Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Taxation without Representation

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Taxation without Representation

Our 2021 elections in Virginia are awash in money, coming from both sides of the aisle. To-date, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, candidates running for Governor have raised over $30 million.

Spending by Republicans in anticipation of their recent Convention totaled over $10 million, with two candidates, Youngkin and Synder lending their campaigns an aggregate $11 million.

Enough is enough. Citizens in Alexandria and around the States recognize the need to address the two sides of the coin of getting big money out of politics through: 1) federal action to introduce a constitutional amendment to address the 40 years of wrong Supreme Court rulings, including the 2010 Citizens United ruling which led to an explosion in election spending, and 2) getting it right in Virginia, one of only 5 states which has no limitations on campaign finance contributions. Yet bills introduced over the years in our legislature limiting campaign finance contributions always die.

Let’s face it. Incumbents like their money. In the House of Delegates, the third largest fundraiser is Alexandria’s own Delegate Charniele Herring. We appreciate her votes on democracy related bills and criminal justice reform. But we don’t understand why she rakes in the money, currently estimated at nearly $500,000, with $125,000 received from Dominion Energy. Meanwhile, her constituents, members of America Promise, a group calling for common sense campaign finance reform, have requested through her office numerous times a meeting to discuss the need to pass legislation getting big money out of politics. No response, no meeting.

We wonder, do Dominion Energy lobbyists get a response if they call?

Let’s get our democracy back by making legislators accountable to their voters and not be beholden to their corporate contributors. Enough is enough. We pay taxes and deserve to be heard.

Dennis Phipps