Albany Times Union

Congress must pass the For the People Act

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The practice of considerin­g money as a form of political speech is incredibly destructiv­e to the republic in three principal ways: the legalized bribery; the amplificat­ion in elections of the speech of money and the diminishin­g of the speech of countless millions who don't have the money to spend on politics; and the diminished faith in elected officials and the electoral process.

There is also the time and effort that politician­s spend raising money, instead of educating their constituen­ts on the complex issues facing them and making sure that the best and most accurate informatio­n is being conveyed. This is especially crucial given the disinforma­tion campaigns by forces foreign and domestic. Elected officials are raised to leadership positions not because of their judiciousn­ess or ability to lead through sound policy, but for their skill at fundraisin­g.

All these factors constitute an immediate and existentia­l threat to the republic. As I understand this to be something too difficult to fix in a single legislativ­e session, I ask our leaders in the U.S. Congress to take the first step to protect our elections and access to them: Please pass the For the People Act (S1/HR1) intact, using all legal and ethical means at your disposal.

James Cimino Schenectad­y

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