Letters: Dark money can be jettisoned from politics with amendment

·3 min read

Constitutional amendment needed to limit dark money political spending

The Citizens United decision of January 2010 removed restrictions on election spending by corporations and political action committees, leading the way to unlimited and hidden money in elections and policy decisions.

This decision led to 12 years of rampant political corruption. We in Ohio have experienced firsthand the dire consequences of enormous amounts of dark money in legislative campaigns and decisions.

More: Ohio governor 2022: Pro-DeWine dark money group questions Renacci's conservative credentials

A major change nationally since 2010, when Republicans dominated dark money spending, is that now it’s the Democrats. Democratic Party dark money groups ― nonprofits that are not required to disclose their donors ― spent more than $514 million on the 2020 elections, twice as much as Republican Party groups. Money in politics truly is a cross-partisan issue.

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An alarming precedent in recent years also is the influence of foreign money on candidate and issue campaigns. The Citizens United decision did not reverse the ban on foreign money in elections, but it provided opportunities for foreign groups to funnel money secretly to elections through nonprofits and shell companies.

Now ballot measures, and federal, state and local elections, are at risk for foreign interference.

More: Theodore Decker: Group pushes for an end to ’dark money’

The solution to the big and dark money problem is a constitutional amendment passed by Congress and sent to the states to ratify.

American Promise Ohio is working toward raising awareness for this amendment. We want to be “ready to ratify” when Congress acts. To achieve this, we need abundant grassroots support. Join our movement at americanpromise.net.

Ellen Greene Bush, American Promise Ohio

'Inclusive' YMCA serves community with programs that are accessible to all

The volunteers and staff of the YMCA create everlasting change through a variety of transformational services and programs, including supportive housing, emergency shelter services, child care, as well as youth and family programming.

The core of our mission impact is delivered and made possible through membership and programs at our 13 community centers located in four counties. Today, kids, families and adults need access to our community centers now more than anytime in our 160-year history.

More: Columbus announces $8.8 million in support to city's homeless shelters and employees

In an effort to respond to the needs of our community, the Y is taking steps to ensure our programs and facilities are even more accessible to the individuals and families we serve. Check out ymcacolumbus.org or visit your local branch to learn about prices, specials and financial assistance.

In addition, thanks to generous community donors, we will also offer financial assistance to community members in need. We are proud to be an open, inclusive and values-based community hub for health and wellness, youth development and social responsibility.

More: South-Western, YMCA partner on PALS program as beneficial alternative to suspensions

The YMCA of Central Ohio strives for Strong Communities Where all People Reach Their Potential. This bold vision requires our focused work in and with communities. Please join us in transformation as a member, volunteer or supporter.

Tony Collins, president and CEO, YMCA of Central Ohio

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: American Promise seeks to end dark money spending in politics

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