Stimulus Plan Sets Stage for Economic Fallout

By Dale Mead, Letter to the Editor

Editor - When I read the headline, "Stimulus plan a scam to benefit the rich," ( Sean Olender, Feb. 3) my instantaneous response was, what's new? But I read the article to learn how the rich and their indentured government servants will again cheat the public.

Most telling sentence: "Those same lawmakers won't mention the fact that they get paid far more by real estate lobbyists than they do from our Treasury."

The issue transcends real estate lobbyists. Lobbyists of all kinds run our governments at every level.

We don't own our elections; private interests do, by financing candidates' campaigns. The corruption is as brazen as street-corner drug deals and as systemic as cancer.

Sadly, Olender, like most pundits, rants about lobbyists' stranglehold on our political system without revealing an existing, proven fix: publicly financed campaigns, which let representatives truly serve the public. Such systems are already are in place and proven in Arizona, Maine and elsewhere, with tremendous effect.

If every opinion piece exposing our corrupt lobbyist-run system - including Chronicle editorials - mentioned this alternative, Americans soon would reclaim our electoral system, transforming our political culture. I applaud Olender and others for spotlighting such abuse, but they would serve readers better by simultaneously promoting this solution.

DALE MEAD El Cerrito

See the article on San Francisco Chronicle website

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