Protesters say Supreme Court ruling on campaign donations gives rich more power

Apr 3, 2014

Some central New Yorkers rallied last night to oppose yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down certain caps for individuals donating to political campaigns.

Michael Messina-Yauchzy, from Move to Amend of Syracuse and Central New York, believes ultimately it’s going to put more power in the hands of the rich who donate to candidates.

"Who are the candidates going to pay attention to?" Messina-Yauchzy said. "The people with that money to give them, or the every day people with donations of $10, $20 or $30. Who are they beholden to, who are they going to listen to, who’s going to have their ear?”

He says the decision to lift certain caps on campaign donations opens the door to letting the rich have the most access to politicians.

“The court is talking about this as a free speech issue," Messina-Yauchzy said. "We don’t see it as a free speech issue. We see it as a domination of the airwaves issue. We see it as a domination of our elections by the wealthy and the corporations issue.”

Messina-Yauchzy says the group is working with local lawmakers to try and get state support for a constitutional amendment that would make it clear that corporations do not have constitutional rights, that money is not speech, and that campaign spending needs to be regulated at all levels.