One of the most important issues in the elections of 2012 will be the influence of corporations and the wealthy on our elected officials and government. Regardless of whether we are supporters of the tea party, Occupy Wall Street, or somewhere in between, more and more of us recognize that our elected representatives do not seem to represent the interests of the vast majority of Americans. From Supreme Court decisions to tax provisions, the favored positions of wealthy and corporate interests have become laws, regulations and official policies due to access and influence not available to most of us. These effects developed over decades with different parties controlling the government. One way to learn about how this happened is to listen to the first three episodes of the new PBS show “Bill Moyers and Company.” You can also view the shows at www.billmoyers.com. Although Moyers’ opinions tend to be left-leaning, he gathers information from sources across the political spectrum. Upcoming guests include former Reagan budget director David Stockman, and former banker and Citigroup bank chairman John Reed. It does not matter whether we think solutions will come from libertarians, socialists or some moderate other group. We won’t be able to fix the situation until we understand how it developed, who is favored and what they have created. I welcome other suggestions readers of this newspaper may have for reliable, objective sources of information regarding the excessive influence of the wealthy and corporations on our politics and government. This includes how the policies created at their behest have harmed or disadvantaged the rest of us, and how we can interact with our politicians and the election process to change it.

Rob Peale

Readfield