A recent Sun-Times report that Rahm Emanuel has “tightened” his grip on campaign financing illuminates what a vast amount of money is needed to win the bid for mayor. But the real problem is not how much money is spent, but where that money comes from. Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of Citizens United, the infamous Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for special-interest money in our elections. This decision has forced candidates to pay more attention to large donors that can write the biggest checks rather than to their constituents.
It has never been more clear that we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and place common-sense limits on campaign contributions. Already, 16 states, including Illinois, and more than 600 localities have gone on record calling for this type of amendment. More local, state and federal elected officials need to follow suit and take action to get big money out of politics.
Maggie Galka, Ravenswood
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Build Obama Library on empty land
The Sun-Times believes that we should give up some valuable parkland to build a monument, I mean, a Presidential Library. I think we need the park space more. I would like to suggest an alternative. I used to work on the South Side and I have been to the West Side. Unless things have changed recently, there are a lot of empty lots there and a lot of buildings that could be upgraded to an empty lot. It makes a lot more sense to invest the money into some areas of the city that could use revitalization. Leave the parks alone. Maybe this will draw more investment money to parts of the city that could use a boost.
Larry Craig, Wilmette
Time Halas Family quit the Bears
Isn’t it time the Halas Family exited the Chicago Bears? They have proven ineffective in putting together a winning team for so long. It is obvious it is time to turn ownership over to new leadership. Chicago has given them so much to play here for so long, and the city’s debt to them has been repaid. Time to move on.
Vince Kamin, the Loop
No justifying gay marriage discrimination
Regarding the Sun-Times editorial on Sunday, “A chance for marriage equality across the land”: A growing number of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be legal and are closely following several such cases now before our Supreme Court. When I began medical studies almost 50 years ago, the conventional wisdom held that the genesis of homosexuality was grounded in altered family dynamics andthat this impairment, as it was then considered, could be corrected by psychotherapy.Little serious attention was given to the possibility of a genetic component, although this idea has gained currency with the passage of time. Even if the causation is multifactorial, causation per se should not assume a determinative role with respect to how homosexual people of both genders are treated by our laws. Homosexuals should not be discriminated against with respect to the choice of marital partner. Or anything else.
Paul Bloustein, M.D., Cincinnati
What happened to ties?
Civility everywhere continues to decline. Regardless, it is too soon for us to accept seeing our top leaders, such as President Obama and newly elected Governor Rauner, often presiding at important official functions and signing significant legislation while not wearing a tie, especially when many of their assistants appear in photos nearly always wearing them. People’s behavior is connected to the clothing they wear. Imagine a black-tie event where the attendees wear flips-flops and jeans and one gets the point. Dress and behavior should always fit and be appropriate to the occasion.
Leon J. Hoffman, Ph.D., the Loop