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Letter: Fixing our democracy

Today, the New Hampshire House will consider a plan to undo the damages to our elections, indeed to our democracy itself, by the tsunamis of money intended, let’s face it, to buy voting outcomes.

The proposed solution is a veto-proof amendment to the U.S. Constitution to end these practices, including the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that so unconvincingly asserted that collectives, like corporations and trade unions, share the right of citizens to spend money in elections.

The proposed way to proceed is for the New Hampshire House, to be joined by the Senate, to press New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to maintain pressure on Congress to undertake the amendment process.

Should the Legislature adopt this proposal, New Hampshire would be moving at last on this very important issue. Since the ills of elections affect all citizens, especially, of course, registered voters, it is a nonpartisan dilemma, best resolved by nonpartisan cooperation. The best way to show support for the measure is to attend the hearing today at 1 p.m. in Room 203 of the Legislative Office Building. Or urge your state legislators to support this welcome initiative.

LARRY FINKELSTEIN

Nashua

Do you believe newspaper or broadcasters would promote election reforms that restrict freedom of speech and the press if they had not first met in smoke filled rooms with lawmakers and worked out the details of legislation exempting them from those restrictions? If this appears to be the kind of special interest corruption that election laws were suppose to prevent, IT IS! The Press Exemption: 2 USC 431 (9) (B) The term "expenditure" does not include - (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; The press exemption divides use of the printing press into two categories: The regulated majority, every living U.S. Citizen, political party and political organization and the unregulated commercial media including foreign owned newspapers operating in the United States.

Put a cap on donations from any large group, be it unions or corps. Individual donations should be capped also, which I think they already are. I am for each candidate only being allowed to raise say 300,000 total from all sources. When they reach that amount they stop accepting donations. Maye then we will get candidates that are not wealthy, and do not owe their big donors favors. All candidates are now beholding to their special intrest groups and biggest donors. That has to stop. No different than how the Mafia operates in my opnion.

You have a great suggestion but try to get progressives to give up union member donations. Democrats funnel all sorts of money back to unions in one of the greatest money laundering schemes known to man. I would support public funding ONLY, for instance and a law which requires equal time on any company holding a FCC license. Of course the press would hate that, they love to throw their weight around.

People are up in arms against the Citizens United ruling but in essence, it levels the playing field with unions and other organizations whose dues are funneled to the Democrat party as well as press which is so biased that any opposition to progressive principles are ignored, not covered or minimized.

IAR...I think that I am one of many who note that you make a lot of...shall we say 'conservative'...'right wing'...comments and ALWAYS unsupported by facts. A quick search on Google would help you get your facts correct...and a new perspective !! Check out: https://www.google.com/search?q=union+dues+used+for+political+contributions&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

In my opinion, neither corporations nor unions should be allowed to donate one penny to any political party or candidate. I'm not sure the political process and get more corrupt than it is but I guess a good way to try is to pump even more money into it.

if 5 of my friends at the morning coffee clatch want to pool our money to buy a billboard to hang a sign supporting our candidate of choice the constitution says that is OK - a corporation is no different - it too is a group of people - corporations are people - the highest courts in the land have ruled that way since the Santa Clara decision 1886

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