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Campaign finance complaints are overstated

Congressmen Steve Israel and Tim Bishop address supporters

Congressmen Steve Israel and Tim Bishop address supporters at the Democrats' election night party last month. Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) complains that support for his challenger came from the shadows ["Why campaign finance reform matters," Opinion, Dec. 17]. I did a fact-check and found that Rep. Bishop's best contributors are retirees, followed by lawyers and numerous public and private unions.

Recent law allowed private enterprise unlimited spending to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate, and Bishop complains of unfair influence and secret funding. What I see is a leveling of the playing field, where for years unions have had unchallenged influence on our elections.

Retirees, lawyers and unions don't create jobs, business does. Identifying contributors would expose them to boycotts and protests by the politically organized opposition. That's bad for business, and that would effectively end their contributions to campaigns.

Bishop is upset by his close-call victory, and he will waste our time attempting to re-rig the playing field. Forget campaign finance reform; Bishop should do his job and represent his district, and not just his special interests.

Arnold Genovesi

Islandia


I was hoping the congressman would offer a solution rather than cry about how he was done wrong.

The Constitution directs that representatives be chosen by the people. In this case, the people are resident citizens entitled to vote in the political jurisdiction. To promote true representation for a district, and to make certain that decisions are made for the benefit of resident citizens, the source of contributions for political campaigns should be restricted to people of that limited geographic area.

To exemplify my point: I have no problem with hiring contractors from New Jersey to do work in Huntington. I have a big problem with local officials taking campaign contributions from New Jersey contractors hired to perform a service in the town.

Perhaps Rep. Bishop can use his influence to establish finance reforms along these lines and provide model legislation for our country.

John Condon

Huntington Station

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