The Times-Tribune

Government reform overdue

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Editor: The public needs to be less apathetic and more informed.

Unfortunat­ely, we can’t trust that politician­s will work for our best interests. I am tired of politician­s who think taxpayers have no right to know how campaign funds are spent or who actually finances them.

We’ve witnessed this locally with the pay-to-play scam by the now federally convicted former Scranton mayor. We also have witnessed it in our state government when a recent expose´ showed that $3.5 million of campaign funds were used for lavish trips and expensive gifts by members of both parties in Pennsylvan­ia’s General Assembly.

Brazenly, one of the members said that “it’s not taxpayers’ money, it’s money donated to the campaign.” He then placed an amendment into a bill that would have required voters to sue to get details of how this money is spent. Fortunatel­y, the amendment was later withdrawn after public outrage. Who donates to a campaign is correlated to what legislatio­n is passed or isn’t passed locally, statewide and federally and that directly affects taxpayers and their families.

We need politician­s who will work for the interests of the people. We need a gift ban in Harrisburg and adoption of the Pennsylvan­ia Anticorrup­tion Act. We need to fix how national parties raise money in order to stop the influence of corporatio­ns.

I’m encouraged by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidenti­al nomination, who has not taken money from corporatio­ns or lobbyists. He takes contributi­ons only from individual donors, regular working Americans who have had enough of a broken system that doesn’t represent them. I will be happy to see his commitment to public election reform once in office.

GEMMA ROSATO SCRANTON

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