ANOTHER VOICE: Small donations hope to bring big changes

As the Democrat candidate for State Representative for House District 52, I am accepting donations up to $50 per resident per year. I am not accepting donations from corporations or political action committees or any special interest groups. Why am I doing this?

The answer is simple: I am concerned about the effect of big money on our elections.

We are seeing millions, even billions of dollars being spent to elect our representatives and pass initiatives at the national, state and local levels. Massive amounts of special-interest money is being spent to sway voters to vote one way or another.

With the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” ruling, election and campaign spending is spinning out of control. Much of the money is spent on negative, misleading and divisive campaign slogans. Where is it going to stop? I want to offer voters an option.

In my campaign, I am not pointing fingers at other campaigns past, present or future. I am just saying it has gotten out of hand. Our elected officials need to be making decisions based upon what is best for the constituents of a given district or the state. Decisions should not be based upon who has the most money and can wield the most power.

Decisions should be made upon the merits of the issue and the needs of the people we serve. I do not accept that corporations, billionaires and special interests are investing millions of dollars in elections without the expectation of something in return. It would be naïve to think otherwise.

What I offer voters of District 52 is a clean slate. As one person who donated to my campaign told me, her $50 donation meant she had the same influence as anyone else in the district; and, it is true. No one person is more important than the next. That is what democracy is supposed to be. That is the American ideal. That is what I offer voters on Nov. 6.

The effect of big money not only influences elections, but also influences each and every decision made. We need to create jobs, fund our public schools, support small business and ensure all of our citizens are represented.

The first step is to take big money out of the elections. The next step is to get the big money out of legislative decision-making. We need campaign finance reform and we need our elected officials to serve the people.

It is up to the voters to decide. It does not cost money for an individual to vote. But, it is going be costly if we fail to send the message that, “enough is enough.”

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Peter Nordbye lives in Rhododendron. For more information on his campaign visit www.neighborsfornordbye.com.

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