Letter: Neal raises funds for worthy cause

Posted

To the editor:

The Eagle ran an oped column by David Daley (May 9) presenting his views on Congressman Neal's fundraising. However, in condemning the current focus on money in politics, Daley omitted a number of critical facts.

First, he probably doesn't realize that he and Richie have something in common — they both favor campaign finance reform. While Congressman Neal has voted in favor of all campaign finance reform legislation during his time in Congress and supports overturning the Supreme Court's despised Citizens United ruling, he has to work with existing law. It's a fact of life that today's Democrats are obligated to raise money, so it is unrealistic and patently foolish, to unilaterally disarm in the face of well-funded Republican opposition. The stakes are just too high.

I am sure that Mr. Daley was delighted when Democrats took over the Congress last fall, but those victories did not come cheap. As a Democratic Party leader, Richie is obligated to raise money for the party. In the last election cycle, he raised and contributed more than $5 million for Democrats across the country. With the 2020 elections looming, he has already raised over $250,000 for the party to maintain and expand Democrats' momentum in the Congress and to defeat Trump.

Further, Daley was flat-out wrong when he charged that Congressman Neal passed a bill prohibiting the IRS from creating a free-file system to benefit H&R Block. The IRS does outsource its free-file system to companies like H&R Block because it does not have the resources to manage its own, but nowhere in the bill does it say that the IRS can never do so, and it can terminate the agreement at any time.

By the way, in his first months as chairman, he has held the first Ways and Means hearing on climate change in a dozen years, the first hearing on Trump's tax law, and has passed bills to control prescription drug prices and to expand retirement savings.

I respect the work that the congressman has done, and am proud to have him represent our district.

Mary K. O'Brien,

Pittsfield

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