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Why is fundraising so tied to winning elections?


I’d like to think some of my letters educated some of our Westerly town folk, and I feel it’s now payback time as I question whether elections are for sale.

I’m hopeful one of the paper’s readers can help educate me why fundraising in politics is so important in determining an election’s outcome. In the Oct. 10 edition of The Sun, the story “Conn. GOP contenders in tight race to raise money” had the four major contenders sounding like they’re in a telethon contest.

We’ve come to accept the strong correlation between fundraising and votes, but does anyone else question why? I’d like to think the candidate’s position on the issues determine votes, with sincerity, hard work, forthrightness, equality, protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink, transparency, honesty, clarity and seriousness also winning votes regardless of the amount of money they have to publicize their names. Positions opposite to these bedrock values come up empty — these values are not for sale. You can’t buy honesty, and sincerity is not for sale, so yeah, money helps to publicize your message. But it’s the message that people vote on, not the frequency of repetition.

With the tea partiers already elected, it seems the pressure they face is doing what’s right for the country vs. doing what’s good for their financial backers, with the two in conflict as money-interested tea party backers selfishly care what’s good for them, the well-being of the country be damned.

The battle rages on. There’ll be winners and losers, and with the next election a couple of weeks away, I hope voters vote for the issues they care about and not the nonsensical person they’d like to share a beer with come picnic time or name they’ve heard most frequently. Elections have consequences, indeed, with the electorate’s underperforming in the last election playing out in Washington right now.

Jay Lustgarten

Westerly



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