To the editor;

At a time of unprecedented partisanship, Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters are all in agreement on one issue, according to a recent Hill-Harris X poll. Voters view a corrupt political establishment as a bigger problem than both healthcare and gun violence.

The effects of Citizens United have been to undermine accountability and transparency in elections and to increase the outsized influence of industry lobbyists and their dark money contributions on politicians. Dave Rutigliano was given an opportunity to help clean up campaign financing in CT with bill HB 5589 (2017).

Here’s what HB 5589 (2017), was designed to do: “1. Allowing candidates to compete without reliance on special interest money; 2. Allowing statewide officers and legislators the ability to make decisions free of the influence of, or the appearance that they have been influenced by, donations from special interests; 3. Restoring public confidence in the electoral and legislative processes; 4. Increasing meaningful citizen participation; and 5. Providing the public with useful and timely disclosure of campaign finances.”

Rep. Rutigliano voted “no.” He voted against the public interest in favor of wealthy corporations and individuals.

We need a state representative who will fight for ethical, transparent, accountable government. I believe for the CT-123rd District that person is Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox. She believes in public financing of elections to level the playing field. Public financing through the Citizens’ Election Program helps to prevent special interests from controlling our elections, while encouraging small dollar donors to get involved.

As associate professor for legal studies at Quinnipiac University, Sujata has taught legal ethics and constitutional law: two topics that are under siege in the current political climate. We all should be able to agree that powerful institutions that benefit from public support have moral responsibilities to the public in how they use their power: ethics, accountability, transparency, truth-telling.

Sujata supports clean elections, strengthening ethics commissions at both the state and municipal levels, and strengthening the reporting and enforcement requirements for lobbyists and state contractors.

I trust Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox to work toward building a government we can trust.

Nancy Gardiner