LETTER: Billionaires behind the campaign curtain

To the editor:

A recent John L. Smith column is so important that I want to repeat part of it here (“Searchlight slugger dodges big target,” April 6 Review-Journal). Mr. Smith wrote that there are people in our society who are going to use their money to try to buy the country, literally.

The column cited Jane Mayer’s 2004 New Yorker profile, which stated: “The Kochs (brothers David and Charles) are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry — especially environmental regulation.” Then Mr. Smith quotes Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who said, “These two multibillionaires may spend hundreds of millions of dollars rigging the political process for their own benefit. And they may believe that whoever has the most money gets the most free speech.”

Mr. Smith points out that we have our own version of the Koch brothers right here in Las Vegas — Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.

People need to know that many of the political advertisements trying to get the American people to think a specific way are paid for by these people. If you hear a message enough times, or if the message is graphic enough, you might start thinking that the message is right. But it is probably just the direction that some very rich people want you to go in, not necessarily the right thing for you or for the country.

Mr. Smith also cited Sen. Reid saying, “I will do whatever it takes to expose their campaign to rig the American political system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.” I stand by Sen. Reid and Mr. Smith.