2018-05-31 / Letters

Candidate not beholden to those who give money

To the editor:

Feel that there is too much money in politics? Well, 96 percent of Americans would agree with you. I don’t know if 96 percent of Americans agree the earth is round, but they all agree on that.

So what is the problem with big money in politics? It’s the way it changes the dynamics of the political process. Sometimes money is used in a way, just short of a bribe, to get a favorable bill passed. Other times it’s used to swing the whole political climate in favor of one party or another for one’s own agenda. And oftentimes it is for what corporations, and lobbyists call “access.” So that when they call, they will have a receptive ear on the other end.

For businesses and the wealthy, these investments in the political world are typically expected to bring a return, make them money, cut their taxes, sell more product. Pharmaceutical companies reap record profits, the super wealthy save millions with tax cuts, gun manufacturers keep selling assault weapons, investment firms make tons of money on risky financial schemes. The rich get richer, the poor poorer. Families struggle, resentment grows, divisiveness and bigotry soon follow.

So many have come to feel that those of our representatives that accept big money contributions, all too often respond to the roar of influence that it buys; but, can they still hear and respond to the whimper in the night? The small boy that whimpers in the night because he is going to sleep hungry, once again? Or the girl that is diabetic, “a pre-existing medical condition,” and will have to fight her entire life to maintain health insurance? What about the teenager who is harshly bullied for being different, the physical therapist grad struggling with $200,000 in student loans, the parents that lost their only son to a drug overdose, the old man who desperately wants to remain at home but can’t access services? How well do these representatives still hear and respond to that whimper in the night? Many people think not very well at all.

Betsy Sweet, who is running for governor in the Democratic Primary, has spent her entire career hearing and doing something about that whimper in the night. She has been a tireless and successful advocate for those in need and for those without power and influence. Indeed, she chose to run in the Democratic Primary as a clean election candidate, the only one I may add, not as a political strategy, but out of personal integrity. She believes that when our representatives are responding to the roar of big money, they are not listening and responding to us, the people that put them in office. Betsy Sweet is committed to getting big money out of politics. In fact, she helped write and pass Maine’s Clean Election Law, a first in the nation, because she’s committed to our elected representatives being there for all the people of Maine, and always, always hearing and responding to that whimper in the night.

Please vote for Betsy Sweet in the Democratic Primary on June 12. Help get big money out of Maine politics, and get a responsive, experienced leader in the Blaine House.

Greg Dumas Old Orchard Beach

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