The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 2, 2014

Supreme Court ruling draws mixed reaction

A Supreme Court decision that lifts the limit on aggregate campaign contributions was praised Wednesday by national and state Republican spokesmen and by a Joplin resident who is a generous donor to Republican candidates and causes.

Detractors said the ruling further shifts the political advantage to those who are wealthy or willing to make big campaign contributions.

David Humphreys, president and CEO of TAMKO Building Products, said he saw the issue decided by the court as a question of free speech.

“The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech,” Humphreys said in a statement. “The Supreme Court got it right this time by ruling that monetary limits on free speech are in fact unconstitutional.”

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, called the decision “an important first step toward restoring the voice of candidates and party committees and a vindication for all those who support robust, transparent political discourse.”

“I am proud that the RNC led the way in bringing this case and pleased that the court agreed that limits on how many candidates or committees a person may support unconstitutionally burden core First Amendment political activities,” he said. “When free speech is allowed to flourish, our democracy is stronger.”

Matt Willis, director of communications for the Missouri GOP, said the ruling comes at a time the party is targeting congressional races.

He said the previous rules would have forced GOP donors to limit giving to nine candidates, adding, “Now they can donate to all 14.”

The Humphreys family of Joplin-based TAMKO gave more than $1 million in the 2012 election cycle. But those donations did not top aggregate limits because they came from a variety of family members and went to a variety of candidates and committees.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, David Humphreys gave $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $30,800 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, while his wife, Debra Humphreys, gave $61,200 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and his mother, Ethelmae Humphreys, gave $28,300 to the Republican National Committee.

Other contributions went to Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, and to organizations including Club for Growth Action and Restore Our Future.

The Globe was unsuccessful in an attempt to reach another frequent GOP donor, Rudy Farber of Neosho. An assistant for Farber said he had no comment on the Supreme Court decision.

During the 2012 election cycle, Farber gave $30,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $10,000 to Sen. Roy Blunt. Dorothy Farber, his wife, gave $30,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, $22,500 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Blunt.

Among Democratic donors, Allison Hershewe, of Joplin, gave $22,500 to the Democratic National Committee and $20,000 to the Missouri Democratic State Committee. Attempts to reach her Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Doug Brooks, of Joplin, a member of the Democratic National Committee, said the Supreme Court ruling will “further increase the power of money in the political system.”

Brooks said the ruling was not as bad as an earlier high court decision (in the Citizens United case) that “allowed unlimited, untraceable donations to political action committees.”

“There will have to be disclosure, but any time you increase the power of one group to influence legislation, you’re putting someone else at a disadvantage,” Brooks said. “We should have a political system that puts everyone on an equal footing.”

Common Cause said the decision continues an effort by the high court to give Americans “a government of, by and for big money.”

The effect of the decision will be to “further open the floodgates for the nation’s wealthiest few to drown out the voices of the rest of us,” said Miles Rapoport, president of the group.

He said the decision will allow a politician to solicit a $3.6 million check for party committees and federal candidates from a singe donor, “consigning to background noise the millions of Americans who can’t afford to give more than $5, $10 or even $100 to parties or candidates of their choice.”

“It’s naive to think such vast sums of political money do not buy special access and favors,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter