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Letters to the Editor: A simple campaign finance fix: If you can’t vote for it, you can’t donate to it

Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff
Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock, left, and Jon Ossoff acknowledge the crowd during a campaign rally in Marietta, Ga., on Nov. 15.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As much as I would like to see two Democratic senators elected in Georgia, Nicholas Goldberg’s column on those races highlights a significant problem in our political system: out-of-state money.

We don’t allow foreign counties to contribute to political campaigns in the U.S., so why do we allow Californians and New Yorkers to fund campaigns in Georgia? Why do we allow Montanans to fund petition drives in California?

Why do we allow anyone to contribute to a candidate or ballot initiative for which they cannot vote?

If I could make our political finance rules, I would have only one, and you’ve probably already guessed what it is: If you can’t vote for the candidate or the proposition, then you can’t contribute to the campaign. Beyond that, contribute as much as you like.

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So, maybe you can buy one member of the House or a couple of senators, but you cannot buy half of Congress.

June Ailin Sewell, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: Goldberg writes: “Senate races shouldn’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The outsized role of big money in politics is unhealthy and inherently corrupting. ... We need to reform the way we finance and run elections.”

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I agree wholeheartedly.

Surely I’m not the only person who finds the amount of money spent on this election obscene. Think of what these sums of money could do for public education, affordable housing, homelessness or healthcare.

We need to limit the duration of the campaign and the amount of money that is spent. Campaigns should be paid for by the government to ensure that legislators and other officials do not repay their donors by enacting laws and regulations that benefit the contributors.

We’ve known this for years. The time to act is now. Other countries do this, so why can’t we?

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Suzanne Darweesh, Fullerton


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