Letter: Government for sale
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday to strike down the spending cap on what donors can give to candidates in one election cycle. Although the ruling left intact the $5,200 cap on contributions to one candidate in one election cycle, it removed the overall cap, meaning donors can now give $5,200 to as many candidates as they like.
This comes on the heels of the 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened the political floodgates to unlimited streams of money from special interests. Voters in New Hampshire have made clear how they feel on the Citizens United ruling, with more than 48 towns passing referendums to support a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., have already called for an amendment, and New Hampshire could very well be the 17th. In the last gubernatorial election, outside interest groups spent $19 million, more than five times what the candidates spent themselves. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, that number will only go up. A recent UNH poll found that 72 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose the Citizens United ruling, and 69 percent support a constitutional amendment.
New Hampshire voters are tired of races dominated by floods of outside money spent on negative ads, instead of being dominated by a discussion of the issues. I am afraid we will soon no longer have a government chosen by the people of New Hampshire, but one bought and sold to the highest bidder.