Contributing to campaigns is rightful role of lobbyists

A better headline for the article titled “Democratic candidates spar over K Street money” (Aug. 4) would have been “Democratic candidates spar over First Amendment.”

Such an article might have praised Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for defending the rights of all citizens, including lobbyists, to assemble and petition their government and support the candidates of their choice. Instead, Sen. Clinton’s primary opponents attacked her for accepting contributions from lobbyists, as though the job of representing the varied interests of every American were somehow “dirty.”

During his campaign for Senate, Barack Obama (D-Ill.) raised more than $1 million from so-called “special interest” PACs. Yet no one questions — nor should they — the integrity of Sen. Obama’s voting record. He, like every other candidate for public office, receives contributions from people that share his vision regarding politics and public policy. How can this possibly be corrupting?

Sen. Clinton got it right, and if we lived in a Washington that had greater respect for the First Amendment, political “pundits” would be lauding Sen. Clinton’s defense of the Constitution while criticizing her opponents’ disregard for First Amendment political rights.

- From Mike Schrimpf, deputy communications director, Center for Competitive Politics, Arlington, Va.


Amnesty, again

(Regarding article, “Specter has new immigration package,” July 27.) Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) must think that the American people are complete idiots. In the article about his new immigration package is this statement:

“The lone change in the status of the 12 million [illegal aliens], Specter said, would be removing their status as fugitives from justice, an attempt to diminish their incentive to remain outside the system and in fear of deportation.”

If this stupid, stupid piece of legislation does make it to the Congress we will fight it tooth-and-nail. What he is suggesting is still amnesty! By taking away the illegal aliens’ status as fugitives from justice, he’s legalizing them! We’re not stupid, Mr. Specter. We’ll be watching for this attempt to slide amnesty through once again.

- From Steven Terrell Sr., Knoxville, Iowa


Snail-mail trail

(Regarding John Fortier’s column “Paper-trail perspective,” Aug. 1.) The last sentence of the article struck me as particularly amusing: “… if you have comments about this column, no e-mails, please — write to me on paper.”

If this comment were half as important as my vote, of course I wouldn’t send it by e-mail. I’d use paper (probably recorded delivery).

- From Chris Brand, New Westminster, British Columbia


Baloney, Byron

(Regarding Byron York’s column “Dems’ ‘Real Big Problem,’” Aug. 3.) The Dems are (unpatriotically) betting that the surge will fail?

Whoa up there, Byron.

Wasn’t it Condi Rice testifying last January who said that we would get a good indication of whether the surge was working within two or three months? It’s the Republicans who made the bet.

Now the Rs are saying the surge is only just getting started and we’ll need to keep it going till 2009?

The saying goes, Fool me twice, shame on me. By my count the Democrats have already been fooled/lied to about seven times to keep going along with this crazy war. What’s wrong with calling baloney on Bush after all these years, saying that the administration really is the gang that can’t shoot straight? ...

- From Stephen C. Pace, Salt Lake City

More in Letters

Geopolitics of falling oil prices

Read more »