Lobbyists in control of nation's capitol

There will not be major tax reform this year, or next, or the year after that. It has been known and documented since the days when Moby Dick was a minnow that the lobbyists and bureaucrats set the agenda in and control Washington, D.C., not the politicians we send there to do those things.

Lobbying is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to the Center for Responsible Politics (a nonprofit organization that tracks those trying to influence our democratic process), in the first six months of 2017, 10,400 registered lobbyists spent (gave) $1,657,260,107. That is 1.657 billion bucks! In the second quarter of this year, 9,460 registered lobbyists spent $715,358,416. It is unknown how much money lobbyists who are not registered give away (spend) each year. On their top 100 list of recipients of contributions from lobbyists in 2016, our very own Senator John Thune was number 20 on the list, raking in a cool $278,519. In 2014, Thune received $89,907 and Mike Rounds received $91,633 from lobbyists.

The question remains: Do lobbyists own the politicians in Washington, D.C.? You decide.

David Hall

Box Elder

Statues a painful reminder for some

No one is trying to change history by removing statues or changing name of landmarks, but instead, removing daily, painful reminders of the brutalization of some of the ancestors of living Americans by inhumane government policies.

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Imagine how you would feel if most of your ancestors were wiped out by genocide or were considered three-fifths of a human being and statues still existed today to honor those who committed those atrocities. 

Barbara Basketfield

Rapid City

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