Vote yes to support money amendment
On Nov. 6 Ashlanders will be asked to vote on Measure 15-116, which asks, "Shall Ashland voters instruct Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to grant only natural persons constitutional rights and limit campaign spending."
Two years ago the U.S. Supreme court decided the extraordinary case "Citizens United vs. FEC", which held that the First Amendment right of free speech extends to spending money in our political elections, and therefore campaign spending cannot be regulated by federal and state governments.
This decision opened the floodgates on private spending in elections. This trend has accelerated since 1976, when the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo tied free speech to money. This dramatic change in campaign spending now extends to the states and even our local cities and towns.
These decisions have led to an explosion in the amount of money flowing into the electoral process. The voice of the individual voter is drowned out by the voice of large vested interests.
As much as we like to think that we are not unduly influenced by political advertising, studies have shown that in about 90 percent of cases the candidate spending the greatest amount wins. Politicians spend too much time raising money for their next election and less time doing the work of the people.
Furthermore, the dependence by politicians on campaign funders creates the appearance of corruption and at times leads to actual corruption, when lawmakers must pay back their sponsors with friendly legislation. Vote yes on 15-116.
John Limb, coordinator for Jackson County Move to Amend
Keep Ashland library services
Today I witnessed a lively children's story hour conducted in American Sign Language.
Downstairs two different public meetings were happening. One was a free computer class taught by qualified volunteers. Tourists stopped in to ask directions to places in town, others registered to vote, others caught up with the daily news.
Upstairs I saw folks tutoring students and others finding information about jobs. Several visitors, including some from other countries, stopped in to ask questions and gather information. Others learned how to download books to their e-readers. Others came to watch the monthly free movie or check out a DVD. Another completed a resume. Another found out about engine repair from an online source.
This is Ashland Public Library, where we now have 40 open hours per week and friendly staff members and volunteers equipped and dedicated to serve. I'd love to see even more open hours, but I'm happy that the Ashland residents have furnished the extra 16 we do have, and I'm happy it's open on Sundays, one of the most popular times.
Let's keep a good thing going, Ashlanders. Be sure to vote yes for Ballot Measure 15-113!
DeBoer stays true to business
In his Aug. 13 letter "Yes, I will protect the Ashland watershed," Alan DeBoer remains true to his calling by prioritizing the economic or business aspects of watershed protection.
Adam Smith and Jacob Marley both would have rejected that priority. Such economic or business interests have nothing — or should have nothing — to do with protecting, nurturing, and preserving that existentially crucial public resource.
The watershed must be preserved and, when necessary, enhanced as a "public good" without regard for any alleged business returns. True recreational activities that do not negatively impact the watershed should be allowed and encouraged. Anything else must be rigorously and publicly supervised, if allowed at all.
Make your own decision, not PAC's
Last week a political action committee distributed to the citizens of Ashland a mailer that made accusations against myself, Carol Voisin and Keith Haxton. The three of us are running for Ashland City Council.
The information published was inaccurate, misleading and meant to influence how Ashland citizens vote in this election. This PAC says that they are "an organization of you," but what they really are is a very small group of individuals and businesses who want to ensure that their candidates who support their interests represent the entire city of Ashland.
This PAC only represents their interests, not the interests of all citizens of Ashland. They want a small segment of our community to have more influence over the decisions and policies made by our City Council.
Ashland is small town and divisive issues can quickly divide us and become ugly. Our city and its citizens deserve better.
Regina Ayars, candidate for Position 5, Ashland City Council