Locals to rally against influence of money on politics April 12

Online Staff Report

Local activists will stage a rally by the Trolley Station near Riverview Ice House, 324 N. Madison St., downtown Rockford, at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 12, as part of a national day of action against the influence of money in politics.

The demonstration will include street theater, poetry readings and an opportunity for citizens to speak.

The event is organized by local activists involved with the Represent.Us IL-16/17 District Committee and is being held in conjunction with similar rallies in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 April 2 in McCutcheon v. FEC that putting a limit on the amount of financial contributions individuals can make to political campaigns is unconstitutional, as such restrictions would violate the First Amendment right to free speech. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the legal opinion that “The government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.”

Meantime, justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, warning the ruling “creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. 310 (2010), today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

Represent.Us is a national, nonpartisan anti-corruption organization. Represent.Us uses public education and grassroots organizing to advocate for an overhaul of American campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws.

Posted April 11, 2014

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