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Builder's guilty plea shows need for stronger campaign finance laws

ElectionsBarack ObamaSheldon Adelson

I read with interest your article about Catonsville developer Steve Whalen Jr., who pleaded guilty to five counts of election-law violations for illegally funneling money to a Baltimore County councilman's reelection campaign ("Builder admits illegal gifts," Jan. 4).

Prosecutors said Mr. Whalen exceeded the $10,000 limit on total contributions over a four-year election cycle, all in an apparent attempt to help certain politicians get elected.

Yet Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson reportedly gave over $100 million to Super PACs working to defeat President Obama and get the Republican candidate elected. Unlike Mr. Whalen, however, who was sentenced to pay more than $50,000 in fines and serve up to a year of unsupervised probation, Mr. Adelson paid no fines, isn't on probation and was never even charged with a crime.

Mr. Adelson has good fortune of having had nothing happen to prevent him from continuing to bask in the thanks and admiration of the Republican party and its candidates. To me that says there's something drastically wrong with our current campaign-finance laws.

David Gosey, Towson

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