Letters to the Editor

Transparency is needed

Since the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, corporations such as Chevron, Lockheed Martin and AT&T, as well as enterprises linked to the Koch brothers, have eroded the democratic process by secretly spending unlimited sums toward the elections of selected lawmakers.

Not only can these lawmakers return the favor by granting these corporations more government contracts, they also serve the interests of big business on everything from healthcare to climate change.

This is not how a government for the people works.

President Barack Obama criticized dark money in politics in his last State of the Union address. Vice President Joe Biden recently called the funneling of secret money into politics as a “fundamental threat to our democracy.”

Despite the administration’s statements, the president has not issued an executive order to require federal contractors to disclose their political spending. Transparency would be a critical first step towards a government for the people.

Republicans have blocked transparency legislation. Little time remains for this executive order. Obama must follow his words with action – now. With rallies nationwide and 600,000 signatures demanding an executive order, we await this much-needed directive.

Nicole Arbabzadeh, Fresno

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