’s recent ruling, several of the leading Republican candidates for president gathered in Las Vegas to secure the support of Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire owner of gambling casinos. He gave $90 million in a failed effort to buy the last presidential election. He supported Newt Gingrich. Perhaps, he wanted to make sure they supported the ban on Internet gambling that might otherwise affect his casinos.

Somehow, I always thought the electorate had the power to decide who had the best ideas in an election. Isn’t that called democracy?

Billions are spent every year by lobbyists trying to influence Congress. Does the court even try to understand what’s going on, or doesn’t that matter?

Chief Justice Roberts opined in the hearings on the most recent ruling that there was no evidence of quid pro quo by donors to elections.

Where does he live? Perhaps in another world?

Edward Lynd Kendall


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