ALBANY, N.Y. – Capital Region residents rallied at the Capitol Wednesday in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission case.
In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court struck down the federal limits on overall campaign contributions by individuals. The decision frees up ordinary Americans to further support their political causes but also allows wealthy donors to have an even greater impact.
One side is calling it a major First Amendment victory while critics are dubbing it the end of democracy.
Capital Region residents who rallied are members of a nationwide movement against the decision. Numerous groups such as Occupy Albany, 350.org and moveon.org came out to voice their opposition to the ruling.
"This is an even greater insult to our ongoing efforts to keep democracy real for the average person," Betty Head said.
Head said when contribution caps are thrown out and candidates have access to unlimited amounts of money, the floodgates are wide open for corruption and incredible influence.
The Court left in place a $5,200 limit on the amount individuals can give to a single candidate in a campaign cycle, but with the aggregate limit struck down, someone can give that amount to as many candidates as they want.