Thank you for the investigative series on problems with the Louisiana budget and tax code. There was a time when the public’s interest mattered in our political life more than it does now. That was when politicians were not so dependent on wealthy special interests to fund campaigns, and when public debate and public opinion were not so dominated by issues-ads sponsored by those same wealthy special interests.

In those days gone by, we could expect the public interest to at least be a serious part of the legislative debate. Now we are more reliant than ever upon the fifth estate — the press — to keep collective, community interests as part of our public life. At a time when corporate concentration of media ownership and a fragmented Internet-based culture of news dissemination are diminishing the influence of the traditional press, The Advocate is a beacon of hope.

What we need is a constitutional amendment to redress the shocking transfer of political power to wealthy individuals and to corporations by the U.S. Supreme Court in its disastrous Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions of the past few years. In the meantime, we are relying on your good work to keep the public interest as part of our political culture.

David Kirshner

board member, Common Cause Louisiana

Baton Rouge