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Letter: Pledge to work for public interest

To the Editor:

Money talks, ethics walk.

In my term in the Legislature, I learned that lesson as I saw how special interest money makes its way into the private meetings that decide which legislation moves forward.

And I have seen the cost of campaign finance corruption to taxpayers, homeowners, business owners, school children, retirees and the others who depend upon government to provide high quality services at reasonable cost.

My passion in running for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District is to address the national debt crippling everything from national security to international trade relations. We cannot solve the natnional debt without addressing the influence of special interest money which is corrupting our political system.

More and more candidates are faced with powerful lobby groups that force them to sign pledges promising not to disrupt the status quo. Most pledges come with little-known agreements that only the special interest can tell the politician which way to vote on an issue. If candidates refuse to sign, campaign money is steered to an opponent.

As candidates are inundated with pledges and more succumb, it becomes clear no one has the ability to govern. And the public interest comes dead last.

I do not sign pledges except my pledge to voters to do everything I can to promote their collective interest in Washington. I will not limit my options to respond to new situations and events that may change my perspective on what is in the public interest.

I am also sufficiently fed up with our campaign finance system that I, with a handful of candidates and sitting members of Congress running for re-election, have filed a lawsuit with the Federal Election Commission seeking enforcement of laws against Super PACs. We will take our case to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.

The American people have had enough of Super PACs and our money drenched system of campaign finance, and as a congressman I will do everything I can to stop this corruption and return our government to the people.

Please vote in the Aug. 9 primary and select candidates that have not signed pledges and will work to eliminate the corrupting effects of special interest money in American today.

John Howe

Red Wing