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Should there be a limit on campaign donations from individuals?

October 10, 2013

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

The Supreme Court revisited the issue of campaign finance in early October, hearing arguments on a case that asks whether there should be a limit on the total amount that an individual can donate to political candidates and political parties during an election cycle.

The case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, pits wealthy Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon against the federal agency that monitors and enforces the laws concerning campaign finances.

McCutcheon likes to give money to candidates and political committees. He has donated thousands of dollars to campaigns; campaign finance laws prevent him from contributing more. Federal law limits the total amount that an individual can give during an election cycle.

McCutcheon argues that the money he spends on campaigns is how he voices his public opinion and that his right to free expression is protected by the First Amendment. He says the limit on the aggregate amount, or total amount, of donations infringes on his rights. In 2010, the Supreme Court decided in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that "independent" spending on elections was a form of free speech protected by the Constitution. The decision allowed corporations and unions to spend an unlimited amount on candidate elections.

 In 1974, after the fallout from the Watergate scandal, laws were enacted that created the structure for campaign finance regulations. The laws capped the amount that an individual can directly donate to any one candidate or to a political party.

The laws restrict individuals to a total of $123,200 in donations to candidates, national party organizations and certain political committees. Of that $123,200 total, only $48,600 can be donated to candidates. Furthermore, the law sets a limit of $2,600 that a person can give to an individual candidate for federal office for each election cycle. Simply put, a person can legally donate a maximum $2,600 to 18 candidates.

These measures are aimed at reducing the possibility that a wealthy individual essentially pays for a candidate’s victory and later benefits from the lawmaker’s influence.

In 2012, McCutcheon gave about $33,000 to 16 congressional candidates and a similar amount to Republican Party committees. And he wants to be able to  give more than the $48,600 for candidates and $70,000 for party committees.

McCutcheon says he is fighting not the amount that a person can give to a candidate, only the aggregate limit. James Bopp Jr., who represents the Republican National Committee, which is also trying to strike down the law, argued before the court, “This is a limit on how many candidates you support, not on how much you give them.”

Bopp went on to say that McCutcheon “holds firm convictions on the proper role of government” and “opposes numerous and ill-conceived and overreaching laws.” Bopp said McCutcheon wants more “federal officeholders who share his beliefs.”

Attorney Fred Wertheimer, a proponent of campaign finance laws, argues that without the limit, “the speaker of the House or the Democratic leader of the House could go to Mr. McCutcheon and ask him for a check for well over $2 million.” “It is that relationship – that $2 million solicited by a powerful officeholder and given by a donor – that creates the corruption relationship that the court says Congress can prohibit.”

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., representing the Obama administration, which supports campaign donation limits, argued before the court that if the limits were struck down, there would be a real risk of having “a government by and for the 500 people” who will write the $3 million checks to party officials.

“It would be terrible for our democracy ... if one politician could directly solicit $3.6 million from a single donor,” said Lawrence Norden, an election-law expert with the Brennan Center, a liberal legal advocacy group in New York. “That is 70 times the median income for an American family. It would mean a tiny, tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence.”

What do you think?

Is a campaign donation a form of free speech? Should there be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign? Should there be a limit on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties? Does campaign finance regulation lead to fairer, more open elections?
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Comments
11/8/2017
Sidney/MT
Carson
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Technically there already is a limit on how much individuals can donate to campaigns. The FEC allows individuals to donate $2,700 in the primary election and $2,700 in the general election for a total of $5,400 per election cycle. I think that those who donate should have to reveal their name. If someone doesn't want to reveal their name, they can set up a limited liability company which has few discloser requirments. This allows individuals to feed millions to super PACs and not reveal their name to the public.

11/8/2017
Sidney, MT
Naomi
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
There should be a limit on how much a person can contribute to a campaign. I do believe that campaign donation are an example of free speech, but like most other ordeals, it does need to have a limit. Putting a limit on contributions can help with staying clear of corruption. I agreed with the statement, “It could mean a tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence.” That is how it could get if there is not a limit set and enforced. Everyone should have a say in who they want to support, not just a fraction of the population.

11/8/2017
Sidney/MT
Breanna
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe a campaign donation is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. The court case Buckley v. Valeo states, "spending money for political purposes as expression protected by the First Amendment," proving this to be true. McCutcheon also supports this as he argued in the case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission that "the money he spends on campaigns is how he voices his public opinion." Limiting amounts would violate rights. Therefore, a limit cannot be put on how much a person can donate to a campaign, nor should there be on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties. Campaign finance regulation does not lead to fairer, more open elections. However, the United States supports equal opportunity, not the equality of results. Anyone may donate to a campaign if they so choose, but they are not required to donate to all of them. In conclusion, people should be allowed to spend their own money as they please. It belongs to them, and therefore, they can spend it on campaigns as free speech protected by the First Amendment.

11/8/2017
Sidney/MT
Myka
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that money is a form of free speech. With that being said, there should definitely be limits on campaign donations from individuals. Whenever there is money involved, things tend to go out of hand, and there is certainly a greater risk of corruption to occur. Campaign finance regulation would be a good first step to leading citizens to a more-leveled playing field. Allowing the wealthy to effortlessly hand out unlimited amounts of money will give the candidates with connections to these well-off Americans a comfortable advantage. This thought basically refers to the outcome of an election because of one's monetary sources, which is ridiculous. This result would give a larger group of the typical citizens less of an influence than the smaller group of the wealthy citizens.

11/8/2017
Sidney/Montana
Kyle
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that there should definitely be a limit to what an individual can contribute towards a certain candidate's campaign. I fully believe that a person should be able to support whomever they choose, but it is simply unfair for one person to give a thousand dollars versus an opposing person giving a million. That being said, I also understand how money can be seen as a form of speech. But, in the sense of elections, a fair game is very important. Therefore, capping the total contributions would help highlight which candidates are truly supported by many people, not just a handful of those with deep pockets. This would also eventually lead to a decrease in campaign spending, which has become outrageously over-the-top (outrageous being multi-millions being poured in).

11/7/2017
Sidney/MT
Tierney Messmer
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that a campaign donation is definitely a free form of speech. As McCutcheon argues, money is a way to voice ones' public opinion and that expression is protected under the First Amendment. I don't think there should be a limit as to how much one can donate towards a candidate, political party, or campaign. People work hard for the money they earn, so if they choose to spend it on a campaign or candidate of their choice, they should be able to do so without restriction. After all, it is their own money that they have earned themselves, therefore they should be able to spend it how they please, even if that means giving all of their earnings to a political campaign. People may argue that campaign finance regulation will lead to more equal and fairer elections, however, ultimately, people will vote for who they agree with and support, so really it shouldn't matter how much money is given to a candidate. All in all, I don't think a limit is necessary because of the fact that people should be able to spend their money however they want, as it is their right and their form of speech is protected by the First Amendment.

11/7/2017
Sidney,MT
Tierrany
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
In my opinion, I think campaign donations are a form of free speech. Therefore, there should be no limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. Today, money is an essential element to campaigns. Along with this, there should be no limit on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties. In the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court decided that independent spending on elections was a form of free speech protected by the Constitution. With this, there is no reason an individual should have a limit on how much they can donate to a campaign or candidates and or political parties for that matter.

11/7/2017
Sidney, MT
Luke
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Since the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that independent spending on elections is a form of free speech, I don’t thing there should be limits placed on how much a person can donate to a campaign. If someone has a pile of money burning a hole in their pocket and they see a candidate or party whose stated goals align with their own interests, they should be able to donate however much they want to that person or group. If other wealthy citizens want to see someone else in power, they can donate their money to that candidate. Ultimately, allowing voters to independently finance their preferred candidate’s campaign leaves more room for the people to promote their ideas through their elected officials, furthering the representative democratic process.

11/7/2017
Sidney, MT
Madison
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think there should be regulations on how much money can be contributed to campaigns or political parties by a single individual. Even though campaign donations are a form of free speech, that doesn't mean that the small population of people who can afford to give thousands, or even millions, of dollars to campaigns should be allowed to do so. This would create an unfair election process by giving higher income individuals undue influence over the elections. However, I don't think that the restrictions should apply to how much is donated per candidate or how many candidates a single person can donate to. This takes the restrictions too far. Within the set amount, donors should be allowed to give as much or as little as they want to as many people or parties as they want. Campaign donation regulations are one step we can take towards a fairer election system.

11/7/2017
Sidney/MT
Jocee
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
A campaign donation is a form of free speech, as decided in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. I do not believe there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign, candidate, or political party. Donating money is a way of expressing your opinions on government positions and helping the candidates and/or organizations that you support. Campaign finance regulation may seem to lead to fairer, more open elections. However, non regulation may lead to a better expression of the public's opinion on government issues.

11/7/2017
Sidney/MT
Keenan
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Donating money is absolutely free speech. People need to put their money where their mouth is. As for the amount of money, I don't believe that it should be regulated. For the argument presented that the rich would then have "unprecedented power and influence", that is not true. While it is true that there are fewer rich than average people, the rich would not all be of the same ideology. It would naturally balance out. In the unlikely chance that it doesn't reach equilibrium due to the averaging out of ideologies, the few rich would still not have "unprecedented power and influence" because the masses still have the power to vote which would discourage corruption.

9/22/2017
Yuma az
Ana
Centennial middle school
Is regular and free elections is unlimited or limited

11/14/2016
Sidney/MT
Andrew
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I feel that there should be a limit to how much money can be contributed towards a campaign or a candidates platform. By having and enforcing a limit of donations one person or group can give, it will not only ensure that every person can give the same amount of money, but it will also (after a long period of time) keep the outrageous campaign spending down. If some people can give more money towards campaigns simply because they have more than the average American, it is unfair to the opposing party because that party may not have any contributors who are extremely wealthy. I feel that everybody should have their voices heard regardless of how much money they either have or are willing to put towards a campaign. Every person should be able to support their candidate, but nobody should be able to take advantage of the fact that they have a lot more money than the average citizen.

11/14/2016
Sidney, MT
Johren
Sidney High School/Mr. Faulhaber
I do believe that money is a form of free speech, but in the aspect of campaign donations, a limit is necessary to ensure the wealthy do not have a higher power in our government than the average American. The current regulations are fair and reasonable, in my opinion. Campaign finance regulation creates a more honest and fair election cycle and does not set one party, nominee, or American citizen over the other. Our elections are based on the ideals of being fair for all people regardless of any other factors determining who they are in order to best represent our wants and needs.

11/14/2016
Sidney/Montana
Laura
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
As the Supreme Court decided in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case, money is a type of speech protected by our first amendment right. If it is really a free speech, the government should not be able to tell someone how much they can or cannot give to a campaign. Some people would complain that it gives the wealthy more of a voice, but anyone who donates to a campaign would have a voice regardless of how much they gave. When everybody has a right to their speech and makes their own money, they should have the choice as to what they decide to spend their money on. If a person decides that they want to donate their entire life savings to a campaign, it should be their right to do so. I believe that campaign finance leads to an unfair and more closed election. Campaign finance makes it unfair, because one candidate may have more people willing to donate, while the other has only a few who are willing to make donations in large amounts. In the end, money is a type of speech and the owner of that speech should be the one deciding what to do with it instead of being told what to do by someone else.

11/14/2016
Sidney Montana
Kasey
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The American dream comes from the idea that we all as an individual can accomplish anything in this world if we work hard enough. This notion is possible because we like to believe that we are born on an equal playing field. Most people will tell you that the world isn’t fair and of course that is true but if it was possible to make something as fair as possible should we. The answer is yes. The presidential election must be made as fair as possible. A step to doing this would be to put a cap on the amount of money a person should be able to donate. Money is something that can make a simple election something cloudy and unclear. By not capping the amount of someone can donate can allow our system of doing thing could be influenced by the amount of money someone could give. Also if a presidential candidate couldn’t afford to stay in the race do to a lack of funding could excluded possible great candidate that could benefit our country greatly. Therefore, to keep the dream that inspires people of all economic background alive. We must ensure an equal playing field when someone is running for president.

11/14/2016
Sidney/Montana
z
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney Hgh School
I believe that if I was in the position with a large amount of money and I wanted to help a candidate and their campaign I would like to donate money to them. As that is there are several other ways I can support and promote that candidate. There is a fine line between choosing not to give a candidate money and corrupting an official. This is why I believe limits should be put on spending as for the well being of our country which is what our government is employed to do. Even though it can be passed as freedom of speech there are regulations passed on every constitutional right that we have. As a minor I recently found out that I have limited freedom speech as it is to help ensure kids don’t bully other kids in school which is great. It’s a more serious situation when it comes to donating money and the effect it has on government. Money is also a bit different in term of speech as some people have a large amount of it and other have only a bit of it. Not everyone has equal opportunity with money as speech does because almost everyone can speak their opinion. There should be a limit on specific candidate donations as it helps keeps our government honest and uncorrupt.

11/13/2016
Sidney Montana
Megan
Mr. Faulhaber
I do not think that campaign donations should be limited. Campaigns take a large amount of money and limiting donations from a single individual could lessen campaigns made. Campaigning can be a very important part of the election. This is how people find out about candidates and what they want. This could hurt campaigns and I do not agree with limiting them.

11/13/2016
Sidney, MT
Landan
Mr.Faulhaber Sidney High School
I firmly believe that campaign finance regulation leads to fairer, more open elections. The fact of the matter is that with regulation and restrictions, corruption is prevented as much as possible. In addition, the less wealthy are not disenfranchised by the extremely wealthy. With regulations limiting donation amounts, it means candidates all have fairly equal chances at raising money, and having wealthy friends does not necessarily give a candidate an unfair advantage. I support the restrictions in the status quo, and would actually almost wish to see even stricter donation limits per election cycle. I want the system to be as fair as possible to the poor who wish to have their voices and contributions heard as well.

11/12/2016
Sidney Montana
Chantel
Sidney High School/ Mr. Faulhaber
I feel there should be a limit on how much individuals donate to the candidates. In the McCutcheon case, I agree that if someone gets an amount of money from one doner, so large that they don't need to fundraise anymore, that is not fair to the other candidate. Campaigning is about fundraising and using that money for advertisements and speak outs. You need to campaign in order to win and the way to campaign is to get your message out there. Getting money from just one person also hurts you because you can't get your message out to the people that are donating money to your campaign. All in all, getting a large sum of money from one doner just hurts your campaign more than anything so I think there should be a limit on how much one person can give a candidate and this should be determined by Congress.

11/11/2016
Sidney, MT
Dawson
Mr. Faulhaber
Personally, I think that campaign donations from an individual is a form of free speech and should be allowed. There should be no limit on donations from an individual to a campaign. Money is a huge part of politics and is essential to modern elections. Also, there should be no limit on donations to candidates and politics either. People work for their money and earn it through hours upon hours of work. According to the Washington Post, in 2015 only 21% of families make for than twice the median income (washingtonpost.com).That percent includes upper-middle class and upper class. If that 21% of people want to donate large amounts of money to an election then so be it. They managed to make that money and work up to it, so more power to them on how they want to use it. The other side, would argue that the rich would then influence the elections greatly and somehow cause and uneven representation of poor or middle class families. I would argue that if the candidate receiving those donations focused on compensations for the rich, they would not gain support from the middle or poor classes. That leaves 79% of people to vote against that candidate that is underrepresenting them. That is well over a majority in an election. In the end, I am a firm believer that an individual should be able to donate as much money as they want towards campaigns or candidates. It is there money and a form of speech for them, so let them decide how they want to use it.

11/11/2016
Sidney MT, Mr.Faulhaber
Quinlyn
Tuttle
In a way I can understand why some expel would argue that a campaign donation is a form of free speech. It is a way that one can express how they support the candidate. But I believe that really money shouldn't be they way that you should you support that candidate. There is plenty of other ways you can show support, get their name out there, talk to people. Also, I don't think that their should be a limit to how much people want to spend. For that exact reason if they are choosing to spend their money on that candidate let them, they can manage their own pocket book. So why would you limit them in their spending for campaigns, political parties, or candidates? The only way that the money situation is not fair is to the third parties. They don't get government help, therefore they have to find a way to come up with all of their own money. That's were it may get expensive and will make it hard to make yourself get heard. The only issue with no regulations is with them there is a better chance of equal opportunity.

11/11/2016
Sidney, MT
Tessa
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
In my opinion, there should be a limit to how much individuals can donate to a certain campaign. Campaign spending limits protect our democracy from corruption. The purpose of unlimited campaign contributions is not always to promote political debate but to limit it by shutting out the voices of those without the financial means to speak. People can use their wealth to build political power, which in turn can disenfranchise the Americans’ confidence in the election process. I agree with what Lawrence Norden said above: “It would be terrible for our democracy ... if one politician could directly solicit $3.6 million from a single donor. That is 70 times the median income for an American family. It would mean a tiny, tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence.” This is not what the United States stands for. Everyone, not just the wealthy, should have their voices be heard.

11/10/2016
Sidney/Montana
Justin
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney
There should not be a limit on individual contribution to a party or candidate. In McCutcheon v.Federal Election Commission the supreme court ruled that independent spending is a type of speech or expression and is protected by the first amendment. Based off this decision alone there should be no reason for limits on the amount a candidate can spend. Supporters of the limit say that removing the limit puts more influence in the hands of the few wealthy. Super PACS are allowed free spending so why isn’t it questioned whether they have too much power. Letting individuals spend the amount of money they want on a candidate makes it so their voice is heard along with the PACS and special interest groups. Furthermore, allowing individuals to spend however much money they want could also help the candidate by obtaining good funds and allowing the candidates to focus more on campaigning and other jobs. Individuals should be allowed to spend however much money they want towards a candidate since it is a first amendment right that enables them to do so.

11/10/2016
Sidney, MT
Michael
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe donating to a campaign is indeed a form of speech. However, I think there should be limits on the amount of money an individual can give to a campaign. For example, if a very wealthy individual could give a million dollars to a candidate, a large majority of Americans could not even get close to donating that amount, this would give a small group of wealthy Americans more of an influence than the average American. I believe having a reasonable limit on campaign donations leads to a fairer election because of this example.

11/10/2016
Sidney/Mt
Christine
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I personally believe that donating money to support a candidate falls under the first amendment right, and that there shouldn't be a limit on to how much an individual can vote. If one wants to spend a lot of money on a candidate they believe in, then they should have the right to express that with no limitations required. I believe that the amount that a candidate receives from donations for their campaign shows how much they are supported. "Limits on the aggregated amount of donations infringes on one rights" said McCutcheon.

12/14/2015
Sidney, MT
Shanan
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High
I personally do not believe that there should be a cap on the amount of money that can be donated by individuals; it is your money, you should be able to spend it how you want, and if you find that there are nominees running in campaigns that share very similar views with you, donate to them. In today’s society, we find that spending money is one way to practice your First Amendment right, whether it be donating funds to a campaign, local or federal, or donating money to an organization such as the Salvation Army or the Red Cross. While there are concerns of bribery that float around the issue of businesses and corporations donating money to campaign funds (which in some cases is very possible), unless there is a paper trail indicating that there is a case of quid pro quo taking place, it is not of our concern how much money is donated to the campaign.

12/13/2015
MT
Lindsey
Mr. Faulhaber/ SHS
When I think of campaigning, I think of candidates trying to gain supporters on their stances and strategies to make our country a better place. I personally believe that donating money to support a candidate falls under the first amendment, and it also shows that that particular candidate has done his or her job of getting supporters for candidacy. By regulating the amount of money supporter can contribute to a candidate, the text suggest, it takes away political speech which is vial to our democracy. Lawrence Norden argued against super pacs that,“It would be terrible for our democracy ... if one politician could directly solicit $3.6 million from a single donor.” I believe that to much money is spend on campaigns in general, and there should be a top limit on how much they can spend, and their donations add in the that top limit of campaign spending limit. In conclusion I think we ought to allow supporters to spend willingly to support whom they wish.

12/13/2015
Sidney, MT
Devon
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
There should not be limits on an individual’s spendings. The viewpoint that such limits should be created and actively enforced is as ridiculous as it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has already decided in McCutcheon v. the FEC that such limits went against a person’s first amendment right to freedom of speech. This is because money is a form of speech. It’s bizarre to think that a company can spend millions, if not billions, of dollars on advertisements that are aimed at children with the sole purpose of convincing the naive viewers to buy unhealthy products, which could possibly have detrimental effects on the buyer’s health, but an individual could be stopped from spending their money for education of the masses. An informative ad is taboo, but if it’s selling something that will most likely give you diabetes, then it’s socially acceptable. The Supreme Court saw the fallacy in such thinking and ruled 5-4 against continuing it. However, I wish that the court had taken their ruling a step farther, as Justice Thomas would have wished. The Court ruled against aggregate limits, but they chose to support base limits. I believe that both are unconstitutional. Without base limits, I believe that super PAC’s would be eliminated, or, at the very least, face a sharp decline in numbers. Super PAC’s were created in order to bypass the FEC’s ludicrous limits. Without such limits, super PAC’s would no longer be needed. It’s simple, really. The government just has a habit of complicating simple matters. One argument in support of the unconstitutional limits is that ‘perceived corruption’ could keep voters from voting. Horror of horrors, that though is completely unacceptable. Or is it? Perhaps, if a voter is so uninformed and so uncertain of their beliefs that a mere perception could keep them from exercising their right to vote, they simply shouldn’t vote. Alas, the continuation of that thought must be saved for a separate blog.

12/12/2015
Sidney, MT
Aubrey
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Although I do believe money is a form of free speech, although much less important than actual speech, I definitely think that there should be limits on campaign donations from individuals. The Supreme Court has a duty to the American people to prevent corruption of the politicians who run this country, even if this includes limiting free speech in the form of monetary donations. Anytime there is money involved, there will be some degree of corruption. If individuals can give upwards of $3 million dollars to candidates, there will be pressure for those candidates to return the favor in the laws that they help make. These limits make candidates ask for money from more individuals which proves their popularity. If only a few rich people like them and gives them unfathomable amounts of money, that says nothing about the average Americans who don’t have the luxury to give that much money. The fact that there are already superPACs that can spend unlimited amounts of money in support of a candidate means that there is a high risk of corruption. Unlike direct donations to candidates from individuals, superPACs spend money independently from the campaign. The Constitution Center’s blog said that donations are much more likely to cause political corruption than these independent expenditures. Lawrence Norden on the overturning of campaign finance laws says, “It would mean a tiny, tiny group of donors would wield unprecedented power and influence.” This is not what America stands for. America stands for the voices of all people to be heard, not just the wealthy.

12/9/2015
sidney high schoo/ MT
Larren
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
There should be limits on campaign donations because if there are no limits, that could start corruption. If there is a few people donating millions into campaigns, then of course that politician is going to start helping that persons business or personal beliefs out. An example from the article from the speakout page, they say that if 500 people are donating millions into politicians, then those politicians are going help them out in order to get voted back into office in the following election. Coming from the arguments against McCutcheon, that these laws are here not to hurt how many candidates you can support, but to help prevent corruption in the government. The more money that is involved in politics, the greater risk for corruption. They would be less likely to take part in the political process as well. So coming back to what I believe the heart of the issue is, I believe that it is that the government is not trying to limit how many candidates a person can support, but trying to prevent less corruption in politics.

4/27/2015
Arlington, Texas
MK
Mr.White/Sam Houston
There are several problems this country has concerning how elections are operated. Up and down the line from campaign donations all the way to the actual casting of a vote at an electronic voting booth. With campaign donations it should be an easy cut and dried issue but it has been completely ruined by court rulings that fly in the face of right and wrong. It would seem a simple thing to understand that to allow other than individual people the status of "person" where campaign contributions of any definition dreamed up and applied to them or the contributor, will manifest into a system of pure fraud and even worse, the complete loss of representation of individuals, ie. the people. The supreme courts ruling giving the status of "person" to corporations and other entities, that in the common usage of the term "person" are not a person, has caused the actual people to lose representation. The courts ruling effectively turned any representation to be had by anything a representation to the highest bidder/contributor/briber. Anyone who can not see that the courts ruling has made bribery a legal form of conducting campaign finances is either ignorant of all intelligence or they are a beneficiary of that ruling. All around the people we are seeing that the only representation being received is by the corporations and other groups that pool larger and larger amounts of money, gifts, and other freebies and perks they shower upon those elected to represent people, not corporations and other groups. Why would the court make such absurd rulings allowing these things to happen? It is obvious to me that it is because the courts have also been bought/bribed, or forced into submission through fear of some sort. Campaign donations should be allowed to come only from individual people. People need representation. Entities who are not individual people should never be represented by elected officials or other authorities of the State.

2/19/2015
Aberdeen, SD
Bonnie
Jami R
No one said you couldn't use the First Amendment, but that is just to free (being the operative work)speech. It does not give you the right to influence politicians and the political process with your "unlimited" amounts of money. That is why we have so many "special interest" groups that expect favors from those in office,

10/29/2014
Sidney, MT
Tate
Mr. Faulhaber, Sidney High School
I believe that there shouldn't be a limit on to how much an individual can vote. I also believe that it is an act of free speech and that it is protected by the first amendment. If the individual wants to donate a lot then he should be able to because of the fact that the individual believes in this candidate. The candidate that wins the election should not feel that they have to pay back the individual that donated so much money. It was the individuals choice to donate all of that money.

10/29/2014
Sidney, MT
Ethan
Mr. Faulhaber, Sidney High School
I believe that there should be restrictions on how much an individual can donate. The campaigner should be responsible and find more than one individual to get donations from. Also the campaigners should raise more money themselves through their jobs. Candidates should be given equal oppurtunity to raise money and campaign for themselves. In conclusion, one individual should only be able to donate a certain maximum amount of money.

10/29/2014
Sidney/MT
Christian
Brad Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I agree with what Taylor said in a previous comment, I believe that campaign donation is a form of free speech, but there should be a limit to how much a person or cooperation can give to a candidate in order to prevent to corruption that money creates. However, while I think that there should be a limit, as Logan said, it goes against our First Amendment right to free speech. Just how in the court case of Citizens United v. Federal Election, "independent" spending on elections was a form of free speech protected by the Constitution. The decision allowed corporations and unions to spend an unlimited amount on candidate elections. There should not be a limit to how much a person can donate to candidates or political parties because again it would go against their First Amendment rights. I believe that campaign financed regulations could lead to fairer, more open elections. However, if there was a limit that was placed on funding for a candidate or political party, individuals and cooperation's would find other ways in order to support and potentially "control" candidates.

10/28/2014
Sidney/MT
Kory Halvorson
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I agree that campaign donations are a form of political speech in that the government can not decide who you donate to. This would fall under the First Amendment's right to freedom of speech. I also understand McCutcheon's argument about the amount of candidates you can donate to and I don't think it should be limited. But, I strongly believe that individual contributions should be regulated. Fairer elections arise from more competition between candidates who each after work hard fundraising. Candidates who raise more money usually win elections. Federal limits prevent the ability for people to buy elections with multimillion dollar contributions as Lawrence Norden alluded to. So, I would absolutely not agree with Mark's statement that the person who spends more money deserves to win. If so, then Warren Buffet should just withdraw one billion dollars from his account and win the presidential election by default.

10/28/2014
Sidney/Montana
Sean
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I agree 100% that we should have limits on how much individuals can donate to campaigns. Allowing one person to donate millions of dollars to one candidate will cause the candidate to feel in debt to the donor, and that gives the donor the power to influence policies in an unequal way. No one person or few people should have proportionately more power than ANY other person in the country, and i disagree with pretty much everyone who posted below me, because everyone in the country deserves an equal amount of power, and having no limits gives the few rich too much power and influence in Congress. The article says "the government by and for the 500 people", which is true at this point because the rich just donate some extra millions of dollars they have, and they get whatever policies they want passed, thus giving those poor majority almost no say in the policies that are passed. Donations are a form of free speech, but the First Amendment is not absolute, we need to have restrictions on these sorts of things otherwise we'll end up becoming an oligarchy, a rule by few.

10/28/2014
Sidney/Montana
Cody
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I'm going to agree with everyone else that campaign donation is indubitably a form of free speech. Also there should most definitely be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. Candidates should be given an equal opportunity to campaign against each other and the only thing that should be a deciding factor on who wins or loses the election is whether the majority likes how a specific candidate wishes to deal with issues more than the other. Both donations to candidates and political parties should both be limited, because both candidates and parties should not be given a financial advantage. Campaign finance regulation will lead to fairer and more open elections. People who are able to lead this country, and not just rich people with millionaires behind them who want politicians that benefit them, will be given the opportunity to take part in government.

10/28/2014
Sidney/MT
Logan
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I definately believe that campaign donations are a form of free speech. I think that these governmental restrictions are a violation of our First Amendment rights. Mr. McCutcheon has a valid point that "the money he spends on campaigns is how he voices his opinions" and it is not for the governement to infringe upon his rights. People, specifically rich people, can donate money to the candidate they want to win whether they are a Republican or a Democrat. I agree with Mark in that people who spend larger amounts of money on their campaign deserve to win. The government is not in place to tell people what they can or can not do with their property, and the First Amendment protects our right to freedom of speech.

10/28/2014
Sidney/MT
Holly
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I do believe that donation is a form of free speech, but there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. There is still regulations and laws against what you can and cannot say so I think there should be regulations on how much you can donate. If a multimillionaire donates millions of dollars to their party of choice then they will have more of a say as in what that candidate will vote and not vote on. They will have more power and influence than the average donors. I do believe campaign finance regulations lead to fairer, more open elections. I agree with what it says "a government by and for the 500 people" because those are the people who gave the most so their needs will be more important than the average voter. I agree with Taylor when she says "That is not a democracy," because it isn't. The people elected would vote according to what the people who paid him the most want, not what the majority favors.

10/28/2014
Sidney/Montana
Taylor
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think a campaign donation is a form of free speech, but it requires restrictions to a certain point. Therefore, there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign and on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties. If candidates are allowed to receive all of the campaign money they need from one donor, that means that they are subjected to the donor's will. A donor only gives to who they want to win. I agree with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. when he said that if the limits were gone, there would be a great risk of having "a government by and for the 500 people" who can afford to write million dollar checks. That is not a democracy. I disagree with McCutcheon because the law already allows people to donate money, which is freedom of speech. The amount people are allowed to donate is the only thing with a regulation, but that doesn't go against the First Amendment. Also, if candidates received all of the money they needed, then they wouldn't need to work to raise money. That is not fair to all the middle-class citizens in the United States. A candidate should have to prove themselves in the campaign with how hard they try to raise money and present themselves to people. I disagree with Mark because there should be a limit. It has been proven that, on occasion, candidates win because of how much they campaigned and spent money for their campaign. Overall, campaign finance regulations lead to fairer, more open elections.

10/27/2014
Sidney/Montana
Brady
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I definitely believe that a campaign donation is a form of free speech. I disagree with Mark, though, and think there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. Allowing a wealthy United States citizen to dish out unlimited amounts of money gives those candidates with connections to these wealthy Americans an unfair advantage. On this idea of unlimited donations, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. simply said this would result in, "a government by and for the 500 people." He is referring to the relatively few wealthy people who could basically determine the outcome of an election because of their monetary resources. As a result, there should be a limit on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties. This limitation will lead to fairer elections considering the majority of Americans are middle-class. A California politician put it greatly by saying, "money is the mother's milk of politics." Sadly, our democracy is drowning in it. As a result, an individual's campaign donations should be limited to preserve the fairness and openness of our country's elections.

10/27/2014
Sidney, MT
Hailey
Mr. Faulhaber/SHS
I agree with Tucker and Kortney on this issue in that they believe there should be a limit set. I believe there should be a limit on the amount an individual can give to a candidate. A campaign donation is a form of free speech which is protected by the First Amendment, however I do think there should be a limit set on the amount to make sure the playing field is fair for the candidates. I believe an individual should be limited because if the candidate is given a large amount of money from a person that person might be telling that candidate what to do in return for the money. In the article it says that "the measures are aimed at reducing the possibility that a wealthy individual essentially pays for a candidate's victory and later benefits from the lawmaker's influence." I believe this statement because in reality they are winning the election for the candidate because their name is more known and that makes people vote for them. More often then not the person with more money wins the election. The set amount of $2,600 is more than enough money for an individual to give one candidate. I believe the campaign finance regulation leads to a fairer and more open election.

10/27/2014
Sidney
Kortney
Mr. Faulhaber/SHS
I believe that a campaign donation is a form of free speech. I get that if people want a candidate to win, they will give numerous amounts of money to make sure they have a greater chance. McCutcheon says in the article that he uses his money spended as a voice for free speech. Although it would be considered free speech by the first amendment, I still believe that there should be some set limit to which people can donate. I think that the candidate himself should be able to give as much money as he wants toward the campaign, but other people who vote should have a set limit that can't be exceeded. I somewhat agree with Bradley/Nimitz because different people have different incomes. Upper-class people will obviously spend more than what a middle-class person would donate, which would almost make it unfair. If there was a limit for the certain incomes that would be an easy problem solving answer. I think if someone is more rich than other and has wealthy friends, that person will easily have a better chance of winning because of the ability to campaign more frequently.

10/26/2014
Sidney/Montana
Tucker
Mr Faulhaber
I agree with Donald Verrilli Jr. on this issue. It would be a government funded and pushed by the wealthy few. Yet, I do agree that giving money to candidate is a form or free speech, but that is should be limited so that we don't have a government ran by the wealthy few. The limit to how many candidates an individual can donate to should be kept the same, and so should the limit to how much. Sierra T. sums up my opinon pretty well that having a limit does in a way violate your first amendment, but it is put in place so that people aren't enailed to bribe candidates.

10/26/2014
Sidney, Montana
Mark
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that a campaign donation is a form of freedom of speech. Money wins elections. You can get money from other people as donations; however, this is not much different from the person running for office spending their own money. I do not believe there should be a limit. If a person is running against others that have more money to spend on their campaign, then the other people should win. There also should be no regulation on the amount people can donate. As Nicole said in an earlier post, “if that donor wants to contribute that much then he or she should be able to." The main reason I disagree with these regulations is because there will never be an election that is not won by the person that spends more money or gets more donations. It is backing from other people that get politicians elected. In the article Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. said," `a government by and for the 500 people` who will write the $3 million checks to party officials" is the truth. I understand he said it in a negative way, but the way people vote based on whom they know and spending more money gets people better known.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Sierra T.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
In my opinion there should be limits on the amount of money you can give to a candidate. Yes having a limit I think violates you first amendment. But I feel that not having a limit enables people to bribe canadates.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg/ PA
Jason G
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
No I don't think their should be a limit on campaign donations from individuals. Because if someone loves a guy who's running in a campaign they want to help him out as much as they can THEY SHOULD! If some people doesn't think that's fair they should deal with it because there is always one guy who will do anything for the person to win or have a successful campaign. This is my opinion on campaign limit donations.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg PA
Sidney L
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that there should be a limit on campaign donations from individuals. Everyone should be able to have a certain amount of money donated to them to support their campaign. It is not fair if the worst person wins because he/she was given a bigger donation than the person most fit for the job.

5/11/2014
MT
Nicole
Mr. Faulhaber
I think it is a first amendment right and sort of a freedom of speech because there are many ways to express speech. If a person wants to donate a lot of money to one person or one party then i believe they should be able to. I understand why they would have a limit, so that one person wouldn't solicit a large amount of money from one individual. "It would be terrible for our democracy.. if one politician could directly solicit 3.6 million from a single donor" is very true but if that donor wants to contribute that much then he or she should be able to. Having a limit could also be a good thing because then it gets more than a few people involved. I think it is limiting how much a candidate you support and not how much money you give them. Candidates should know better than to solicit money from a donor they know is wealthy in the first place.

12/12/2013
Shoreline, Washington
Christina G
Knox/ Shorewood
Speech can be expressed in a variety of ways and does not have to be limited to only talking. Art and words can be used to express an idea or opinion. In my own opinion, I do believe that campaign donations are a form of free speech. Donations allow you express your support for a specific candidate. Though campaign donations may be protected under the First Amendment, donations should continue to be regulated. Wealthy individuals should not be able to donate millions of dollars to a candidate of their choice simply becuase they have the power to do so. Campaign regulations aid in keeping elections fair and equal for all candidates involved. If one candidate recieves millions from one donor while the opposing candidate receives half that amount, the elections will not necessarily be fair. The candidate that receives more aid will be able to spend more on their campaign and draw in more support. Without campaign donation restrcitions, extremely wealthy individuals may be able to pour millions into the campaign of one candidate. With restrictions, being extremely wealthy will not aid in one candidate's success. The donation playing field is more even. Even if you are extremely wealthy you will not be able to pour in more money than someone who may not be as wealthy as you. Candidates may become more corrupt as well since donors may gain more influence over their candidate and the decisions they make in office.

12/12/2013
Shoreline WA
Emily
Ms. Knox Shorewood High School
Campaign donations are a form of free speech. However, the rights given in the constitution cannot violate the rights of others when they are acted upon. Large campaign donations violate the free speech rights of other individuals, who are not able to contribute as much. In this way you are telling those with less that because they cannot provide as much funds, the candidates they support are less likely to win the election. Therefore their vote, and in turn they themselves, are worthless. This is also an issue because it makes people feel like, if they don't have a lot of money to give away, that they aren't worth as much as those who do, and they also don't have as much of say, or any say at all. I believe large campaign donations control elections, and that they destroy democracy not only in who has more say, but also participation in our country by the general public.

12/12/2013
Shoreline/WA
Erik
Ms.knox/shorewood
I think there should be a limit on the amount a person can donate, and it should be an amount reasonable for any person of any income to give. The unlimited donations makes for a political system that caters to the wealthy which is not good for a functioning democracy. I think it should be a set amount so that campaigners get support in numbers of people they influence not how wealthy of people they influence.

11/15/2013
Irving/Texas
Leanna
Bradley/Nimitz
Campaign donation seems to be a form of free speech. I think that it should be legal to give a bigger amount, but it should be stopped if it is happening to frequently. It should be illegal to have a single person to give amounts up to millions of dollars. That would be unfair. It would give the person an unfair advantage and should be completely illegal.

11/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Teven
Bradley/Nimitz
Campaign donations are a form of free speech, but only when they do not infringe upon any other citizen's rights. If upper-class spend more money supporting an election than even the average middle class citizen makes in an entire year, then they are using their right to free speech to metaphorically shout down the competition. As such, there should be a limit on the numbers that a citizen should be able to donate; a limit based on the income of our poorest citizens. All Americans should have the right to express themselves on equal grounding to each other. However, as long as the limit that a citizen can donate to a single elective is not exceeded, they may donate to as many people as they like, regardless of party. This will lead to fairer, more open elections where all can be heard equally.

11/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Daniel I
Bradley/Nimitz
Campaign donations are a form of free speech. I don't think there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. I believe that the amount that a candidate receives from donations for their campaign shows how much they are supported. When a citizen votes, it shows that they support the person they voted for and their views. Donating a big amount just shows how much support they are receiving. Shouldn't the person with the most support be holding office? At the same time, depending on what the election is for there should be a limit so that way we don't end up with a president who was elected into office purely because of the fact he had the most money.

11/14/2013
Irving/ Texas
Emily
Bradley/Nimitz
A donation is a form of free will and speech. You are giving money to something you strongly believe in and therefore you are expressing your voice to a cause. However, I do think their should be a limit on how much money you can donate especially when it comes down to elections and someone coming to power. If their is no rule on how much money you can donate their would be monopolies of wealthy men running for a certain campaign and who can compete against that? Money can certainly buy people but that is not the point when it comes to someone being elected for the better of a state or even the whole nation. Their should be a limit on how much money someone can donate it wouldn't be fair if someone won because he/she had money supporting him the whole way.

11/14/2013
Irving/TX
Aaron
Bradley/Nimitz
Throwing out any political-overtones and just looking at this from a competitive standpoint, the act of donating to a certain campaign, in my opinion, should be considered fair and reasonbable. However, seeing as how this could give an unfair (a contradiction to my previous sentence, I know) advantage to those who could easily out-donate other competitors, I think it just comes down to the amount of dedication a certain individual has----meaning, if they want to waste, or "donate" a large amount of money to a certain campaign, let them. At the end of the day, everything they do is left up to chance; so if they have enough confidence that their person will win, let them. And if their person doesn't, well.....who told them to spend that much money in the first place?

11/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Daniel S.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe donations are represented as a form of taking action for a cause. It's not necessarily a form of free speech. I mean I guess in a way it could be classified as a means of free action, but going as far as saying it's protected by ones right to free speech I don't agree with. I believe it would be unfair for a single person to donate a large sum of money to another higher class individual. The advantage that member would have over another, I believe would be significant enough to help sway votes to said side. Overall the issue is being handled how it should, and If it were up to me I would put a stop to it very quickly.

11/14/2013
Irving/TX
Annabel
Bradley/Nimitz
There should be a limit on campaign donations for the simple reason that buying a candidate's position into office is a form of corruption. By allowing donors to buy a candidate's position into office, we are furthermore allowing the wealthy to influence the lives of average (or less than average) individuals. This being said, campaign donations cannot be defined as a form of free speech, but rather as an action of interest. Therefore, placing a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign or candidate cannot be accused of violating the 1st amendment.

11/14/2013
Irving, Texas
Jacob F
Bradley/Nimitz
At a certain angle, campaign donations can be a form of free speech because you would donate to someone who shares the same values and motives as you. Using this, it would mean that this action is protected by the First Amendment. However, while one person's free speech is being utilized, it may be infringing upon someone else's availability for free speech as someone may not be able to donate as much as another (using money as the form of "free speech," that is). Based on this, I believe that there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to candidate or a party because if one candidate has more resources than another candidate, there is obviously an unequal balance. In the end, it may not matter how much money is spent on campaigning because the candidate may not get elected and the donor is out however much they donated.

11/14/2013
Irving/Tx
Brian J.
Bradley/Nimitz
Donations seem to be a form of free action, not speech. I believe it should be legal in larger amounts but it shouldn't happen too much. If one person, though, is allowed to give millions of dollars to one campaign that would be completely unfair. That would be giving the campaigner a serious advantage and would, in my mind, be completely illegal.

11/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Rudy
Bradley/Nimitz HS
In 2010, The Supreme Court did rule that Free Speech can come in the form of a private organization’s check for an election campaign, in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. However, I believe limitations on certain rights, such as limits on donations, are essential to reducing the amount of corruption in the United States government on every level. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli couldn’t have said it better myself, “A government by the people, for the 500 people.” I also think the same limit should be applied to political parties. The campaign elections would be conducted fairly with campaign finance regulation.

11/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Lyndsey
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe donation is a form of free speech. It is your money and you are using it on what you want. In this instance McCutcheon is using his money to donate to candidates. By donating he is helping who he feels should win, or who he feels should have a better chance of winning. If the person he donated to wins that person is sort of like his voice. I do think there should be a limit on how much someone can donate. I think it would be unfair if someone could just donate however much they wanted to. It would sort of be like the candidate was buying their win. Not everyone has enough money to do whatever they want with their money. By regulating the finance on elections, it does make them fairer. It gives everyone an even playing field.

11/13/2013
Irving/Texas
Jose A.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that a person can donate to a campaign in order to voice their opinion. However, I also believe that there should be a limit donations. Otherwise the government would be ran by a small group of wealthy men. This would, in time, lead the American government into a deep hole of corruption that would be nearly impossible to get out of. Regulating the amount of money would make elections fairer and more open for the people.

11/13/2013
Rudyard/ MT
Sarah M.
Mrs. Campbell/ North Star
Yes, a donation to a campaign is a form of free speech because you can support any candidate you choose. In a perfect society I think it would be okay for there to be no limit to the amount of money given; however, that is not what we have. People are corrupt and will try to move up the "power ladder" as fast as they can, and by whatever means necessary. This isn't always the case, but those few people ruin it for everyone. Mr. McCutcheon might be an upstanding citizen who won't use his million dollar donations as bribery tools, but other people might; and because of that regulation should be in place. These laws should also bring forth the most worthy candidate, because if that person has the best policies, they should receive ample financial support from the people. If there were no regulations than the chances of having the right person in office are that much less.

11/11/2013
Irving/Texas
David W.
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I believe donating to a campaign is a form of free speech, but there should also be a limit on how much is given to the certain campaigns. An excess of donations and money to one person can lead to corruption. If candidates have millions of dollars, they can spend a lot more on campaigning and would have a better chance of winning the election. The winner would then use their power to support the small wealthy group that donated so much money. Regulating the amount of money allowed to be donated would lead to more fair elections.

11/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Cyndel
Bradley/Nimitz
I do believe that it is a form of freedom of speech.This way they are expressing their contentment towards a certain candidate and their ideals.I do believe though that there should be a limit on the amount one can “invest” or donate in regard to a political campaign. This way people don’t put all of their hopes and wallets in a party or candidate that might not even win and the money go elsewhere. It would lead to fairer political campaigns because they aren’t dazzled by the amount of money that a certain individual or party is investing in order to get their “point” across. This way there is not a monetary issue regarding the minimum amount one can spend on the a campaign ,but make it easier for everyone to be able to participate.

11/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Viviana
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion, the campaign donations are definitely forms of free speech. Although this freedom should exist, a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign is needed in order to make sure that a single candidate isn't supported way too much by a donor- this is unfair. The total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties doesn't necessarily have to be limited as long as this amount isn't all going to one sole candidate. The campaign finance regulation definitely leads to fairer, more open elections by reducing the influence of money on campaigns.

11/4/2013
Martinez/California
Kevin K.
Yunis/Alhambra
I believe that campaign donations are a form of free speech, and as such it should not be able to be taken away from them. If they want to support their views on politics by backing a specific party or candidate then they should be able to. There also shouldn't be a limit on how much an individual can contribute to a specific campaign. If someone has earned their money, then they should be able to spend it or donate it however they wish. This campaign finance regulation doesn't lead to more open elections, as it stymies the people who wish to donate more individually but they can not, forcing them to go through PACs and Super PACs, which will then get the money there anyway. The whole argument of how there is too much money being donated by a single individual falls apart when one thinks of how much money is actually spent on campaigns. Billions upon billions of dollars are spent, so if I were to donate one million dollars, I'm still only donating less than a tenth of a percent of the overall money donated to campaigns. This regulation of money is a waste of our resources, and frankly should not have existed.

10/31/2013
Irving/Texas
Christian S
Bradley/Nimitz
Campaign donations are a way of showing free speech but at the same time it can be seen as otherwise, Depending on what type of election their should be a limit.Yes there should be a limit because it defiantly effects and elections and changes the way it may go or not. So it kinda changes the fairness.

10/29/2013
Irving/Texas
Laura G
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I see a campaign donation as a form of freedom of speech because it allows a person to feel free in his or her beliefs. I don't think there should be a limit on how much someone can donate. If a person feels that they should donate, why should they be limited?

10/27/2013
Irving/TX
Brandon
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that campaign donation are a form of free expression as it allows a person an opportunity to support his beliefs. However, I do believe that a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign is vital. If someone is allowed to donate millions to a campaign, he might hold some unfair influence on certain policies. Thus I agree that campaign finance regulation indeed leads to fairer, more open elections.

10/26/2013
Irving/TX
Yamilleth
Bradley/Nimitz
No. An individual can give out their opinion on a certain subject, but were talking about money that is being used into an election, that can impact the way many citizens think. Yes there should be a limit because it is unfair to the other candidate running against whoever it is that is getting excessive amounts of donations. More money means more advertisement and connections you can get to spread your name around. Basically buying the election. Plus more people would be persuaded by all the lavishness one candidate is giving out, instead of really looking at their politics and what they represent. Each candidate should be given an equal amount of representation, with the same amount of money to benefit from. The donater has to realize that its not as simple as giving out donations, they are impacting an election that will persuade the minds of many individuals.

10/25/2013
Irving/Tx
Pedro
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't think that campaign donation is a form of free speech, but that doesn't mean that there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a campaign. Donating is something that comes from the heart of a person, whether for personal gain or because they really do want to support, and should be limited only by the person donating. There shouldn't be a limit on the total amount that a person can donate to candidates or political parties because in the end it's the people donating that either lose or gain and it should be up to them. I think that campaign finance regulation would lead to fairer, more open elections. It seems like politicians are buying their offices with the help of donors who provide more money than the donors of the opponent(s), but I believe that's not always the case.

10/25/2013
Irving/TX
Scotty C.
Bradley/Nimitz
Donating to a campaign is a form of free speech in my opinion. If an individual has a strong passion for anything, they should be able to donate as much as they want. That's the beauty of America. We have competition in all areas, and the more one person donates to something, the more another person will likely donate to the opposing idea, if they feel strongly about it. There should definitely be no restrictions on any donations.

10/24/2013
Irving, TX
Jesus G.
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I believe a campaign donation is not a form of speech.I do not think there should be a limit on how much someone can donate for the reason people vote on the person by what they will do for the them.There should not be a limit on how much someone can donate because its the person's money and he can spent it on whatever he would like to use it for a benefit towards him.I believe it does make it fairer campaign finance regulation.

10/24/2013
Irving/Tx
Jordan B.
Bradley/Nimitz
Free speech can have many definitions. Is donating money one of them? A person should be able to spend their like they want right? I honestly think that if you want to spend your money, then spend it on something that you feel that is worth it. On campaigns though, if the person is willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to help who they want to win then let them! Who ever is getting mad is just showing that they are sore losers in a sense.

10/24/2013
Rudyard/MT
Whitney
Campbell/North Star
A campaign donation is a form of speech. Yes, there needs to be a limit on how much a person can donate to a candidate, campaign, and political parties. If there was no limit then people would give a lot in hopes that they would get something in return. Therefor there would be a lot of corrupt relationships. Plus people who are wealthier are able to donate more money than ones who have less so they already have a better out come. Then by giving more they might get that relationship to have a tie in with the government getting even more power which is unfair to the people. Setting campaign regulations do lead to fairer and more open elections.

10/24/2013
Irving/Tx
Hannah W.
Bradley/Nimitz
The amount of money that you give a campaign could essentially be a way that you express how much you like the person that you are supporting. This could be seen as a way of free speech. So why would you want to limit someone’s freedom of speech. With the laws that that have some about it looks like they are not wanting people to give excessive amounts of money to a certain campaign. But this actually could be a good thing. With putting limits on how much you can contribute to a campaign, you would be not as much in danger of wasting money if the person that you helped had not won the election. Now wouldn’t that be a shame if you gave them an excessive amount of money but the person not win. This is why it is a good idea to have limits on the amount of money you spend during elections and campaigns.

10/24/2013
Rudyard/MT
Kristyn
Campbell/North Star
A campaign donation is a form of free speech. The problem is though that many people want some sort of power, so they try to take advantage of their rights. This is why limits should be set. Limits should be set to make sure that a corruption relationship doesn't take place. If there weren't any limits, then besides having power just from being rich, people will start to have more power due to their direct ties within the government. With these limits, elections do become fairer and more open by putting the whole electorate on an even playing field.

10/24/2013
Irving/TX
Sergio G.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that campaign donations are a freedom of speech, but in the U.S. there seems to be many things that would categorize in to the first amendment that have limits set forth for the same reason, because people always seem to find a way to take advantage of their rights. This is why I believe their should be a limit to how much can be donated, not for the wrong doing of the money, but for most likely the purchase of that persons word that is being made with that money. Usually with big donations the donor expects something in return for his generosity. So yes, these are the reasons why I believe campaign finance regulations do indeed lead to a more equal election.

10/23/2013
Irving/TX
Edward H.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe campaign donations should be counted towards a form of free speech. People should be able to donate as much money towards a campaign as they want too. Now I believe someone should really look into it to see if it is not a corrupt system or anything. But, If nothing is going on and the people are actually using that money towards their campaign, they should be able to donate as much as they want to. Campaign finance regulations will not really lead to fairer, more open elections. Because if one candidate has more connections with the richer side of their region, they will have a greater advantage than a new candidate trying to make a name for themselves.

10/23/2013
Irving/TX
Joseph C.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think that a donation is a form of free speech because in order to donate you have to choose to speak out to people, and get them to follow your cause. There should not be a limit on donating either because the whole point is to raise as much money as you can. The more money you get the better, but it is the person's choice to decide how much or how little they donate.. I think the same should go for donations to candidate and political parties. If a person decides to really donate a lot of money that just shows how much they are willing to help them. Although. if they do not wish to donate that much its still their choice.

10/22/2013
Irving/TX
Kristiyan
Bradley/Nimitz
A campaign donation is a form of free speech because as an individual you can either chose to support a cause such as a charity or event, or a person may not want to be a part of these things. There should not be a limit on how much a person can donate to a cmapiagn because some people are more financially stable than others and it will always be like this. Not all individuals or even families are wealthy, and may not have the opportunity to donate an amount a wealthy family is able to. When it all comes down to the elections between different parties, it is no one's fault that people did not donate or support a specific party. However, this can definitely influence voting outcomes, and one candidate should not be affected based on money and donations. In conclusion no matter what happens, the most favored and supported candidate will win an election.

10/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Monica M. M.
Bradley/Nimitz
A campaign donation is a form of free speech because it’s a type of support. A person may wish to support a charity with no limitations therefore it should be the same with campaigns. Why is it a difference if it’s only support? The people want a candidate they will trust and like throughout their term that would be served therefore the money would be only for their benefits. There would be no harm in doing donations if it has no serious effect on the candidate or the people. The campaign would remain fair because the support has been won by the people. That is why donations are being made. It is the other candidates own fault if no money has been donated.

10/20/2013
Irving/tx
Elizabeth C.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that a campaign donation is definitely a form of free speech. With that being said, I certainly do not believe that there should be limitations. If an individual chooses to spend their money on a campaign, then they should have every right to do so without being limited. The same applies to donations to specific candidates or political parties. Campaign finance regulations would only be a form of injustice by limiting ones full potential to support.

10/19/2013
Irving/Tx
Alonzo
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe anyone has the right to do whatever they want with their hard own money. They worked and earned that money fair and square so they should be allowed to share it with whoever they want. It is most definitely following the first amendment because it is giving him the right to express him self. The first amendment is not only about freedom of speech, It allows you to express your religion and yourself. So if it means to give out money to support what you desire, there should be nothing wrong with that. There is limits on what you can express, donating to a campaign isn't one of them.

10/18/2013
Irving/Texas
Sarah M.
Bradley/Nimitz
A campaign donation certainly is a form of free speech. By supporting a party with donations we are ‘voicing’ our preferences. Speech does not necessarily have to be spoken words. Like most things, freedom of speech does not come without limits. When in school there are certain things we cannot say, and it is punishable if we talk back to a teacher. We also can get into trouble for expressing negative opinions about other races or religions. But, as far as how much money we can give, I see no problem in allowing anyone to donate money. They are not sending any kind of negative idea by donating; they are merely supporting something they are passionate about. Limits should not be put on how much money one can give away. Donating wouldn't make an election unfair; it would give the most liked candidate a better chance at winning.

10/18/2013
Irving/Texas
Chadwick
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that campaign donations do fall under the guidelines of freedom of speech and expression however a limit is necessary to ensure no one candidate is influenced too heavily by a donor. The limit to how much a person can donate to a specific person directly should be limited while the aggregate total can be unlimited as this total is not directly to a person up for candidacy. The current restriction however is one that limits the number of candidates supported as well as the amount to a specific person. Campaign finance regulation does lead to an overall fairer election; however, with an unlimited amount of people who can support an individual, the chances of a completely fair election are very, very, slim. At the same time, I don’t want one donor to give such a great amount of money that the candidate feels influenced by that person’s interests.

10/17/2013
Irving/TX
Hailey
Bradley/Nimitz
I think giving money to a campaign can be considered a form of freedom of speech, because its showing support for an individual or party. Its like putting yard signs up or making posters, just a way of showing support. I don’t think there should be a limit on how much a person can donate. I believe that if a person has enough money to donate a lot to a specific candidate or party, they should be able to give as much as they want. I think a person should have the right to express their support through donations of any price they would like. I think it leads to a campaign where the most supported and favored candidate will most likely win.

10/17/2013
Irving/Tx
Marissa
Bradley/Nimitz
I do believe that the donation of money is a form of free speech becuase, it's that person's hard earned money to do with as they please. There should be limits on doantions to campaigns because it takes away from the people who don't have the money to support their own campaign, so the true opinions of the people would most likely not be heard. Though money should be spent the way a person wants, there should be a limit on how much a person can donate to a candidate or political party due to the fact that if everyone donated to whatever campaign they wanted then the whole system of democracy would be almost pointless because people would pay for who they want in office.

10/17/2013
Irving/TX
Reyanna
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion , I think that people should be able to donate as much money as they want to the to the political candidates and political parties. This is a way for the people to feel like they have a say and a way for them to voice their opinion. I understand that a limit is wanted because we don't want an individual to buy the candidates victory, but i think that we should just let the people do what they want with their money. Its for a good cause. The only time i would put a limit is if it were an unbelievable amount of money that should not have been donated to just one candidate.

10/16/2013
Irving/Tx
Miriam
Bradley/Nimitz
Freedom in speech is often defined as the expression of feeling, thoughts, and other important information. By campaign donations, politicians has the ability of spreads these ideas. However, there are many instances in which our freedom of expression has been limited. For example, vulgar words, ethnic hatred, and obscenity. In others words, we are limited in what we can do or say and there should be a limit on the amount of money donated to campaigns, candidates, or political parties. By doing so we are giving too much power to a single individuals or a small group of individuals. There should be a limit on how much can be donated to ensure that no one has more power than someone else

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