The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - 5
High Court affirms state rights to limit contributions
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a timely election-year ruling,
the Supreme Court yesterday reaffirmed states' sweeping
power to place limits on campaign contributions to political
The justices, splitting 6-3, reinstated Missouri's limits for
state races and safeguarded for now the $1,000 cap on indi-
viduals' contributions to candidates for federal office, who
Wid spend $3 billion nationwide this year.
About two-thirds of the states impose campaign contribu-
tion limits. In California, voters will be asked in a March 7
initiative to impose limits and ban corporate and union con-
tributions in state races.
The court's three dissenters said yesterday's decision tram-
pies free-speech rights and voted for letting people contribute
as much as they want to all candidates by overturning a 1976
Supreme Court landmark that still shapes the nation's politi-
The court said fighting corruption, or even the perception
of corruption, justifies contribution limits.
"Leave the perception of impropriety unanswered, and the
cynical assumption that large donors call the tune could jeop-
ardize the willingness of voters to take part in democratic
governance," Justice David Souter wrote for the court.
"Democracy works only if the people have faith in those
who govern, and that faith is bound to be shattered when high
officials and their appointees engage in activities which
arouse suspicions of malfeasance and corruption."
Left unaffected by the ruling is currently unregulated "soft
money" -- contributions made to groups that spend money
without ties to specific candidates.
President Clinton praised the decision as "a victory for
democracy" in a statement read by press secretary Joe
Lockhart. "The American people know that our political sys-
tem needs to be fixed, and today's decision sets the stage for
further reform," said Clinton, who is urging Congress to pass
more campaign-finance changes this year.
Sen. John McCain, an Arizona senator and Republican
presidential contender, also applauded the ruling as "mar-
velous." He has made campaign reform the centerpiece of his
bid for the GOP nomination.
E. Joshua Rosenkranz, of the pro-limits Brennan Center for
Justice, called the ruling "a grand slam home run reformers
have been waiting for" because the court "holds in no uncer-
tain terms that it is the province of the legislature, not the
courts, to set contribution limits"
But James Bopp, an Indiana lawyer who represents the
National Right to Life Committee, the National Rifle
Association and other groups in challenging contribution Iim-
its, said restricting donations "is bad for democracy."
Bopp said courts still can strike down contribution limits
found to be set so low they prevent candidates from financ-
The nation's highest court had not ruled on contribution lim-
its since 1976, when, in a decision called Buckley vs. Valeo, it
said free-speech rights trump any attempt to limit an individual
candidate's spending. But the court also said back then that
contributions to federal candidates could be limited to $1,000.
That ruling focused on a 1974 federal law enacted after the
Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. The Missouri limits for
statewide races - also $1,000 before being adjusted to
$1,075 - were not imposed until 1994.
A federal appeals court struck down the limitation, saying
inflation had eroded its fairness.
But Souter said a state's authority to limit contributions
cannot be tied to the Consumer Price Index.
"There is little reason to doubt that sometimes large contri-
butions will work actual corruption on our political system,
and no reason to question the existence of a corresponding
suspicion among voters," he said.
He was joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and
Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth
Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Continued from Page 1
in Granite state polls. Sen. John McCain of
Arizona holds a slight lead over Bush in most
New Hampshire GOP polls, and he hoped to
sustain it even after bypassing Iowa. Forbes
has been a distant third in New Hampshire,
but hoped his Iowa showing would improve
With results from 95 percent of Iowa's
counties, Bush had 41 percent of the caucus
vote and Forbes 30 percent. Former ambas-
sador and talk show host Alan Keyes was a
respectable third at 14 percent, with Gary
Bauer at 9 percent, John McCain 5 and Orrin
Hatch just 1 - not even 900 votes.
Hatch planned a news conference Tuesday,
and an adviser said he was likely to drop out
of the race. Bauer was said to be deeply dis-
appointed and assessing the future of his can-
didacy, but told 50 supporters he would forge
, en to New Hampshire. "I wasn't raised to be
a quitter' he said.
Bush noted that the highest percentage
achieved by a GOP victor in Iowa was 37.4,
whenBob Dole beat Pat Robertson before
Atalling in New Hampshire.
The Iowa process will yield 47 delegates to
'the Democratic convention and 25 delegates
to the GOP convention, a tiny fraction of the
tptal a candidate needs to win the nomination.
." AP's delegate count showed Gore with 29
and Bradley 18. Bush was likely to earn 10
Continued from Page 1
The Republicans also had their own surprise.
"The combined support for the social conserva-
tive side ... was actually pretty formidable,
Traugott said, adding that "the result shows that
(Bush) will have to move more to the right to
maintain support in New Hampshire."
Bush has been "trying to be a different kind of
Republican" by trying to be more compassionate,
To win the nomination and campaign against
members of their own respective parties, candi-
dates must take extreme positions on issues that
they would otherwise try to remain more central
on, Achen said.
Magazine editor Steve Forbes came in second
after Bush in the Republican race, trailing behind
by only 10 points.
Forbes role in the caucus is to force Bush to
take a more conservative stance - which will
help him in the primaries - but may hurt him in
the general election, Achen said.
Traugott said although Forbes had a good
showing of support in Iowa he heard that it
cost Forbes nearly $10 million for campaign
efforts. "This is a very high cost per vote," he
The loss by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and
former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley will
mean more to their campaign if they cannot win
the New Hampshire primary next week, Achen
It is particularly important "for the challengers
to demonstrate this is not all over already" Achen
said, adding that "nobody wants to give substan-
tial money to a candidate who is going to be out
of the race.
"I think McCain really has to win New
Hampshire and he knows that," Achen said.
In November, McCain decided not to cam-
paign in Iowa and focus his attention on the New
Hampshire primary. This is largely due to his lack
of funds for launching a campaign comparable to
that of Bush's.
For Bradley, the defeat will be less detrimental to
his campaign because he has a stronger national
organization and more money than McCain, Achen
In order for Bradley to have a stronger showing
in New Hampshire, he will have to use more neg-
ative campaigning, Traugott said.
When campaigning against a member of
the same party policy issues are going to be
somewhat similar and it is therefore neces-
sary to focus on the opponent's personality,
Bradley will have to focus on some of the
controversies from the 1996 Clinton-Gore cam-
paign, such as receiving funds from internation-
al contributors and the question of moral leader-
But Traugott warned that the estimate of the
entry poll results may not reflect the actual pro-
portion initially indicated.
Achen stressed the necessity to remain cau-
tious when looking at the entry polls because
there is always the possibility that they are wrong,
but he added that he does not doubt Gore and
Achen said he doesn't expect the other candi-
dates such as television commentator Alan
Keyes, Christian activist Gary Bauer and Sen.
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to hold on very long.
Hatch, although a respected politician, showed
poorly in the caucus and there is speculation of
his dropping out of the race, Achen said.
As for Keyes and Bauer "they're in the race to
make a certain point and they'll continue to do
that," Achen said, adding that he doesn't expect
them to hang on much longer.
Texas Gov. George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush celebrate his Iowa caucus victory last night
as the first caucus sets off the season.
delegates, compared to eight for Forbes, four
for Keyes, two for Bauer and one for McCain.
Forbes mounted, and funded, a particularly
vigorous campaign here, calling on funda-
mentalist and conservative support to chal-
lenge the more moderate Bush. McCain
passed up the contest to focus on more inde-
pendent-oriented New Hampshire. Keyes
bested Bauer in their duel for GOP social
activists, dealing his rival a staggering blow.
Gore's big margin blunted Bradley's chal-
lenge going into New Hampshire where
Bradley has polled even with Gore, or even
ahead. In a sign of the tit-for-tat to come, Gore
accused Bradley of "going negative" in the
final days of the Iowa race - and said the tac-
"I think it was a mistake for his campaign
to go to the so-called negative approach but
I'm not complaining," Gore said. "But based
on what I've heard from from the voters out
here they didn't expect that and didn't like it."
1roponents Health, education on congressional agenda
fp o t u se WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress convened together" The House, in particular, had a new look, a new trillion publicly held debt could be paid ol
yesterday with a blend of prayer and political The words were far less soothing in the House. carpet - in a lighter shade of blue - as well as 2015, assuming that Congress didn't dip int
it elcajousting, ready to confront an election-year agen- where Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas new wiring for the sound system. Social Security trust fund surplus.
t e C da topped by tax cuts and health care. Democrats launched the first partisan attack within minutes of January is customarily a slow month in House Republicans intend to move quickl
Continued from Page 1
marijuana users will be able to smoke
and grow marijuana in their homes.
Schmid, a University alum, is direc-
tor of Personal Responsibility
Amendment 2000, a petition drive that
began two weeks ago to "legalize the
*lited personal use and possession of
gsmall amountaof presumably home-
Schmid said the proposal is "very
'1 want to do this in a way it can't be
reasonably objected to," he said.
To avoid violating the Interstate
Commerce Clause, which gives the fed-
eral government the right to regulate
erstate agriculture, Schmid's proposal
dludes using only home-grown mari-
juana. Schmid also cited this as a way to
keep drug dealers out of the equation.
The proposal hopes to make mari-
juana use legal "so long as the use is for
medical purposes or by an adult at least
2lIyears-old in a non-public manner
not accessible by or visible to children."
"We've been asking politely for
years," Schmid said, adding that asking
has resulted in measures like driver's
license withdrawal as a penalty for pos-
'1sion. "We're finished asking. Now
we're demanding through the constitu-
tional amendment initiative process,"
Schmid, who does not smoke mari-
juana, said he began working on the
petition drive after a 69 percent vote to
legalize medical marijuana in
Washington, D.C. was overturned by
"Lawyers need to come out of
ence and stand up to despotism,"
Schmid said he expects many
Michigan legislators to pledge support
for his cause.
Senate Majority Floor Leader
Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) said he
were buffeted by Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode's
decision to become an independent.
Within moments of the opening gavel, Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott said Republicans
would push for an early vote on legislation
granting citizenship to Elian Gonzalez, the
Cuban boy at the center of a politically charged
"Make the senators positive, courageous prob-
lem solvers," chaplain Lloyd Ogilvie prayed from
the Senate rostrum as Congress' long winter break
came to an end. "Give them an unprecedented
sense of oneness and unity to lead this great nation
the session's opening.
"Reports that the House is returning to work
today are inaccurate," he said. "This House will
complete month one of the new millennium with
no action ... on any of the major issues that this
country faces. Nothing on education, nothing on
Social Security, nothing on the environment, noth-
ing on tax reform or prescription drugs for
Doggett's sharply worded remarks reflected an
underlying political struggle in a year in which the
presidency, all 435 House seats and 33 Senate
seats will be on the November ballot.
Congress -- whether Republicans or Democrats
are in charge - since lawmakers prefer to wait for
the president's State of the Union address and bud-
get proposals before tackling key issues.
Clinton speaks before Congress and a nation-
wide television audience on Thursday and will
unveil his budget 10 days later.
The White House and House Republicans have
been laying out their agenda for several days in
advance of the session, the last of Clinton's two-
House Speaker Dennis Hastert last week out-
lined a plan under which the government's $3.7
bring legislation to the floor to ease the so-called
"marriage penalty," and Majority Leader Dick
Armey said in an interview a bill would soon fol-
low to provide education tax breaks.
Armey (R-Texas) also said the House will act
early in the year on legislation to revitalize com-
munities where economic growth is stagnant.
House Republicans also intend to pass legis-
lation relating to HMOs and some sort of pre-
scription drug benefit for Medicare, bills that
Democrats first placed on the agenda and that
some GOP aides privately have said must pass if
the party is to hold the House next fall.
E-ideas among solutions for
Postal Service funding woes
European Beer Night
$1.00 off pints of
Continental European Brews
WASHINGTON - Inside his office
high above UEnfant Plaza, Postmaster
General William Henderson juggles the
present and the future. He estimates he
will need to chop U.S. Postal Service
costs by $1 billion this year to avoid red
ink. But he also needs to find a strategy,
at whatever cost, to expand the agency
into the new world of e-mail and e-
He has a bundle of e-ideas. The
Postal Service, for instance, gould
develop an electronic mailbox, giving
American households an Internet
address to match up with their physical
address. If a home did not have a com-
puter link to the Internet, the agency
would print out the electronic mes-
sages, put the paper into an envelope
and hand-deliver it.
The Postal Service could also set
up an Internet auction site to help
retailers dispose of surplus goods. Or
even help Americans pay their bills
"We're in no different a position than
every company in America ... and that
is to figure out what this new channel
means to you," Henderson said. "How
is it going to hurt you and how is it
going to help you?"
But the Postal Service has come late
to the Internet game and faces numer-
ous hurdles: It is a classic bricks-and-
mortar, labor-intensive business, fight-
ing to control costs. It must live within
constraints dictated by Congress and
the federal bureaucracy. It operates
against tough competition from private-
sector delivery companies.
Perhaps more important, critics con-
tend that the Postal Service is neither
fast, flexible nor innovative - the chief
characteristics of the Internet economy.
"You have to wonder if the days are
not numbered," said Donna Hoffman,
co-director of eLab, an electronic com-
merce research center at Vanderbilt
University in Nashville, Tenn.
"I think they have real challenges,"
said Bill Whyman, an Internet strategist
for the Legg Mason Precursor Group.
"Just look at instant messaging.
America Online's service delivers more
messages than the U.S. Postal Service
by 50 percent every day."
Historically, increases in mail vol-
ume have helped the agency cover its
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