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Removing the limits on campaign financing
In a split decision, the Supreme Court has removed the limit on how much money people can give to national political campaigns. Local reactions are as divided as the court's five-to-four vote.
Laura Hussey "For a lot of us, changing limits on what individuals can give to federal campaigns won't make that much diference....a candidate who hit me up right now would get 37 dollars. But for people who do have unlimited money to give, they can now find ways to do that legally"
The court's majority opinion said limiting individual donations effectively limits the first amendment right to free speech. Okaloosa Republican Committeeman Steve Czonstka says the decision is a victory for the constitution.
Steve Czonstka "I don't see how you can say that limiting the amount of money a person can contribute to a candidate or to a party doesn't limit the right to have something to say"
Opponents of the ruling say it's a major blow to campaign finance reform, opening the door for the extremely wealthy to have more influence.
Dave Johnson/FWB "I think it's a travesty...I think that we need limits on campaign spending, otherwise big business is going to control government"
Desiree Hamilton "Money and politics don't mix. I've never believed....so yeah, there should be a limit, a normal, average American limit"
The court kept the limit on how much money a person can give to any one candidate during a two year election cycle. But it removed the total cap, meaning a donor could give the maximum amount to an unlimited number of candidates across the country.
Laura Hussey "The Supreme Court ruling takes effect in a few weeks. In Okaloosa County, Laura Hussey, Channel 3 News"