Perils of publicly financed campaigns [Letter]

Regarding your editorial on campaign financing, in what way is a checked box on a tax return not a "taxpayer-financed" campaign ("Campaign reform in action," Feb. 4)?

One can make an argument for limiting citizens' ability to participate in the political process through campaign donations. However, taxing me and using those dollars to fund a candidate that I would never vote for turns the argument on its head. Not only has my voice been softened, but I get to pay for the privilege as well. Where do I sign up?

Your editorial states a preference for publicly financed elections, but you cannot point to a single example where this policy has created "wholesale changes in the political hierarchy." The only justification is a nebulous reference to the lessened influence of big money.

Maybe it's true that politicians are for sale. Still, one must show that limiting citizens' participation in the election process makes a politician less likely to grant favors to political allies or implement public policies voters oppose. Your quest for an appearance of fairness only results in unfairly limiting my voice in the public arena.

Jeff Taylor, Odenton

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