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Rejecting super PACs would weaken debate

Re “Walsh should join Connolly in rejecting super PACs” (Editorial, Oct. 3): It is remarkable that a newspaper, which relies on the protection of the First Amendment every day, would urge political candidates to discourage political speech in elections. But that is exactly what the Globe has done by urging Marty Walsh to enter a pledge to keep so-called super PACs out of the upcoming mayoral election.

Your paper argues that super PACs “distort the political process by blurring the lines of accountability.” But that is just another way of saying that super PACs inject issues into the debate that candidates might prefer to avoid. That is something to be encouraged. Elections should not be cloistered debates among candidates and editorial pages. They should, in the words of the Supreme Court, reflect our “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide open.” Super PACs have a valuable role to play in that debate.

Paul Sherman

Arlington, Va.

The author is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which litigated SpeechNow.org v. FEC, a federal lawsuit that eliminated limits on contributions to super PACs.

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