Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thank You Richard Doak

The column of the Des Moines Register's Richard Doak in this morning's (September 24) Sunday paper was devoted to his take on a couple of recent speeches, one by Congressman Jim Leach and the other my "General Semantics, Terrorism and War."

Richard Doak, "Two Iowans Speak Clearly on War, Verbal Confusion,"
Des Moines Register, September 24, 2006.

Congressman Leach's address, "The Politics of Power," delivered at the University of Iowa August 31, deals with a variety of subjects, but includes the role of money in politics, a subject on which Jim Leach has taken a reformer's leading role over the years. Here's an excerpt:

"[A]nyone who does not see a compelling case for radical campaign reform is not looking closely enough at the machinations in American politics. All societies have examples of corruption. We are no exception. But the bigger problem in our society is legalized conflicts of interest. In a system built on too much money in politics, the case for eliminating PACs and going to a system of partial public financing, with the government matching small contributions up to a precise ceiling, is profound."

It's the "legalized conflicts of interest" that have prompted my oft-repeated observation that, "The problem is not that corporate executives are breaking the laws, the problem is that they're writing the laws."

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