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An icon to conservatives across America, Ronald Reagan advocate Richard Viguerie, says it was Americans who were victorious on Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that some limits on campaign donations should be removed.
“Today, we saw a rare victory for the American people in the Supreme Court decision when they struck down the overall limits on amounts an individual can contribute to campaigns,” Viguerie told WND.
“Corruption in government is not the result of individuals having too much freedom, but government having too much power,” he said.
The decision struck the federal “‘aggregate limits” on donations, and the James Madison Center, which argued for the limits to be dissolved, said it’s a simple matter of fairness, and the right Americans hold to support the candidate or candidates they choose.
“Though an individual may legally give $5,200 to each candidate in a two year election cycle, the aggregate limit restricts his total contributions to candidates to $48,600. Thus, an individual may give the full legal amount to only nine candidates. … The court found no government interest in aggregate limits. … the aggregate limits serve no constitutionally permissible purpose,” the center explained.
James Bopp, Jr., lead attorney for RNC, added, “This is a great triumph for the First Amendment. A robust republic requires free speech and association, which means no limits on how many candidates an individual may support with a legal contribution. Congress allows contributions to nine candidates, but not 10. How could giving to candidate No. 10 cause any corruption if giving to candidates one through nine doesn’t?”
Viguerie, who will be addressing the Heritage Foundation on April 11 on the subject of his new book, “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” said, “The left is acting as if this is the end of democracy. However, the opposite is true.”
He continued, “Today’s decision was a victory for grass roots democracy. The left is decrying this decision because they long ago became unhinged from the U.S.Constitution.”
Viguerie, who revolutionized fundraising for the GOP and played a key role in Reagan’s victory through his direct mail marketing efforts, had a suggestion, too, for progressives.
“If the left doesn’t like this decision – change the Constitution,” he said.
The decision earned the justices a scorching by interests including the Sunlight Foundation, Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who lines up with Democrats.
“What world are the five conservative Supreme Court justices living in?” Sanders said in a posting on Politicususa, “To equate the ability of billionaires to buy elections with ‘freedom of speech’ is totally absurd.”
McCain warned that the decision will result in “scandals involving corrupt public officials and the unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions.”
Those praising the decision included Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. He said, “Today’s decision is an important first step toward restoring the voice of candidates and party committees and a vindication for all those who support robust, transparent political discourse. I am pleased that the court agreed that limits on how many candidates or committees a person may support unconstitutionally burden core First Amendment political activities. When free speech is allowed to flourish, our democracy is stronger.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the opinion that controlled, saying that individuals’ rights are important.
“Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects,” Roberts wrote. “If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades – despite the profound offense such spectacles cause – it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”
Roberts found it made no sense that someone could give the limited amount to nine candidates, but not the 10th.