Governor Schweitzer & Lt. Governor Bohlinger Sign and Endorse Initiative 166
Say Corporate Money in Our Elections a Threat, Ask Montanans to Stand Together to Address this Problem
HELENA — Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Lt. Governor John Bohlinger today signed the initiative petition for I-166, the Prohibition on Corporate Contributions and Expenditures in Montana Elections Act and endorsed the I-166 campaign.
“Both the Lt. Governor and I strongly believe Montanans, and our country, need to stand together to address the problem of corporate money in our elections,” said Governor Schweitzer. “We are at a unique time when Montanans can provide leadership on this important issue, much as we did 100 years ago with the passage of the Corrupt Practices Act through the initiative process. That is why we want to be among the first Montanans to sign this petition and encourage others to sign it as well. We hope all Montanans will get behind this important effort.”
“For nearly a century we have prided ourselves on creating a system that has been free of big money and corporate expenditures, now that system is under attack,” said VernerBertelsen, former Montana Secretary of State. “Montana experienced firsthand abusive, corrupt corporations trying to run the business of this state, and yet now the U.S. Supreme Court seems to be inviting those practices not only into Montana, but into the nation as a whole.”
“Corporations are not people,” said C.B. Pearson, treasurer for I-166 and a long-time Montana campaign reform advocate representing Common Cause Montana . “They do not breathe, they do not have children, they do not die fighting in wars for our country, and they do not vote in elections. We need to act to get their money out of our elections.”
“We are now in the signature-gathering stage of our campaign to place I-166 on the November ballot,” said Bertelsen, who at 93 has agreed to come out of retirement to help on this effort. “It is so important that we Montanans take a stand on the issue of corporate and big money in our politics. We invite all Montanans to join in this campaign and help lead the conversation on this issue.”