As a political scientist it is my job to think rigorously and systematically about political behavior. While I love every aspect of this challenging calling, deep discussions about campaign finance reform normally put me to sleep. If a political junkie cannot remain awake for detailed conversations about how we finance the essential engine of representative democracy, I cannot help but wonder how much attention we should expect from Americans whose profession is something other than following politics.
I have, however, discovered a solution to the problem of trying to understand the arcana of campaign finance reform: ignore the details and focus on the really big question at the core of the debate. In this case, I believe, the really big question is why should candidates for elective office ever have to spend one minute of their time pandering to well-financed special interest groups in order to win and hold their offices?
Any reform that does not transform the calling of elective politics from the money-grubbing game it currently is into the noble occupation of doing the people's work must be considered a failure. Only complete public funding of elections will move us in that direction, and because neither Shays-Meehan nor McCain-Feingold do that, I fear they must ultimately be considered failures.
DAVID J. JACKSON
Thanks Ohio for allowing me to murder someone. It will be difficult to erase the dangerous message to my kids that it's OK to kill if someone does something bad. Will killing 10 people this year make a dent in the vast criminal population? Do we even know how expensive this was?
Somewhere a family rejoices revenge - but the real victims aren't going to the grave - they should know that. The victims are here standing in shoes most wouldn't wish on their worst enemy. What do we say to 99 people nationwide released from Death Row able to prove their innocence ... oops? Some weren't given the chance to prove innocence. I know of one.
What do we say to the children who want to kill themselves if daddy is going to die, or the mothers who stand and wonder where their sons could have possibly gotten the idea to kill?
Are we fools to think being locked in a room 22 hours a day for 19 years isn't punishment? Try it and see. I want to offer my condolences to the John Byrd, Jr., family. It just wasn't enough that we mentally tortured the man for 19 years.
WANDA M. TURNER
Would it be wise to privatize?
Regarding the Ohio Lottery, methinks The Blade doth protest too much. It IS my dollar.
Would you be happier if private enterprise took over?