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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 30, 2006

Contribution limits should apply to all

State lawmakers say it was a drafting mistake when they passed a bill last year that severely restricts the amount of money local corporations can put into political action committees.

So they are trying to repeal the restriction and open the doors once again to generous corporate support of these committees.

Whether it was an accident or not, the new law makes sense and should not be repealed. It simply places the same limits on corporation as applies to individual donors. That means $1,000 in corporate bucks during the primary and another $1,000 during the general election.

Unlike individual donors, corporations can, if they wish, pass on the expense of political donations to their customers.

And these corporations then might feel free to pump thousands upon thousands of dollars into political action committees, which in turn support favored candidates and issues.

Defenders of no limits say this is a free-speech issue. But what we end up with is a system in which some political speech is far louder and more persuasive than others.

What makes sense is a level playing field where the same contribution limits apply to everyone, from individuals to corporations and unions.

Leave the law as it is.