Minnesota legislators show no courage on money in politics

May 4, 2014
Phyllis Roden

Readers Write - Letter of the Day

Our state ought to be joining others taking our elections back for the people.

How ironic. On the same day last week that retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testified before the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee — alongside St. Louis Park native Norm Ornstein, co-author of “It’s Even Worse than it Looks,” a 2012 book about our dysfunctional Congress — about the need to get big money out of our elections, the Minnesota House could not find enough votes to bring the “We the People Act” (HF 276) to the House floor for a vote. HF 276 would have made Minnesota the 17th state to call on Congress for a constitutional amendment to enshrine as an American value that only human beings have constitutional rights and that money spent to influence our elections is not “free speech” under the First Amendment. Poll after poll finds that a majority of Republicans and Democrats want an end to big money in politics. And yet our elected representatives lack the courage to add the voice of Minnesotans to the growing chorus across the country demanding that this issue be addressed — including a former Supreme Court justice. We will vote accordingly in November.

Phyllis Roden, Minneapolis

Groups audience: