Denial of campaign funds is troubling
I was troubled to read the state Supreme Court's decision to deny Allen Loughry matching funds promised to him by the public campaign financing pilot program.
Matching funds were to be available in state Supreme court races when a privately financed candidate exceeded a spending threshold. These funds were to ensure that a publicly funded candidate could counter excessive donations and to improve the perception of undue influence over the court by campaign contributors.
But the ruling is not all bad. The court reaffirmed that public funding without matching funds continues to be constitutional.
At a time when unlimited money is flowing into campaigns, we need public funding more than ever. As long as candidates can still receive money to run a viable campaign against their more moneyed competitors, democracy is bettered. Accepting public funding also creates publicity, as Loughry learned, and voters can see that a "voter-owned" candidate is not just a shill for wealthy special interests.
The pilot program seems like a good start to fixing our broken court system. Hopefully the Legislature will extend the program for the next state Supreme Court election and more candidates will sign on, opting out of the corporate wealthy donor system.
Is Iran ever going to have the bomb?
1992: Israeli Member of Parliament Benjamin Netanyahu predicts that Iran was "three to five years" from having a nuclear weapon.
1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres predicts an Iranian nuclear warhead by 1999 to French TV.
1995: The New York Times quotes U.S. and Israeli officials saying that Iran would have the bomb by 2000.
1998: Donald Rumsfeld tells Congress that Iran could have an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the United States by 2003.
David N. Ryan