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Even with strong disclosure laws, People’s Pledge is called for

Joanna Weiss sounds surprisingly like Chief Justice John Roberts in her column “Enough with the People’s Pledge” (Op-ed, June 22). Like Roberts, she argues that strong campaign finance disclosure laws are sufficient to cure what ails democracy in the post-Citizens United era.

Disclosure laws are certainly important, and thankfully the Legislature appears poised to pass a tough one for Massachusetts elections. But disclosure, though necessary, is not sufficient.

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Big money in politics corrupts the process. It steers public policy to benefit the richest segment of the population and away from the middle class and poor, who cannot play the game. The line between candidates and their super PACs is far from clear. Money given to both can be corrupting.

The People’s Pledge is a great way to curb undue influence without running afoul of the Supreme Court’s rulings or needing a constitutional amendment — something we also support. The pledge offers three huge benefits: It drastically reduces big money in politics, cuts negative advertising in half, and significantly improves disclosure.

While the political posturing is certainly annoying, the People’s Pledge is well worth the trouble.

Pam Wilmot

Executive director

Common Cause Massachusetts


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