Whitesburg KY
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Kentuckians have right to know who gives to lawmakers

We’re pleased that discussions have been initiated during this legislative session on the role of political action committees (PACs). As a side note, we’re glad the discussion was initiated by one of Franklin County’s representatives, James Kay (D-Versailles).

A PAC is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives or certain legislation. The 4,600 PACs in this country typically have more power than a single donor who might individually try to influence a politician. And donors often remain anonymous.

Many would agree that money plays too big a part in American politics — regardless of political affiliation. For a government reported to be “of the people, by the people, for the people,” it sure seems like we don’t get much of a say when it comes to lawmakers’ decision making.

Rather, our representatives too often seem to be beholden to the big-ticket donors whose money helped them gain office. The existing system is enough to make just about anyone who pays attention long enough feel disenfranchised.

The problem with ignoring politics though, is that in doing so you effectively remove yourself from influencing the outcomes you want. And for that reason, we hope that more people step forward in support of Kay’s bill, which would require PACs to report their donors to the Kentucky Registry of Election finance.

Call your representatives in the House and ask them to pay close attention to the bill. Let them know that we the people care about this subject, and they should too.

Will proposed plan introduced by Rep. James Kay (D-Versailles) take “dark money” out of politics completely?

We doubt it.

That doesn’t mean, however, that it is a wasted endeavor. Transparency in government, much like fiscal responsibility, is a goal we should always be moving toward.

At the very least, knowing who is funneling money into elections in our state is a benefit, if only so that we can prepare more for what legislative battles may be approaching in the future.

We would also encourage those following the bill to take note of who in the general assembly is opposed to this legislation and their reasons why.

— The State Journal, Frankfort

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