Humphries has a right to speak

Humphries has a right to speak

The over reactions to Tom Humphries, president of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, endorsing a Republican candidate conveniently fail to recognize his previous endorsement of either a Demo-cratic Party candidate and/or a cause championed by Democrats.

While reasonable minds may differ about his endorsement of a candidate of either party, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the people to speak freely, especially concerning political candidates and political causes.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently decided the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case and the court essentially emasculated the McCain- Finegold Law (Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002) that prohibited non-profit corporations from campaigning for political candidates of their choice during short periods of time prior to elections. A fair reading of the court’s 25 page opinion extends this First Amendment right to all organizations including labor unions, the Sierra Club (specifically referenced by the Court) and yes, including Mr. Humphries and the Regional Chamber (the word “Commerce” having sadly been deleted from its name.)

Hopefully, the few headliners who stomped away as members of the Regional Chamber will return, and just as hopefully, existing and new members will continue to attract commerce to our community.

Atty. Carl D. Rafoth, Youngstown