Democracy being sold to highest bidder

Is money equivalent to free speech and protected by the First Amendment?

According to the Supreme Court of the United States, and its 5-4 majorities in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission cases, it is.

Jon Stewart said, “If [money equals free speech], then at the current rate of growth in income disparity only a few people will soon have free speech.”

No matter how SCOTUS parses the words, our democracy is already being sold to the highest bidder. Sheldon Adelson, a multibillionaire casino king, recently was at an event in Las Vegas with many aspiring presidential candidates who will promise to make casino gaming on the Internet illegal.

John McCain recently said, “We will have scandals with all that money washing around.”

He is alluding to the rampant bribery and conflicts of interest that exist in the hallowed halls of Congress today. It is a reason given by a few honest congressmen for retiring in recent years. Most of their time has been taken by the need to solicit money (quid pro quo) instead of doing their jobs.

Now, the most difficult job is persuading those who remain in Congress that they should bite the hands of their benefactors who feed them and do the job we, the people, paid them to do; namely, represent the people for a change.

We are all in this together. After all, it is our democracy.

I urge you to write to or call your congressman and ask him or her to sponsor an amendment to have only public funding of all federal elections. It will save us money in the final analysis.

JACK CASSIDY

Johnstown