HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Wisconsin (Group) » Letters to the New York T...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 05:02 PM

Letters to the New York Times regarding the recall

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/opinion/after-the-recall-vote-in-wisconsin.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper



To the Editor:

The Wisconsin recall election, which was characterized by a highly unequal playing field in terms of campaign spending, highlights the sorry state of American elections. Current election law enabled Gov. Scott Walker and allied corporate interests to raise almost eight times as much money as his opponent did. Highly unequal access to political resources, such as campaign finance, reduces the distinction between elections in a democracy and those in a competitive authoritarian regime. When the playing field becomes sufficiently unequal, it can create a probability that incumbents will be returned to office. Political scientists call that sort of system “competitive authoritarianism.”

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United held that the right of freedom of speech prevents limiting corporate spending in candidate elections. But a country that cannot limit campaign spending inequality between incumbents and challengers has lost the ability to ensure a level playing field in elections. In that case, democracy in America is imperiled, because one of the chief differences between it and competitive authoritarianism is closing.

ROSS ZUCKER
Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, June 6, 2012

The writer is a professor of political science at Lander College.

.....


To the Editor:

David Brooks admires the way Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin “did at least take on entrenched interest groups” (“The Debt Indulgence,” column, June 5). Mr. Walker himself argues that he had the courage to confront special interests. But exactly which “interest groups” do Mr. Brooks and Mr. Walker have in mind?

The assault on public unions in Wisconsin deeply affected teachers, nurses, state and municipal employees, and other groups — in short, the working middle class. I’m not quite sure in what sense the great number of people who hold these jobs essential for a well-functioning society constitute “entrenched special interests.”

STEVEN NADLER
Madison, Wis., June 6, 2012

The writer is a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

3 replies, 2001 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Letters to the New York Times regarding the recall (Original post)
Scuba Jun 2012 OP
shcrane71 Jun 2012 #1
Lifelong Protester Jun 2012 #2
Greybnk48 Jun 2012 #3

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 05:08 PM

1. Republicans have the "courage" to take on the working class, and non-monied interest.

I like this letter to the editor:

To the Editor:

David Brooks is wrong. I didn’t vote to recall Scott Walker because I am “unwilling to tolerate tough decisions to reduce debt.” I just want ending corporate handouts and restoring fair and rational tax rates on the wealthiest to be part of any solution.

For all the supposed courage of the Republicans, this sacred cow seems to be one tough decision they are incapable of making.

JOHN EKLUND
Milwaukee, June 5, 2012

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 06:42 PM

2. Wow! in the last year

I went from a middle class schmo, one with a college degree and two past the BA, to an:

"entrenched interest"
"fat cat" because I make above minimum wage, and have benefits and a defined pension
"an elitist" because I can think critically above the level of a third -grader (not to offend any third-graders reading this...)

Wow.

In the 90s, I was laughed at by fam and friends for working in a 'sucker's field', an 'namby-pamby' public sector job. I was a 'chump', using my brains and education only to get 'stuck' in a 'mediocre' career.

How times have changed, eh?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 07:31 PM

3. I took grad classes with Steven Nadler at Madison.

Glad to see he's involving himself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread