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Oust the SuperPACs

RobKelly announced Mr. Benny's Steak   Lobster House MattesIllinois thshe is running for Jesse JacksJr.'s 2nd Congressional District sefrom

Robin Kelly announced at Mr. Benny's Steak & Lobster House in Matteson, Illinois, that she is running for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s 2nd Congressional District seat from which he resigned. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: March 15, 2013 1:19PM

The SuperPACs attempting to influence Illinois 2nd Congressional District voters are a prime example of why unlimited outside spending has no place in our elections [“Robin Kelly releases TV ad as SuperPAC hits Halvorson, Hutchinson on gun issue”; Feb. 7].

A local race that ought to be decided by Illinoisans living in the Second District is being flooded with money not just from outside the Second District, but also from outside the state. Before the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, political action committees, which open channels for outside donations, could not accept donations larger than $5,000 per donor. But now we’re seeing overwhelming floods of money drown out the voices of ordinary Illinoisans.

The only way to stop this assault on our democratic principles is to overturn that court decision with a constitutional amendment. The Illinois Legislature can do its part by passing a resolution calling on our congressional delegation to send such an amendment to the states.

Twelve municipalities across Illinois — from Chicago to Carbondale to Kane County — already have called on the Legislature to do this. Illinois would be the 12th state to oppose the Citizens United decision.

Anu Dathan,

Illinois Public Interest Research Group

Valid studies on minimum wage

A recent letter to the editor from Charles Kuyper criticizing the Employment Policies Institute only serves to embarrass the author and the causes he believes in.

Contrary to Kuyper’s claim that EPI lacks third-party support, our advisory board boasts some of the country’s top labor economists, including a former Congressional Budget Office director.

We have a 20-year history of releasing credible studies from respected academics at top-tier universities across the country, including Brown, Cornell, Harvard and the University of Chicago.

Our conclusions on the consequences of a higher minimum wage find overwhelming support in the academic record.

For instance, David Neumark (UC-Irvine) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve) report that 85 percent of most the credible research on this topic from the last two decades shows a loss of job opportunities following a wage hike.

Michael Saltsman,

Research Director,

Employment Policies Institute

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