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September 18, 2020

9/10/2020 8:51:00 AM
Too much money in politics

Dear Editor:
Last week's letter attacking Kriss Marion was a fascinating exercise in the pot calling the kettle black.
In the first place, it completely ignored the fact that her opponent for the 51st Assembly District seat, Todd Novak, has received huge contributions from out-of-district contributors in his last three election cycles. Nor did it mention that in 2018, out-of-district, dark money supporters of Howard Marklein poured more money into his campaign, including $600,000 just in TV ads alone lambasting Marion.
We all know that kind of obscene spending is wrong. I was around the year Steve Hilgenberg captured that seat, spending under $60,000 to beat an opponent who spent $83,000.
Each election cycle the spending has grown worse and worse with more and more out-of-district money flowing in. Another thing the letter failed to mention is that five years ago, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state legislature doubled the limit on contributions from individuals, lifted a ban on corporate contributions to political parties and legislative campaign committees and removed limits on how much a political party could donate to a candidate.
I can't help but believe most people - on both sides of the aisle - agree that there is way too much money in politics today.
Kriss Marion, however, is the only candidate in the race who has pledged to support an End Citizens United law, which would put limits back on ridiculously high campaign spending. In Lafayette County, where she is on the County Board, she has led an effort to get a resolution passed in favor of reducing the dollars in politics.
It doesn't have to be this way but since it is, we all have to work much harder to tune out the nasty bluster which fills our airwaves, social media, telephone lines and mailboxes to identify the candidates who actually stand for our values.
For me, it's Kriss Marion for State Assembly and Joe Biden for President.

Shirley Barnes

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