Thursday, February 2, 2023
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    HomePoliticsPublic funding for political campaigns will keep government working in public’s interest

    Public funding for political campaigns will keep government working in public’s interest

    A new study says Exxon Mobil’s scientists were remarkably accurate in their predictions about global warming, though the company’s public statements contradicted its own scientists’ conclusions.

    Exxon, which knew this since about 1977, could have acted for the public interest and our planet’s health by leading the transition to renewable energy, protecting its long-term position in energy production.

    Instead, Exxon chose fast and high profits, spending millions of dollars on climate change denial and political contributions — mostly to Republicans — to block action against climate change. This choice is disrupting the environment that supports life on our planet and could cause among the highest amounts of destruction, suffering and deaths ever.

    SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 350 words.

    With tobacco and other companies also having histories of putting profits above people, corporations and their ultra-wealthy owners should not be permitted to make unlimited political contributions to buy influence and shape government decisions in their favor.

    If we want a fair political debate so government decisions are based on merit and the public interest, we must democratize contributions as we do voting and have public funding of election campaigns.

    Richard Barsanti, Western Springs

    Not just the right wing

    The Sun-Times is to be commended for the editorial admonishing the Chicago Police Department for “shoddy investigations of officers tied to Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys.” As the editorial rightly notes, “it would help if they did a better job weeding out and thoroughly vetting cops who rubbed elbows with extremist right-wing organizations.” 

    However, why only extremist right-wing organizations? And who decides what organization is extremist? It would seem equally important to conduct investigations into officers supporting Black Lives Matter, an organization with adherents responsible across the nation for rioting, looting, property destruction and deaths. How about affiliation with Minister Louis Farrakhan, an avowed antisemite? 

    It’s a slippery slope, unless all pretense is dropped that such investigations will include all groups who are alleged to be “extremist” or hate-based and not exclusively those considered right wing. 

    Robert R. Johnson, Mount Greenwood

    No leadership on lead pipe problem

    In Chicago, lead service pipes to homes, schools and other buildings are detrimental to mental, emotional and physical health, especially for our children. We know the solution: Replace these lead pipes.

    This is not a controversial issue. No one is in favor of lead in the water. And it is an issue that cuts across a number of concerns.

    Education: Lead negatively impacts children’s IQ and ability to learn, focus, etc.

    Environmental justice:Children in poorer neighborhoods are disproportionately exposed to this danger.

    Crime and violenceStudies show that exposure to lead is correlated with emotional and psychological problems, like poorer impulse control that can lead to violence and crime.

    We know exactly how to address this — with help from state and local government, with city-matching funds for homeowners — and yet is it barely being addressed. Where is the leadership on this important issue?

    William M. Carroll, North Center

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