To the Editor:
I did a double-take when I read that the NRA spent
$52 million in the 2016 election campaign (Northwest Herald editorial, Feb. 27, 2018). Seemed like a lot of money.
But I did some math and discovered that out of a total of the $6.4 billion the Herald wrote was spent on that election, the NRA portion comes to less than 1 percent. Fifty-two million dollars doesn’t seem like so much from that perspective.
Still curious, I asked myself how much organized labor spent on the 2016 elections. Turns out that amount was about $1.7 billion, or about 26 percent of election spending. That seems much more significant. But how effective was it?
If one looks at the outcome of the 2016 elections, it’s tough to argue that organized labor, spending 26 times the amount spent by the NRA, was significantly more effective than the NRA.
Maybe money in politics isn’t as influential as we are led to believe. Maybe a larger problem with the system is the quality of the candidates.
I believe our republic would be better served by a full and prompt public disclosure of all contributions to candidates for office rather than a limit on the amount of money an individual or group may contribute.
At least we’d learn who all the players are and make up our own minds accordingly. If the Herald is looking to amend the Constitution, term limits for all elected and appointed officials would be a better starting point to keep money-grubbing politicians in check.