Letters to the Editor

Monday letters: Supreme Court ruling opens the door for corporate control of government

Court lifts election limits | Jan. 22, story

Get ready for corporate control

Last week five activist judges on the Supreme Court — including the two George W. Bush appointees — decided that corporations should now be able to spend their operating funds directly in political campaigns. In a bizarre move, these five justices actually requested that the case be sent to them in such as way as to apply as broadly as possible.

In a nutshell, this means that Wall Street Republicans will be able to push their own candidates into Congress, and any kind of serious financial reform will grow more unlikely with each passing election. If you think that big money and lobbyists corrupted and sidetracked health care reform, just wait until you see what a corporate-sponsored Congress can do.

It also means that any progressive reformer who wants to rein in the banking or insurance industries will face an onslaught of heavily funded smear campaigns that will make the Swiftboat effort of 2004 look honest by comparison.

Want to be part of the American dream? Get yourself a corporation, and a large one at that.

Scott Cochran, Tampa

Court lifts election limits | Jan. 22, story

The people need to raise their voices

The Supreme Court's 5-4 vote to end restrictions on corporate spending in elections sounds at first like a threat to the idea of "by the people, for the people."

Instead of feeling threatened, America, remember small businesses are greater in number than the big ones, and there are more of us than there are corporations.

Rather, take the decision as an invitation to contact your representatives in Congress and let them know what's on your mind. We have the technology at our fingers to make it happen on a very large scale. Don't procrastinate, study the issues, and make your voice heard.

Remember the old saying: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." The solution is simple: Do something. Speak up, use your First Amendment right of freedom of speech. Let our leaders know how you feel. Don't dilly-dally. Don't procrastinate. Act now!

Audrey Reale, Pinellas Park

Court lifts election limits | Jan. 22, story

The end of civil debate

As if there were any doubts left about corporate America being the actual ruler of this country, the Supreme Court just handed them the keys to this so-called democracy. Unbelievable. What next? Promote more lobbying for special interests in Washington?

Think of the money the pharmaceutical industry is currently spending on advertising and how often drug commercials are on. Now a similar amount (more, probably) is going to be allowed for partisan attack ads. The last presidential campaign went on for the better part of two years. Even with the old rules in place, the frequency of inflammatory, disgusting attack ads was bewildering — from both sides. Nobody's clean on this.

So much for the possibility of a civil debate during a political campaign. So much for campaigning on issues and not personal attacks. So much for the possibility of future reform on any front.

Jeff Cutting, Brandon

Court lifts election limits | Jan. 22, story

The sale is on

About 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln described our government as one "of the people, by the people for the people." He added that it would not perish from the Earth.

Last week the Roberts Supreme Court ruled that corporations cannot be limited in the amount of money they spend on political campaigns. That ruling will effectively change our government to one "of the people, for the corporations, by the corporations."

Many years ago Will Rogers half-jokingly commented that we have the best government money can buy. This court ruling will make that purchase an absolute certainty.

Frank Braccio, Treasure Island

Court lifts election limits | Jan. 22, story

Giving voice to money

So now the dirty deal is enshrined in our constitutional case law: Money is speech. Put another way: The rich and powerful have more "freedom of speech" than the rest of us.

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision is a sad day for democracy in America.

Ken Kister, Tampa

A loss of freedom | Jan. 20, letter

A poor comparison

I agree with the letter writer that we need a national health plan to cover all Americans. But it is not fruitful to compare the cost of health care reform to the cost of our foreign aid programs.

The Congressional Research Service's April 15, 2004, report, "Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of U.S. Programs and Policy" shows that the United States is the largest aid donor in terms of total dollars, but the smallest contributor among major donor nations in terms of aid as a percentage of gross national income.

We provide aid to countries that are unable to provide basic human services like health care for their citizens. Here in the United States, we have the opportunity to provide universal health care, as do most of the civilized nations of the world, and we appear to be letting it slip from our hands.

I lay most of the blame on Congress, which is paralyzed on both sides of the aisle by special interests, pork and party lines.

Gerard Meyn, Dunnellon

Ironic justice | Jan. 20, letter

Stop the blame game

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once wrote that "a page of history is worth a volume of logic." The page of history that I would commend to the letter writer is this: When Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency in 1980, we were experiencing double-digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Rather than following the letter's suggestion of "a unified and repetitive message" blaming his predecessor for the problem, Reagan took the opposite tack. He never blamed Carter and, in fact, as noted on your editorial page, Reagan reached out to Carter and tried to salve the wounds of the campaign.

The success of Reagan's approach can be seen in another page of history: After four years of pleasant encouragement, a united America had solved many problems and Reagan was re-elected by a landslide. Barack Obama might consider calling a time-out in the blame game so he can read a bit of history.

W.A. Broderick, Tampa

There's only one anthem | Jan. 21, letter

It was about inspiration

The letter writer's cheap shot at columnist Ernest Hooper is way off the mark. Hooper wrote nothing at all about a "black nation." His emphasis was on the inspirational empowerment of an anthem which Hooper held forth as being applicable to every one.

Mortimer Brown, Lutz

Monday letters: Supreme Court ruling opens the door for corporate control of government 01/24/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 24, 2010 9:58pm]

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