I was disappointed to see that "A crusade to curb campaign spending" [News, Nov. 29] received too little attention.
The unrestrained spending that has been allowed to take place in our political campaigns is in no small part due to the Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission in 2010 and McCutcheon v. the FEC in 2014. The spending is posing a serious threat to the future of our country and its democratic process.
Dark money from the wealthy elite is flowing into the campaign coffers of our elected officials and is buying access and influence. It's having a corrosive effect on our government. Those with the deepest pockets are being heard and listened to, while average Americans are essentially being ignored. This adversely affects decisions and laws in all areas: education, environment, social services, taxation, etc.
Until something is done to stem this flood of money -- as the proposed "people's rights amendment" to the Constitution would do -- we as private middle-class citizens cannot hope to change anything for the better. The future of our democracy hangs in the balance.
Vincenza Ercole, Port Jefferson Station
Editor's note: The writer is a member of a campaign-finance reform group, Brookhaven Move to Amend.
Questions persist in police shootings
I am sick and tired of all these people with a political agenda vilifying the police ["AG may probe cop fatalities," News, Dec. 9].
A black police officer in Salt Lake City shot and killed an unarmed white man, Dillon Taylor, in August. There has been very little coverage in the media.
Where is the outrage, where are the riots and looting? Where is the Rev. Al Sharpton? Where are the demonstrations?
I agree that in the Garner case some kind of indictment should have been handed up, but stop blaming the police in all these situations.
Bob Horsham, Floral Park
In the video, besides seeing this poor man, Eric Garner, being taken down with all the police on him, you never see anyone attempting to give him CPR or using any method to help him when he stopped breathing. Why not?
Charlotte Herdman, Flushing
Trivia overshadows space exploration
America's new manned spacecraft had a successful test flight but was overshadowed in the media by the latest celebrity news, whether it be about Miley Cyrus or the royal family's visit ["Orion test flight a success," News, Dec. 6]. Despite all the concern expressed about the dumbing down of our nation, it is very discouraging to me as an educator to see that things haven't changed much at all.
Joseph F. Russo, Bethpage
Editor's note: The writer is a teacher at the Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary in Elmhurst.
Useful ideas for preventing scams
There is a bigger lesson for small-business owners who have fallen victim to purchase-order fraud ["Story of a scam," Business, Nov. 30].
Sound credit practices will not only detect a scam, but will ensure that business owners will be paid within a reasonable time. For 16 years, I have run a small aromatherapy business on Long Island that sells to very large and well-known companies where credit worthiness is not a concern. Understanding the right process to get payment is key.
There have been many credit managers who did not think it necessary to do anything when a first-time order was received from an industry giant. I have insisted that they clarify several things before releasing a first order. One is verifying the contact person responsible for processing payments for our account. You want a name and number in case that invoice passes the 30-day mark. It's too late to start verification at that point!
Other critical questions: Is there a vendor number for you? Are you set up as a vendor in customers' systems? How do they want invoices submitted? How are freight charges handled?
Do customers always require purchase order numbers, and is the one you were given recognized in their system? And, last, do they pay in 30 days, or are there paying cycles that you fall into?
Elizabeth Flaherty, Centerport