The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 19, 2014

Reducing money's influence in politics

The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald

There’s no doubt that money influences politics — in big ways.

Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption.

That’s why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone can donate to a single candidate — now $2,600 for U.S. president or members of Congress.

But limiting the overall amount of money an individual can donate in a given year to multiple candidates, political parties and political action committees is an infringement on Americans’ First Amendment rights, whether we like the role money plays in politics or not.

That’s why we agree with the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that strikes down federal limits on the overall campaign contributions an individual donor can make each election cycle.

While we are worried about how those with big pockets can influence policy in Washington D.C., Springfield, or even locally, we think there’s a better way to reduce that influence than curbing individual freedoms — term limits.

In Illinois, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan is the poster child for term limits. A member of the state House since 1971, he has been Speaker for all but two years since 1983. The vast majority of Illinoisans have not been able to cast a single vote either for or against Madigan, yet he holds the real power in Springfield.

Given where this state is financially, most Illinoisans, we suspect, would be in favor of his reign coming to an end.

Bruce Rauner, Republican candidate for Illinois governor, and the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits are gathering signatures in an attempt to get a term limit amendment on the November ballot. We support efforts to give Illinois voters a say, and we’d support a similar effort nationally for members of Congress.

We’ll never fully be able to eliminate money’s influence on our elected officials, but term limits are a better option than curbing First Amendment rights.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook