Letter to the Editor

Court wrong on campaign donations

On April 2, the United States Supreme Court rendered its decision in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC. By a vote of 5 to 4 the court struck down limits on the total amount of money an individual may spend on political candidates as a violation of free speech rights, a decision sure to increase the role of money in political campaigns.

I would submit that this is an overly broad interpretation of the First Amendment. This amendment makes it possible for an individual to vigorously criticize the government without fear of penalty and imprisonment. It should not give a very wealthy person the opportunity to provide multiple candidates with the funds they need to use the media to inflict their campaign advertisements and points of view on the rest of us for 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Legend has it as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked by a bystander what sort of government the Founding Fathers had created. Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it." Thanks to an unfortunate determination by our highest court, we have taken a step away from being a republic and took one toward being an oligarchy of the rich.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau