Federal campaigns: keep money, politics separate

By: Steven Goodman-Columnist, Sophomore

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a decision on the case of McCutcheon v. FEC.

To most of you, that case name probably doesn’t mean much, but it boils down to whether or not there should be restrictions on financial contributions to political campaigns.

Thursday, April 4, the Supreme Court decided on the latter. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits to federal campaign contributions.

Based on the majority opinion, which was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court stuck to a very narrow view on this issue.

While the court did assess whether or not unlimited contributions could cause corruption, Roberts stated that restrictions on these contributions should be limited to only “direct corruption,” such as quid pro quo bribery.

While bribery is the most obvious way limitless donations could lead to corruption, issues can arise in many different ways. Allowing for candidates to receive astronomically huge contributions from wealthy individuals will almost surely lead to an unfair advantage for certain candidates who receive these contributions.

The candidate who receives the most money in a campaign will be able to travel the most. This means he or she can interact with the most voters and make a true connection with thousands of voters in a way that the candidate with the least amount of contributions will not be able to.

This unfair advantage will ultimately cause, if it hasn’t already, candidates to fall out of the race due to a lack of funding.

It is this specific reason that I’m in favor of placing limits on contributions to election campaigns.

Sure, both candidates may wind up receiving nearly the same amount of money in contributions, but it is much more likely that one will win out over the other in terms of fundraising efforts that bundle vast sums of essential campaigning money.

Money is, of course, a major part of running a successful campaign, no matter which office a candidate is running for.

The amount of money should be limited, but it should never be completely dropped, leaving the candidate to fund his or her entire campaign out-of-pocket.

So while money is an essential part of running for any office from governor to president, it should be limited to some degree.

Allowing candidates to receive an unlimited total amount of money will only lead to trouble. If not now, it will certainly have an impact in the near future.