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Letters: Mixing money and politics

October 27, 2013

Re "Secretive groups fined a state record $16 million," Oct. 25

There they go again. Secretive political groups cite the U.S. Constitution to defend their shadowy solicitation of massive sums from anonymous, megabucks donors to fund campaign propaganda.

The 1st Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression, like the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms, should be considered in light of late 18th century life. At the time, no one imagined modern assault weapons.

Similarly, the modes of mass communication in the 1700s were town criers and primitive printing presses, and proponents of their messages were easily determined. No one foresaw today's mass media.

It's a shame that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has emboldened purveyors of campaign contribution shell games. Our state's efforts to police them should be applauded. As Gov. Jerry Brown succinctly put it, "Secrecy and money don't mix well in a democracy."

Aaron Mills

Solano Beach, Calif.

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