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Letters to the Editor
 

Voters need to know


Jim Henry February 1st, 2012

Like Bill Bleakley (Commentary, “Time for full disclosure,” Jan. 25, Oklahoma Gazette), I knew what was coming when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling.

The Citizens United earthquake caused a tsunami which took three months to hit Oklahoma City. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 157 did everything they could legally do to influence the City Council election.

Many shocked and angry voters and politicians bemoaned the court’s decision, holding the U.S. Supreme Court, the chamber, and the firefighters responsible for the tidal wave of ugly advertising which OKC suffered.

I was so mad, I sat down and read the court’s opinion — all of it. When one weighs the First Amendment issues at stake against the desire to limit and/ or regulate campaign contributions from corporations and unions, the court’s ruling makes more sense.

So, if I can’t blame the Supreme Court, the chamber, or IAFF Local 157, who can I blame?

Myself, and you, too. We, voters! The reason corporations and unions spend all that money trying to influence elections is because it works. Most of us refuse to take the time to study issues. Instead, we are happy to let a 30-second television spot tell us how to vote.

I believe when we start making our own decisions, the people who feed money to political action committees will put it elsewhere. The super PACs will dry up and die like a vampire in sunlight. Just ask the people who contributed all that money to defeat Ed Shadid whether they feel stupid right now.

Jim Henry
Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.
 
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