Markham McIntyre, executive director of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s political-action committee, was quoted in The Seattle Times saying, “We have a dysfunctional, toxic environment (at the council) and employers … want a return to good government.” I think what McIntyre wants to say is that employers want a good return on government. But government in a democracy is not an investment, and the will of the people is not about return on investment.
Council members represent people in their districts. Sometimes, the interests and wishes of citizens differ from those of the Chamber of Commerce. This is neither dysfunctional nor toxic. It is called “democracy.” For a corporation to spend $1.45 million to influence votes in a Seattle election is toxic, and a system that allows such manipulation is dysfunctional.
The U.S. Supreme Court has taken the position that corporations are people. Until this is changed, it puts an additional burden on citizens to be hypervigilant. We need to exercise great care in seeing how our opinions are being manipulated by big money behind the scenes. Let’s give thoughtful deliberation to candidates’ positions and let our hearts decide whether they truly are in our best interest.
Leonard Russell Bordeaux, Seattle