Decision seen as direct challenge to U.S. Supreme Court on corporate spending

By David O. Williams

Colorado Independent

Friday, January 06, 2012

The combative head of an anti-environmentalist Washington, D.C. nonprofit with Colorado roots vowed on Thursday to appeal last week’s Montana Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s nearly 100-year-old ban on corporate campaign spending.

“American Tradition Partnership will appeal to federal courts regarding the Montana Supreme Court’s incorrect and contemptuous ruling last week,” ATP’s Executive Director Donald Ferguson said in a release. “We, and impartial legal scholars, are confident these unbiased courts will uphold the First Amendment rights of Montanans to speak freely about power holders.”

The 5-2 Montana ruling flies in the face of the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United versus the Federal Elections Commission. That ruling by a 5-4 margin in 2010 blocked the government from limiting spending by corporations and unions for political purposes, as long as that spending is independent and not coordinated with campaigns.

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