Letters to the Editor

May 5, 2014

Steve Bantly: Court ruling serves special interests

The recent Supreme Court decision (McCutcheon v. FEC) is a sad event for American democracy: It allows wealthy individuals to donate unlimited money – along with the Citizens United ruling, allowing corporations to give equally large amounts – to help elect politicians who support their special interest agendas. An example is a recent election in New Hampshire, where massive amounts of money from special interest groups (mainly the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity) financed negative political ads to narrowly defeat a popular candidate in favor of a candidate supporting a special-interest agenda.

These rulings are the result of the court packed with activist justices who have – in many people’s view – controversial right-wing opinions. Justices Scalia and Thomas are examples. Supreme Court justices are entitled to a points of view, but it should be tempered by their knowledge of the law and the overall effects these decisions will have on average citizens – something not in evidence. I don’t believe corporations are people. A corporation is a for-profit, multiple-person agency with a special interest agenda and financial resources a single individual doesn’t have, and wealthy individuals have a distinct advantage over working people when funding election campaigns.

Farewell Democracy. Hello oligarchy.

STEVE BANTLY

Merced

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