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Success of ‘People’s Pledge’ seen in reins it put on big money

The “People’s Pledge” was less than perfect, but does not deserve the scorn of Jeff Jacoby’s Jan. 9 op-ed column “ ‘Pledge’ stifled speech, but didn’t make Warren-Brown race less nasty.”

We could argue about the lack of civility during the campaign, but the pledge never promised civility. It promised candidate accountability if either wanted to take the campaign negative. That was unquestionably achieved.

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More important, it ensured political spending disclosure, far from a guarantee in the world of super PACs and dark money. Equally important, it rightly limited the ability of big political spenders from gaining undue favors from our US senator.

The near universal praise for the pledge does not indicate support for stifling political speech, but rather opposition to big-money outside groups drowning out the voices of average voters, often without proper disclosure.

State and federal legislators should act on this support and pass strengthened disclosure legislation and ultimately a constitutional amendment to end unlimited election spending.

Tyler Creighton

Assistant Director

Common Cause Massachusetts

Boston

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