Low voter turnout, “drain the swamp,” “drugmakers dampen Drug Enforcement Administration rules” – this is not news. Special deals occur almost daily at all levels of government. The system no longer represents the voter. Democracy is at risk. Because of money and lobbyists, common-sense issues, supported by huge majorities of voters, do not get passed.

Lobbying is an essential source of information. Legislators cannot be expected to know details of all legislation. They must rely on citizens and those affected by the legislation to provide valuable insight at hearings. Money given to the decision-makers by those paying lobbyists simply corrupts the process.

Imagine a courtroom where judges listen to arguments. The arguments are essential; however, paying the judges, by those presenting information, corrupts the process.

Tie paid lobbying and political contributions together. If an interest hires a paid lobbyist, then that interest, or anyone associated with that interest, organization or group, should not directly or indirectly be allowed to make any contributions to those making the decisions. This should apply to all levels of government.

Maybe more citizens will vote.

Robert F. Bourque