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Willie Wilson throwing cash at the voters because of our failed politics

In this file photo from Feb. 4, 2015, businessman Willie Wilson, candidate for the office of Mayor of Chicago, points as he speaks at a news conference after a televised debate at WTTW in Chicago. |AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Willie Wilson used his conservative, church-based constituency to win nearly all of the West and South Sides last week as he finished fourth in the run for mayor. Looking forward, Wilson is trying to sway his 50,000 supporters toward a primarily young group of newcomers for the City Council. | Nam Y. Huh/AP file photo

A few years back, a political novice threw his hat and fortune into the governor’s race and won. Bruce Rauner basically bought the governor’s mansion with his personal millions, and we let him. It sent a clear message that our elections are for sale. Just ask J.B. Pritzker about that.

Today I read about the most egregious use of one’s personal wealth I have ever seen in Illinois. While Rauner figuratively bought his power, mayoral hopeful Willie Wilson is literally buying votes. That is, if you happened to show up at church on Sunday while he was writing checks, and yes, handing out cash.

Was it technically illegal? Does it matter? The answer is right there for all to see. In one of the most crowded mayoral fields we have seen in recent years, Wilson is trying to separate himself from the pack by using his personal fortune. He can squirm and twist and try to explain away his actions, but the bottom line is that our failed system has given us a situation in which people with money feel the way to win is to literally give your money away.  

can’t tell you how ashamed I am of our state, our politicians, and our failed policies. I didn’t think we could sink any lower. I was wrong.

Scot Sinclair, Third Lake

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Crosscheck vote suppression

Your editorial on the highly inaccurate Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program was a baby step in explaining just how devious this system is. With Crosscheck, two voters in different states who share the same first and last name, but who have different middle names, will be considered the same voter and either be removed from the voting rolls or given a provisional ballot that may or may not be counted. This is not conjecture; it has happened in states that implemented this insane system.

Oddly, the states where this happened focus all of their attention on African-American and Hispanic names.

The varied methods of voter suppression in our country are a slap in the face to our founders and to all who have sacrificed so much to protect our right to vote.

Ed Pierce, Lyons   

Elect leaders with integrity

Children are our greatest blessing. They come into the world innocent and pure. As they grow, they look to adults for guidance. Unfortunately, children today are treated to the worst in human behavior. Every day they witness incivility, boorish behavior, man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man and a lack of integrity among leaders, who lie and use deceit to gain and hold onto power and prestige, country be damned.

Schools and teachers face a formidable task to counter this insidious trend as our country loses its moral compass. We can no longer claim to be the moral leader of the world when our leaders set one group against another and sow seeds of hate and distrust among citizens, friends and allies. We can begin to right the ship by doing a better job of electing leaders with intelligence, integrity, compassion and a desire to unite rather than divide.

Ned McCray, Tinley Park

Ridiculous giveaway

As a tax-paying citizen of Chicago, I can only hope that Ald. Ameya Pawer will offer a good percentage of his annual salary to offset his ridiculous giveaway, a $500-per-month stipend for low-income families. And that goes for all aldermen who support this nonsense.

Mike Koskiewicz, Portage Park