McCutcheon: `Exercising Freedom of Speech is a Good Thing’

Shaun McCutcheon, the winner in a Supreme Court campaign-finance case last week, sees the court’s decision striking down aggregate contribution limits as vindication of a person’s “right to support as many candidates, committees and PACs you choose.”

“It’s a political activity,” McCutcheon, an Alabama Republican businessman, said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

‘There’s lots of money in politics. Again, individual people exercising freedom of speech is a good thing, bringing competition to the process,” McCutcheon said, adding that donors like him “shouldn’t be limited to nine candidates or ten candidates.”

The court invalidated the aggregate donation limit — $123,200 for the 2014 election — or the total amount of money that a donor could spread out to federal candidates, political party committees and political action committees over a two-year election cycle. The 5-4 decision frees McCutcheon and other wealthy donors to give to as many such entities as they wish, while still adhering to per-candidate and per-committee contribution limits that weren’t challenged.

People who “have the wherewithal and inclination to give multimillion dollar checks to party leaders, they are going to have a lot of influence, that’s for sure. But it’s going to be at the expense of the rest of us,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said on the NBC program.

The McCutcheon decision and the 2010 Citizens United decision expanding corporate speech rights are “devastating to the public campaign system,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.

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