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The Reform That Makes Other Reforms Possible

October 31, 2003

"Yank the 'For Sale' Sign" (editorial, Oct. 26) addresses the root of the major sociopolitical problem facing the state and the nation. The corruption and the appearance of corruption when large sums of money change hands from special interests seeking government favors to elected officials whose votes can grant those favors undermine our democracy and the faith of citizens in their government.

Imagine our elected officials spending all their time working on the state's business and being responsible to the voters who elected them, rather than spending up to 50% of their time courting dollars from special-interest lobbyists. Imagine our state legislators being free to vote on the merits on the issues they face, rather than following the wishes of the special-interest lobbyists who pad their reelection funds. Clean money/clean elections could indeed be the reform that makes other reforms possible.

Jo Seidita

Pres., Calif. Clean Money

Campaign, Northridge

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It's time we stopped euphemizing the millions of dollars that are given to influence lawmakers. Whether it's in the form of gifts, donations to campaigns or jobs when leaving office, all of these are bribes to get legislation passed. It's time we closed this loophole by taking away the power of special interests to buy the special legislation that serves the corporations. It's time we stopped trying to fix the campaign funding rules and made campaigns only publicly financed so all politicians spend the same amount. Then maybe the message of what they stand for will be more important than the number of times they say nothing in ads.

Joyce Blaskovich

Aptos, Calif.

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