MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Trending

October 11, 2013

EDITORIALS: Uncertain future for campaign finance; U.S. workers lag behind

Supreme Court could reshape American politics in campaign case

(Mankato, Minn., Free Press)

Creating more distrust and cynicism of American politics wouldn’t be difficult today. We would need only to remove all restrictions on how much money wealthy donors can provide elected officials.

The U.S. Supreme Court may be deciding just that as it considers a challenge to campaign finance laws that limit how much individuals may donate, in total, to candidates for federal office.

Critics of removing the cap say it will legalize bribery, while proponents contend the government shouldn’t limit the free speech of donors who want to talk with their money.

Supreme Court observers say the justices may be leaning in the direction of removing the restrictions given their ruling in January 2010 to erase limits on how much corporations and unions can spend on independent groups influencing elections. Two years later, those parties and groups poured $5.2 billion into campaigns.

The case argued before the court this week started with an Alabama businessman, Shaun McCutcheon, with a zeal for supporting conservative candidates. He wanted to donate the maximum amount to a number of congressional candidates. But he was limited to 16 candidates because he hit the cap on donations that any individual may make in a two-year election cycle - $48,600 to candidates and $74,600 to parties.

McCutcheon has allies in the Republican National Committee and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. A National Public Radio report says they're asking the court to approve a campaign finance standard that would likely remove all limits - individual and aggregate.

Of course, after the court's decision in the Citizens United case, McCutcheon can contribute as much money as he wants to groups that in turn promote particular candidates. So, one might argue, he's not really restricted, though he says he can be more effective by giving money directly to candidates.

Text Only
Trending
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks