Governor Schweitzer lays out Montana's well-founded reasons for its 100-year-old ban on corporate money in elections, which the Supreme Court is now blocking. Montana's law is now the basis of a challenge to Citizens United, with the support of amicus briefs by Free Speech For People, Montana businesses, Senators McCain and Whitehouse, and 22 state attorneys general. Governor Schweitzer also voices his support for a constitutional amendment to over-rule Citizens United, including Montana's campaign to put the question before its voters this November, a campaign we're also supporting.
Mining for Influence in Montana
By BRIAN SCHWEITZER
Published: June 3, 2012
"IN Montana’s frontier days, we learned a hard lesson about money in politics, one that’s shaped our campaign-finance laws for a century and made our political system one of the country’s most transparent.
Those laws, and our political way of life, are now being threatened by the Supreme Court — which is why I recently signed a petition for a federal constitutional amendment to ban corporate money from all elections.
All this is in jeopardy, though, thanks to the Supreme Court and its infamous Citizens United ruling. In February the court notified the office of Montana’s commissioner of political practices, which oversees state campaigns, that until further notice, we may no longer enforce our anti-corruption statute, specifically our restriction on corporate money.
The court, which will make a formal ruling on the law soon, cited in the 2010 Citizens United case that corporations are people, too, and told us that our 110-year effort to prevent corruption in Montana had likely been unconstitutional. Who knew?"