Supreme Court Voids Cam­paign Spend­ing Lim­its

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE -

On April 2nd, Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) blasted a Supreme Court rul­ing that voided le­gal lim­its on con­tri­bu­tions by in­di­vid­ual donors to po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.

“Free­dom of speech, in my view, does not mean the free­dom to buy the United States govern­ment,” San­ders said.

The rul­ing gives wealthy donors like the bil­lion­aires Charles and David Koch more power to in­flu­ence elec­tions. An ear­lier rul­ing in Cit­i­zens United vs. FEC re­sulted in a record $7 bil­lion be­ing spent in the 2012 elec­tion cy­cle, in­clud­ing at least $400 mil­lion by the Koch broth­ers alone.

“What world are the five con­ser­va­tive Supreme Court jus­tices liv­ing in?” San­ders asked. “To equate the abil­ity of bil­lion­aires to buy elec­tions with ‘free­dom of speech’ is to­tally ab­surd. The Supreme Court is pav­ing the way to­ward an oli­garchic form of so­ci­ety in which a hand­ful of bil­lion­aires like the Koch broth­ers and Shel­don Adel­son will con­trol our po­lit­i­cal process.”

At is­sue in the lat­est case was a limit on how much donors may give to all can­di­dates and po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions dur­ing a two-year federal elec­tion cy­cle. The cap now is $123,200. That in­cludes a sep­a­rate $48,600 limit on con­tri­bu­tions to in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates dur­ing 2013 and 2014. A sep­a­rate $2,600 limit on how much one in­di­vid­ual may give to any spe­cific can­di­date for Congress in any elec­tion is not di­rectly at stake in this case.

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