Contributions encounter fewer restrictions

KIMT NEWS 3 – While some believe it’s a first amendment right, others are saying it’s a slippery slope that may deter some folks from running for office.

An infringement on our constitutional right, that’s the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s latest decision to remove the caps on how much someone can contribute to their political cause.

“If you want to give money to someone, that is your free speech because the number one right we have in this country is freedom of speech. In a republic or democracy you must be able to allow people to speak that. It is the most liberal right we have, the least restrictive and money is a part of it,” said John Lee, Political Science Instructor for Mason City High School.

In past years, contributors were capped by a limit of $48,000 to individual candidates and $123,000 to political groups.

While there is still a limit to how much can be given to a single candidate in a year at $2,600, you can donate to as many as you would like, totaling as much as you would like. For one area state representative however, she believes it shouldn’t make a difference on the minds of voters.

“Even in my short time, I’ve seen people really getting involved in things like money and the fundraising and I don’t think that’s as effective as really the grassroots organization that you gather, getting to know your constituents going on meeting people I think that really has a large impact,” said State Sen. Amanda Regan, (D) Mason City.

The money is flowing and even though some believe this will only open the floodgates for excessive spending to gain political leverage, others say it’s still an equal opportunity for all to take part in.

“Money is going to go up, more advertisements, more yard signs, more all of that on both sides of the aisle,” said Lee.

According to Lee, he says he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Supreme Court do away with the remaining restrictions which limit how much money can be given to individual candidates.

He says it’s only a matter of time before they realize any restrictions of this nature are still infringing on our first amendment rights.

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