I was pleased with The Sun's editorial stand on campaign finance transparency ("Self-interest trumps democracy," July 18). However, I wish you had pointed out how much the status quo hurts both parties.
The flood of unlimited, undisclosed money affects the primaries as well as general elections. It controls who can run and what positions they can take, limiting the choices for all voters.
The Republican presidential primaries illustrate the point. Few Republicans seem very happy with Mitt Romney. Yet no stronger candidate would take on the financial muscle of Mr. Romney and his Wall Street supporters. Of the candidates that did compete against him, the ones who lasted longest were not the best but simply the ones with billionaire sponsors.
The Republican presidential primaries were less a battle of ideas than a battle of cash. While the GOP may see general election benefits from its superior funding sources, this system will likely produce an increasingly mediocre series of candidates.
There are consequences even for the votes of incumbent legislators. Since anyone could face a contested primary from someone with limitless funds from undisclosed sources, it's best not to risk offense to any wealthy interests. And that's where gridlock comes from.
This system is not working for either Democrats or Republicans. But rank-and-file Republicans seem to be the biggest losers, because they don't actually get to pick their own candidates any longer.
Bill Adams, Ellicott City