A hastily-assembled crowd of about 30 demonstrators gathered in Kearny Mesa on Wednesday afternoon, protesting a Supreme Court ruling handed down earlier in the day that weakens federal campaign contribution laws.
On a 5-4 vote reversing the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling which had upheld Watergate-era campaign contribution limits, the court ruled to lift caps on spending for candidate contributions and political parties and committees, previously set at $48,600 and $74,600, respectively. Left in place are limits that restrict donations to any one individual to $2600 per election, and $32,400 to any one political party committee.
"McCutcheon gives the wealthy the ability to corrupt the opinion of the populace," opined John Swaim, one of the protesters gathered at the busy intersection of Balboa and Convoy.
Swaim said he had been contacted by several organizations drumming up support for the demonstration. A release from the progressive group MoveOn.org linked to a page announcing the action, with 60 people allegedly committed to attend by midafternoon, but everyone contacted at the site denied organizing responsibility or knowledge of who had organized the event.