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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Campaign finance: How to stop disproportionate influence from out-of-state donors

California billionaire Tom Steyer’s $1 million donation is another disconcerting example of how much money there is in our elections [“California billionaire Tom Steyer drops $1 million on WA elections,” Politics Northwest, Sept. 22]. As reporter Jim Brunner points out, while Democrats receive large donations from an out-of-state climate activist, Republicans get large donations from oil and coal companies.

Post Citizens United, the disastrous Supreme Court case on campaign finance, wealthy individuals and corporations use huge amounts of money to amplify their voices to politicians, drowning out ordinary Americans. This should be the time when candidates are vying for support from their constituents, not courting out-of-state mega-donations.

The huge amounts of money flowing into our elections can not be stopped without a constitutional amendment, which is unlikely to happen in the near future. However, we can reduce the influence of out-of-state mega-donations right now by enacting programs to empower the voices of small donors, through matching funds and tax credits.

We should ask our elected officials to create small donor-empowerment programs right here in Washington state.

Faith Deis, Seattle

Comments | More in Campaign finance | Topics: campaign finance, Citizens United, climate change

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