In their Dec. 28 op-ed, which advocated “real time” disclosure of campaign contributions, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voiced the popular perception that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is the main scourge of American politics because it allowed independent groups to raise and spend as much money as they want on elections.

The real curse in American politics is the Supreme Court’s 1976Buckley v. Valeo decision, which severely restricts the amount of money a candidate can receive except from his or her own pockets. Unless candidates have deep pockets, they are like a starving army — vulnerable to defeat when attacked by forces with superior resources.

Rodney A. Smith, Washington