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Guest Opinion

Take a stand against big money in local politics


As a longtime resident of Levittown and a voter in the 140th District, I kept current on the issues regarding the special election for the state representative seat and the campaigns of the two candidates running.

One issue in particular stood out to me as being something so important I felt the need to address it.

As the basis for this opinion piece, I will cite the fact that one candidate for state representative has been funded by outside political action groups to the tune of $80,000.

Further, I will explain where I stand and argue against what I believe is a serious problem with our elections and politics in general.

The first thing I do after reading these articles is ask myself, what is the intent of the editor when publishing content?

What are the consequences of this election for Levittown, Pa.? Is it good for Levittown or bad for Levittown that a political candidate is receiving large monetary donations from outside of its district?

I believe the answer is simple — it’s not good. It is clear that one candidate received large amounts of money from entities outside our area to help him succeed in winning this election.

In contrast, the opposing candidate, after speaking with her personally, informed me she is running a campaign with just north of $10,000 to work with. To me, $70,000 dollars is a large difference.

Now let’s get into the subject matter and straight to the point. One candidate received money from large political action committees that may or may not share the sense of community the people of Levittown feel, or care about what we need. The money donated to the other candidate has come mostly from the community in small donations by people living here.

Why is outside money bad? Because it always comes with strings attached. A candidate who takes large amounts of money from special interests is beholden to those interests, very often to the detriment of the interests of the people they are supposed to be representing.

This means we lose our power of self governance. We forfeit our interests whenever we vote in a candidate who is bankrolled by large donations. It is my opinion that some candidates feel entitled to elected office. They have other people running their campaign for them.

I prefer a candidate who is on the ground putting in the hard work running their campaign, and grinding every day to earn every vote.

If we have a choice to pick someone to represent us who is not backed by big money PACs we should recognize that they will be free to represent us with no interference.

I’ve lived in Levittown for 40 years. I think it’s time for us to stand up together and say, honestly, enough is enough with outside influence in our politics. We need to self-govern, not accept money from organizations outside our community that come with strings attached, and stop allowing people to tell us how to do things around here.

I refuse to tolerate that. I think the majority of us here in Lower Bucks would agree. We need more people who share our values — and are not out of touch with our issues — to represent us.

Career politicians need to go. Donors will use their influence over their elected officials, to enrich themselves, regardless of whether it saps the life out of our community.

We have seen huge changes over the last 50 years. Our standard of living is getting worse and worse, our community is being divided purposely, and our money doesn’t go as far as it has before.

We need to take a stand against the big money politics that continues to fail us.

Electing representatives who are humble, with strong values, would be a good start and a welcome change from the same nonsense. We need real jobs not part-time side hustles.

I urge everyone to reach out to their candidates for office and ask them: “What are you going to do for me?”

And don’t let them get away with giving you the same cookie-cutter softball responses.

Challenge each of them and make a decision.

At the end of the day, money doesn’t win elections. People do. Votes do. If they think they can just dump money on us and buy us out, they are wrong. It’s what’s wrong with politics today.

Christopher Dow lives in Levittown.

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