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The League View appears weekly on Sundays in the Hendersonville Times-News.

JULY 2010

July 4, 2010

Today is the day to reflect on our freedom as American citizens and on our responsibility to protect that freedom. Throughout the country today there will be picnics and firework celebrations, parades and patriotic programs. We will all have fun and enjoy the day when our color, ethnic origin and gender all meld into who we really are - American citizens. But citizenship is an everyday responsibility. It is the responsibility to stay informed, to understand issues, to participate in our government by attending local government meetings, to work on local and state government boards and committees. And it is always our responsibility to study the candidates and VOTE. Being an American doesn’t mean we all agree, but it does mean that we listen and respect one another - because we all know that freedom is our responsibility.

July 11, 2010

We know that democracy fosters open discussions about many issues. At times we may not agree with our fellow citizens about issues, their cause or resolution, but we should behave in a manner that reflects civility. Our first President, George Washington, demonstrated by his actions the importance of decent behavior and respect for one another. In an internet search on ‘civility’ one will find George Washington’s ‘Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior.’ Our first President was praised by his peers as an honorable man who treated everyone he met with respect. Review this compilation of civic rules by President Washington, then see if we act as he recommends. Do we use the same rules for civic engagement when we discuss timely and challenging issues in today’s political climate? Do we preserve his legacy of civility? A Google search for ‘George Washington and civility’ will provide many sources to review this document compiled by our first President as a young man.

July 18, 2010

In a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. FEC, will have a far-reaching effect on the way corporations and unions spend money advertising in candidate elections. A further impact of this decision will allow this unlimited spending to be done in secret. It is the position the the League of Women Voters that fair and clean elections, determined by the votes of American citizens, is the center of our democracy. The League position is that secret money has no place in American democracy and that corporations and unions should have to stand by their ads just as candidates are required under a ‘stand by your ad’ system. Those who are trying to influence public opinion through campaign advertising should be easily identified. For more information on this issue, visit the League national website, www.lwv.org. On the home page click on the left column under “Money and Elections.’

July 25, 2010

In the wake of Citizens United v. FEC, corporations and unions gained new freedom to influence elections through unlimited and unreported spending. The League is concerned that this Supreme Court decision will have some unintended consequences. Corporations who have received federal bailout money will be able to influence federal elections. This is a conflict of interest. There is no requirement that a candidate, corporation or union disclose any working relationship. The League position is that all political advertising should be clear as to who funded the message. And finally, League is concerned that this decision also allows foreign corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money, secretly, to influence the outcome of our elections. Currently, the Disclosure Act has been introduced in the House to address these fair election concerns. For more information visit the National League website at www.lwv.org.



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