To the Editor:
We're all going to need a digital video recorder for the upcoming election to record our TV programs and fast forward through the untruthful, misleading political ads from PACs (political action committees). This is due to earlier and recent Supreme Court decisions allowing unlimited contributions to political campaigns from wealthy donors. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent which allow the top 1 to 2 percent of the wealthiest individuals to buy elections and influence voters through mass media advertising.
Ads produced outside Iowa, costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, are being directed against U.S Representative Bruce Braley running for the U.S. Senate. "Freedom Partners," funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is attempting to defame Braley by spoon-feeding Iowans incorrect and misleading information.
One attack ad accuses Braley of taking "tens of thousands from his friends in the health insurance industry" and giving them "special favors" by voting for Obamacare. Facts show that Braley's health related donations are far less than 1percent of his entire election fundraising. The idea of a candidate doing "special favors" for less than 1 percent of their fundraising amount is preposterous.
Having taught Bruce's children in the Waterloo Schools gives me the privilege of knowing his family for over 25 years. I think of Bruce as neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but as a caring native Iowan. Regardless of his political affiliation, Bruce is a wonderful parent and a concerned citizen whose good character was attacked. Untruthful attacks on any of our local and state politicians from outside sources should offend Iowans.
Unlimited funds from wealthy individuals which will be used to create and distribute misleading or untruthful advertising, will put pressure on voters to become savvier about their political decisions. We should look for unbiased sources to research potential candidates. It is no longer just the politician or political party who will be spending vast amounts of money to influence us. We will be subjected to misleading ads from the wealthiest individuals whose interests may not align with our middle class needs. Because we are not able to hold these outside groups accountable, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents will need to find out the real truths about the politicians that hope to represent us. These candidates may end up making decisions that affect our everyday lives.