Thursday, March 31, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Campaign finance reform:
Dear Editor:

The Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information is a First Amendment coalition dedicated to furthering open government in Mississippi. We think campaign finance disclosure is an important element in keeping government accountable to the public.

We support a strong campaign finance reform bill and urge legislators to restore the original provisions of HB 1102 or pass SB 2387 as amended by the House.

These three provisions we believe are vital to a strong campaign finance reform bill that will enable the public to track the money funneled into the coffers of political candidates:   

  • Disclose the sources of soft money, including money transferred between PACs.
  • Disclose the identity of individuals or groups who make loans to candidates, the amounts and information on how the money was used and plans for repayment.
  • Require major candidates and political committees to file timely electronic reports of sources of campaign funds.

Mississippi access laws state that open government is the law. That principle can be extended and reinforced with a strong campaign finance reform bill.

Citizens should have a right to know who bankrolls the campaigns of candidates who set the policies for our state.

We support and applaud legislative efforts to enact a strong campaign finance reform bill that will enable citizens to know what individuals and groups are influencing policy in this state by funding political campaigns.

Legislative conference committee members drafting the campaign finance reform bill are Reps. Tommy Reynolds, Ferr Smith and Dirk Dedeaux and Sens. Terry Burton, Merle Flowers and Charlie Ross. Citizens who want to be heard on this issue can find the e-mails for these legislators at http://www.ls.state.ms.us.

Sincerely,
Jeanni Atkins
Executive Director
Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information
iatkins@olemiss.edu
(662) 236-3857

Election Issues:
Dear Editor,

Elections come and go and issues are never part of the process. Office holders do not want issues brought up because taking sides on problems isolates voters and that’s not good politics to do that. The only way issues become a part of a campaign is when the electorate insists on it. I would hope that during this city campaign the citizens will want a discussion of the issues.

One of the most important issues that needs to be debated is the issue of the city mass medicating the citizenry. The city of Holly Springs is treating your teeth by adding sodium fluoride to the drinking water. The city’s responsibility is to give us pure drinking water — nothing more and nothing less. By medicating the water supply the city has entered the medical field and has established a dangerous precedent. The idea that the city is mass medicating the people’s water supply should be the number one issue in this campaign. This won’t happen unless you the electorate confront each person running for office and find out how he or she stands on this most important issue.

Another issue to be discussed would be zoning laws. The day that zoning laws are passed is the day that theft takes place. Zoning laws rob property owners of their property. The fourth biggest city in the country, Houston, Tx., doesn’t have zoning laws; certainly little bitty Holly Springs can operate without them.

Public education represents a huge chunk of the city budget and should be discussed. The question that comes to mind here is who has the legitimate responsibility for a child’s education. The answer of course is that the parents do. Civil government has usurped this authority from the parents and is financing through taxation a system that has made it impossible to educate by expelling God from the classroom.

Certainly, the city not flying the state flag at city hall should be thrown up to the office seekers.

There are other issues that need to be part of the campaign, but the ones I’ve mentioned should be on the front burner. Let’s we the citizens demand to make this election different; let’s make it one of issues.

J. Clark Cochran
Holly Springs

Clean up the county:
Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to the group of people that I named “The Road Pigs.” I would like to congratulate them for having the cleanest cars and trucks in the area. They must, because their trash is all over the road.

I have read in the paper that the county is having a clean-up going on, and that’s a good thing. People need to clean up around their property, but the Road Pigs should be identified, fined large, and made to clean up the whole mess.

I am ashamed to have friends from other cities and states visit and the county should feel the same.

I know some people will think why doesn’t he just clean it up? I do. I have over 600 feet of road front and I keep it clean, but it is almost a daily job and I am getting old.

Thank you
Raymond F. McDonald
Potts Camp


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