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Friday, February 15 , 2019, 10:24 pm | Fair 48º


Letter to the Editor: Campaign Signs — Signs of What?

So many campaign signs — and so many in visually-pleasing green, blue and white.

As we drive in town and around ​our corner of ​ the county, my wife and I pass campaign signs on lawns and along major roads.

This ​could be a “sign” of electoral participation in a functioning, vibrant democracy, but I cannot help but be a little concerned that so many, perhaps the majority, of the ​signs are for just one of the five candidates for 3rd District County Supervisor.

These are also the largest signs, the ones that are most visible to the most voters because they appear on ​expansive properties along ​U.S. Highway 101 and along other highly traveled routes.

Does this plethora of highly visible signs actually tell us something more than simply to “Vote for Mr. X”? 

Maybe each one also silently suggests that our political system is skewed toward big money. Wealthy interests have the ability to place many ​big signs on many ​big properties, which in turn attracts the most eyes… and, presumably, the most votes.

Since the Court’s unfortunate Citizens United decision in 2010, the floodgates have opened for unlimited, secret sums of money flowing into ​the political process. This distorts our democracy and harms ​us.

The wise principle of “one person, one vote,” which stood for 46 years, has been twisted for the benefit of the financially fortunate to become “one rich man, a million votes.”

It is not unlikely that Citizens United will be overturned in the near future. We can then return to a system ​that ​allows us to further perfect our national experiment and benefit the great majority of Americans, ​including the struggling Middle Class that has lost much ground in recent decades​.

In the meantime, perhaps we ought to view each of those many large and most favorably-positioned campaign signs with some measure of concern.

Most importantly, however, when we see our individual political interests, whatever party or candidate we like, let’s do the responsible thing. Let’s vote.

My wife and I will be voting for Joan Hartmann to be our County Supervisor. She may not have the biggest signs, but she’s the most qualified, and she’ll work full-time for us​ all​.

Seth Steiner
Los Alamos

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