Readers’ Opinions, 4-6-2014

Money rules elections in the USA

Editor:

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court stating that the restrictions on the amount of money one (or, in this case, many — such as corporations) can contribute to campaign finances is no longer limited.

Their thinking is that limiting the amount of money one can donate to a political campaign is suppression of “free speech.” It was a 5-4 vote in favor of the ruling. There are some limits, but one former justice is in favor of eliminating all limits. What does that tell us — we, the people? Does our $50 contribution to our candidate mean anything, or does a $5 million contribution swing his or her vote?

The same people who are against a minimum wage increase are the ones who are applauding this ruling. God forbid that your employees should make a decent living; that would cut back on your annual bonuses! Free speech should be free, not based on how much money you have to influence the outcome of any election. Somehow or other, there should be an investigation as to why the Constitution is being interpreted wrongly. Is it because money has taken over our government? Or is it because we are not paying attention?

Pay attention people! Write to your supposed representatives and tell them what you want them to do (as they were elected to do). You may not have the money, but you do have the voice. Use that voice and tell them to represent you, and not the money. This is our country, not theirs. When the super rich pay fair taxes and not get bailed out by our taxes, only then we can get back to being the best.

Kevin Coane, Wallingford

Accountability

Editor:

The April 3 front page Record-Journal article of Wallingford’s Board of Education Chairwomen stating that it was “devastating” that the mayor is only providing an extra $2 million versus the $4 million that the board asked for in the upcoming budget was disturbing to me. What is devastating is what appears to be the low performance of our high schools in Wallingford. One ranked poorly (below the state average) in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report on best schools. They looked at college readiness, among other things.

It has been proven, over and over again, that more money has minimal effect on improving the quality of education. It is performance management that counts. This is also true for the town administration, generally. Tax increases, year in and year out, without looking at objective performance measures is not acceptable or effective. We need to hold our leaders accountable if we want improvement.

Paul Ciardullo Sr., Wallingford

Drug-free zones

Editor:

I write to alert readers and issue a call-for-action against one of the most dangerous bills pending before our legislature. SB 259 will reduce the protection of our school children from illegal drug activity and the danger and violence that is ever present where drug activity takes place by reducing the “drug-free zones” around schools from 1,500 to 200 feet.

This bill discriminates against inner city children, mostly the poor and minorities. The argument for SB 259 is the current 1,500 foot limit discriminates against adult criminals (drug dealers and users) because they are so much closer to the schools in the cities. In other words, where the threat is greatest, where there is the most illegal drug activity going on, where we need greater protections for our children, we will weaken the law because we are more concerned about the adult criminals being arrested for their illegal and dangerous activities.

Since when do we care more about the criminals than we do our innocent children? Don’t our children in the inner cities need to be protected from drug activity and the related violence as much as kids in the suburbs? Yet, just where the activity is the greatest and where our children need more protection we are going to reduce the drug-free zones, simply because there are more drug dealers and drug users in those neighborhoods!

Has our legislature gone mad?

Any legislator who votes for this bill is no friend of children. Yet many legislators will claim children are their highest priority.

This is hypocrisy. The same legislators who use children to promote their candidacies abandon them when and where they most need protection. Call your legislator today and tell them to vote against Senate Bill 259 that will drastically constrict the drug-free zones around our schools.

Len Suzio, Meriden



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