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Information is empowering

Dear Editor:

Disclosure of the campaign contributions that fund our political candidates is the bedrock of our system of making politicians more open and honest. As some Aspenites note in your article “Internet donation information makes some Aspenites uneasy,” (Oct. 30) the availability of this information has improved dramatically thanks to the Internet.

Today, a simple Google search can tell you who contributes to your congressman, senator or a candidate for the presidency. Unfortunately, some of those same Aspenites feel that, due to a personal sense of embarrassment around their campaign contributions, this information ought to be less accessible over the Internet. Our country needs more transparency and more availability around the money that funds the campaigns of our politicians, not less.

While one contribution that a person may regret at a later date may cause embarrassment, making it more difficult to find campaign finance information takes away the ability of citizens to know which private interests are funding a political candidate.

The availability of campaign contribution data across the Internet is empowering citizens to hold politicians accountable. We cannot sacrifice transparency because a few citizens become embarrassed about their contributions later on.

Paul Blumenthal

The Sunlight Foundation

Washington, D.C.


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