ACLU wants to remove campaign contribution cap on minors

Jan 26, 2012

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is challenging a state law that limits the campaign contribution a minor can make. Regan McCarthy reports the case arose after a 17-year-old form Boca Raton tried to attend a campaign fundraiser.

17-year-old Julie Towbin was warned that purchasing a 150-dollar ticket to attend a fundraising dinner in her county could violate the state’s 100-dollar minor contribution rule. Towbin says she had hoped to learn more about the candidates she would be old enough to vote for in November. ACLU spokesman Baylor Johnson says the rule not only violates the first amendment, but also discourages young people from participating in the political process.

“This law institutionalizes apathy. It says that your voice is worth 1/5th of someone else’s. We shouldn’t be discouraging from participating in the political discourse we should be encouraging it. That’s how we have a better democracy.”

In Florida adults are allowed to contribute 500-dollars per candidate. The Federal law sets the limit at 2,500 dollars regardless of age.