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Letter: Accountability is a bipartisan value

Letter: Accountability is a bipartisan value

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Sen. David Suetterlein highlighted in his March 21st article, “End the McAuliffe-Northam crony merry-go-round,” the need for all Virginians to ask their elected officials and candidates running for office to support transparency, accountability, and good governance. Let’s not allow corporate donors to buy our public policies.

I’m a pre-law student at Hollins University and, through the VA Chapter of American Promise, a non-partisan group working to get big money out of politics, I’m advocating for common sense campaign finance reform in our pay-to-play commonwealth.

In addition, citizens around the country, including students like me, are rising up to demand an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which allows Congress and the states to regulate election spending. We hope that Virginia will be the 22nd state to call out for this amendment.

Getting big money isn’t a partisan issue. Even without being taught this, I know that this is a democracy issue which relates to the right for all Virginians to know that elected officials are representing their constituents and not their big corporate donors.

75% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans recognize that our campaign finance system is broken. Businesses and voters know that we need to address the two sides of the coin of campaign finance:

1) support a constitutional amendment to address the 40 years of wrong Supreme Court rulings which have led to an explosion in election spending, and

2) get it right in Virginia, one of only five states which has no limitations on campaign finance contributions. Why don’t our elected officials in Virginia recognize this?

Younger people like myself want to know that our elected officials care about us. We don’t want our public policies, whether related to health care access, climate change mitigation, or investments in education determined by deep-pocketed special interests.

Sen. Sutterlein has it right; our politicians shouldn’t do the bidding of their corporate contributors.

Margaret McCroby, Roanoke

 

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