Dear Editor:

This letter is not about debating any specific issues, but rather transparency when dealing with them.

When a person expresses an opinion in a “Letter to the Editor” regarding political matters portrayed as nonpartisan, the writer’s political biases are irrelevant to the reader.

On the other hand, if that same writer also solicits the signature of the reader for the express purpose of supporting the writer’s political view portrayed as nonpartisan, isn’t the reader betrayed if instead their signature is ultimately used for partisan political purposes? 

This is the situation surrounding David Barnhill’s “Letter to the Editor” June 19 “Petitions look to strengthen democracy.” 

Mr. Barnhill, a self-proclaimed progressive activist in the North Woods of Wisconsin, as well as a leader in Northwoods Progressives, an alliance of some 20 political groups exclusively engaged in left-wing causes, failed to provide even the slightest mention as to his political allegiance. 

Barnhill wrote, “One petition proposes fair voting maps drawn by an impartial agency. The other petition addresses the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling known as Citizens United. If a sufficient number of signatures are collected, the city is obligated to put the referendums on the ballot in 2020 and give citizens a voice on the issues. Polls show that the majority of voters of both parties support these initiatives. Where ballot referendums have been held, they are generally supported by around 70% of the voters. If you are interested in signing the petitions, know someone who might be or want more information, email . . .”

The petition to overturn Citizens United is spearheaded across the state by Wisconsin United to Amend (WIUTA). Its website states WIUTA is a grassroots, nonpartisan, transideological, volunteer-based organization.

However, WIUTA is an organizational arm controlled by its parent organization, American Promise, a national network with the mission of overturning Citizens United and makes no representation that it is nonpartisan.

American Promise is partnered with Action Network, which I have noted in previous letters is this nation’s premier online organizing platform that strictly partners with socialist, communist and progressive activist organizations to provide strategic support to help them advance their agendas.

So just how politically neutral is the Citizens United issue?

According to Action Network’s website, “We are an organization with a mission to help progressives succeed in their campaigns. The Action Network is only open for progressive individuals, organizations and candidates. We’re not interested in helping your opponents win.”

Frank Gabl

Prospect Heights, Ill.