Readers Write: (April 3): Campaign finance, March Madness, the ACA, Super Bowl bid, earplugs at nightclubs, e-cigarettes at restaurants, campus speech

  • Updated: April 2, 2014 - 6:28 PM

The Supreme Court has put the average citizen at a distinct disadvantage.

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CAMPAIGN FINANCE

The U.S. Supreme Court strikes again

The U.S. Supreme Court just let even more money into campaigns with a ruling on Wednesday. The only real option now is to educate voters, warn them against “skunks wearing tuxedos,” and urge them to register early and vote their own, their family’s and the country’s genuine interests. Independent journalists need to expose all voter-suppression schemes, disingenuously enacted as voter fraud restrictions. Transparency of contributions must be promoted (good luck), and connections to plutocratic donors must be exposed.

Someday an enlightened court may overturn Citizens United. A constitutional amendment seems like a long shot. When corporations and the wealthy have special access and status, when candidates make pilgrimages to kiss the ring of Sheldon Adelson and similar patrons, and when large media outlets profit from the status quo, then “we the people” becomes a hollow phrase. Ben Franklin presciently noted that the people of this nation had been given a republic, if they could keep it. We haven’t. Sorry, Ben. Sorry, kids.

Ken Klein, St. Paul

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With the court shooting down limits on political contributions, that little American flag on politicians’ lapels will become a corporate logo. Speeches will be given behind podiums decked out in sponsor decals like a Formula One car.

Pat Proft, Medina

 

MARCH MADNESS

Jettisoning the ‘student’ in ‘student-athlete’

I am wondering what the average course load is for the basketball players who participate in the NCAA basketball tournament and am curious as to how many hours they study per week once the tournament starts. I am not sure if this information could be used to differentiate between student-athlete and employee.

Chad Mead, Buffalo, Minn.

 

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

A success only to those selling snake oil

President Obama is touting what is being considered “good news” about the 7.1 million sign-ups for Obamacare. The “bad news” is all the information the administration is not telling us — the number of people who previously had insurance, the number of people who have paid, the number of young persons signing up to make the plans viable. All information the White House knows, but will not disclose. And the worst news: You can’t believe a word they say.

Larry A. Sorenson, Arlington, Minn.

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