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The Sun letter to the editor: Let’s talk about citizen power

Another election season is upon us; another opportunity to reflect on the right to vote and the responsibilities that come with it.

A primary responsibility is gathering the knowledge necessary to make informed choices. In today’s toxic political atmosphere, when we must endure a barrage of negative ads paid for by well-funded special interest groups, that task is not easy.

For instance, there is a proposed amendment on the ballot this year to advance gambling in New York state. What you might not know is that, since 2011, the gambling industry has contributed $3.3 million to individual politicians and political campaigns. The top two recipients are the NYS Democratic Assembly campaign committee and the NYS Senate Republican campaign committee.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause NY, has stated, “New York’s lax campaign finance laws make it possible for high rollers like the gambling industry to dictate public policy. The problem is that the rules of the game are stacked against average voters and the house always wins. We need campaign finance reform now, to ensure that politicians are accountable to the people, not the highest payout.”

The amount of money that has flooded our political system since the “Citizens United” decision is obscene and fuels the toxic political atmosphere.

This infection is destroying the meaning of democracy and the cure is going to come from the power of individual citizens who are willing to stand up and say “enough is enough” and do what it takes to restore integrity to our government.

Barbara Rogers
Common Cause volunteer

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