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FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 19-Jan. 25

This week, readers sent us comments on a recent Supreme Court decision, political corruption and other readers’ comments. In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive.

Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Courting Disaster?

Your title for your story about the Supreme Court’s ruling on campaign ads, etc. ["Court’s Decision: Keep FactCheck Busy," Jan. 21] is a ray of ruefully true humor cast on a dark decision. So much for conservative jurisprudence — smart guys who can’t see the forest for the trees. Or who just like big businesses better than individual citizens. I am disgusted, dispirited and, frankly, concerned for our democracy.

Charles Quinn
Columbus, Ohio

I am so upset at the Supreme Court ruling. This opens up the flood gates to those senators that will take advantage of the "free money" that will be used to buy Congress.

There should be a list for all Americans to see which senators/lawmakers are taking money from special interest groups/big business.

We as Americans have a right to know!

Karen Woolfolk
Louisville, Ky.

FactCheck.org responds: The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org.

Mailbag Melee

A writer in your recent mailbag [Jan. 12-Jan. 18] suggested that Factcheck.org was being too fair and balanced in covering ads in the Massachusetts special election. How is that even possible? Nevertheless, he suggested that your detailed report of Senator Brown’s actions, the proposed amendment and then his vote for the bill, were somehow irrelevant since his opponent’s ad apparently reported only the amendment as his "intention" and values and feelings. Perhaps someone should remind the fellow from Oregon that this site is FACTcheck.org not INTENTIONcheck.org. Presenting all the detail and letting the readers decide is real democracy. Leaving out FACTS because they might allow the reader to not come to some proscribed understanding is anti-democracy as well as manipulative.

Paul Garner
Jensen Beach, Fla.

This is in response to the letter from David Piligian of Ellicott City, Md. [Jan 12-Jan. 18], regarding climate change and his skepticism of its existence.

Mr. Piligian cited 35- and 36-year-old articles from Newsweek and Time, respectively, which spoke of the approach of a new Ice Age "…based on ‘trusted’ scientists and scientific observations of the time, in which the word ‘consensus’ was prominently displayed. … At that time not only was the planet seen to be cooling radically, but this cooling was going to continue into the foreseeable future." The key phrase in that statement is, "At that time." We have better science today than back then. That was then, this is now. The "perma"frost is melting in Alaska, and the polar ice caps and glaciers are melting! What more proof of global warming does anyone need?

Climate change is real, and we can’t put off any longer getting serious about doing something about it.

Linda Andrews
Canterbury, Conn.


Weighing In on Corruption

I was searching the archives for an article about Democrat versus Republican corruption. As a Libertarian, I tire of hearing the left and right screech about what party has been more corrupt over time. I think it’s important to look at that issue over the country’s history, not just one or two administrations, or one or two decades; otherwise the facts get skewed.

I found a reference in Wikipedia about party corruption, and counted the references for each party, and they were about even over the last 224 years. I think it’s important to make a point that power corrupts all humans, and no party can claim to be less corrupt. A FactCheck article about this would be great!

Brian Martucci
Incline Village, Nev.

FactCheck.org responds: We’re only in the business of checking facts, not weighing in on ethics. However, we certainly hold the position that neither party has cornered the market on misleading claims.