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News Opinion Readers Respond

Real campaign finance reform: Stop taking donations

Your editorial, "Good government wins," (April 15) falls short of the mark. Bestowing kudos to the General Assembly for passing legislation that makes campaign finance more helpful in "restoring integrity to the political process" is, with all due respect, misguided.

As you point out, these reforms are offset with other provisions which result in a process that facilitates throwing more money into the political arena instead of getting money out.

The actions of the General Assembly with regard to campaign finance reform bring to mind the following analogy. A smoker seeks the help of a therapist in stopping his habit of smoking. The therapist prescribes the following remedy: Go from four packs a day to three packs for the next four years and then come back for a follow-up session.

To endorse the idea of public financing which allows counties to finance candidates running for public office using taxpayers' money is ludicrous. Go out and ask unemployed people with families if this is a good solution.

How much more beneficial it would be if The Sun would spend less time reporting on and talking with our so-called career politicians about remedies and concentrate more on talking to the victims of these political decisions.

The real answer to campaign finance reform is, in fact, very simple. I've said it before and I'll say it again. What we need are ethical politicians who will simply say that they will not take any campaign contributions from anyone because it's unethical and they won't try to buy the election either. If these steps are taken, we do not have to question transparency and disclosure. If these steps are taken, we will have integrity in our political system instead of what we have been experiencing for the last 50 years.

Ralph Jaffe, Baltimore

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