The Edmond Sun

Business

April 8, 2014

Guild: Ruling skews political process toward rich

OKLA. CITY — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of stories about candidates seeking the 5th District Congressional seat. Other candidates who have announced plans to file for the office April 9-11 are Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, Sen. Clark Jolley, Rep. Mike Turner, Rep. Shane Jett and Harvey Sparks on the GOP side. Other Democrats who announced for the seat are state Sen. Al McAffrey, Keith Davenport and Marilyn Rainwater.

Congressional 5th District candidate Tom Guild said last week’s Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance will skew politics in support of the super-wealthy and weaken the voices of millions of Americans. The ruling poses a danger to American democracy, he said.

Last week’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court removed a restriction that excluded individuals from contributing to more than one federal candidate during a two-year election cycle. This ruling did not change any individual’s base contribution limit of giving no more than $2,600 per individual candidate during a primary or general election.

Chief Justice John Roberts stated for the majority that, overall caps were a burden to “an individual’s right to participate in the public debate through political expression and political association.”

Following the corruption of the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration, Congress passed a campaign reform finance law in 1974. Statutory limits were placed on political contributions. This resulted in the creation of the Federal Election Commission.

“So it’s going to affect very few people, but those very few people theoretically could give the maximum donation to a congressional candidate, including House and Senate, multiple presidential candidates and really the sky is the limit,” said Guild, D-Edmond.

The ruling says the $48,600 cap every two years by individuals giving to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment. Separate aggregate limits of $74,000 on contributions to political party committees is also unconstitutional, the court stated.

The Supreme Court is enabling wealthy individuals to contribute freely to their favorite candidates in each of the 435 House of Representative races in the U.S., said Guild, a retired University of Central Oklahoma professor of legal studies.

Guild said the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, that corporations are people for purposes of speech, led the way for last week’s court decision.

“In our campaign, our average contribution is $46,” Guild said. “For our biggest contribution, I believe we have four or five people that have given us $500.”

Former state Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, said the Citizens United ruling reinforced the Constitution of the United States of America. An association of individuals are still individuals that have the right of freedom of expression, Russell said.

“I believe the Supreme Court got it right,” Russell said. “Associations of individuals had just as much right to freedom of speech as a single individual, whether they were many or they were one.”

Last week’s campaign finance decision has determined that an individual cannot be limited in their expression, Russell said.

“Why should we express limitations on you on how much you want to express your views in the support of political issues or political candidates that are running for office?” Russell said. “I think they got it right.”

1
Text Only
Business
  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Lambrecht Construction to build office

    The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
    Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917  E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

Stocks