December 21, 2014

Groups rally at statehouse in support of campaign contribution limits

A coalition of groups that supports campaign finance reform rallied at the statehouse today, about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a key case.

The court is considering a lawsuit that contends free speech rights are violated by federal limits on the amount of money individuals may contribute to candidates, political parties and political action committees during a two-year election cycle. Sonia Ashe of the Iowa Public Interest Research Group organized today’s rally.

“Especially during this government shut-down when the opinion of our elected officials in congress is at an all-time low, to open up our elections to millions to billions dollars more and even more influence from mega-donors and corporations — that would be certainly moving in the wrong direction,” Ashe says.

Individuals are currently limited to contributing $123,200 to political parties, candidates and political action committees during a two-year period. Ashe says that’s a “reasonable” limit.

“Spending limits were put in place, originally, to reduce corruption and the perception of corruption within our elections and our democracy,” Ashe says.

Ashe and about three dozen people gathered for this morning’s rally on the statehouse steps.