Great Falls Tribune

Matt Gouras

September 22, 2011

HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court made it clear Wednesday during oral arguments that it won’t be easy to preserve the state’s century-old ban on corporate political spending — but the justices also had tough words for the clandestine organization behind several lawsuits aimed at dismantling campaign finance laws.

A group called Western Tradition Partnership, which once had roots in Montana but now calls itself American Tradition Partnership and boasts a northern Virginia phone number and a Colorado incorporation, is asking the high court to uphold a lower court ruling declaring unconstitutional parts of the 1912 Corrupt Practices Act. The case piggybacks a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last year granting political speech rights to corporations.

American Tradition Partnership has one other state lawsuit and one federal lawsuit seeking to make it easier for political candidates to get money in large chunks from whomever they please. The case heard Wednesday in the Supreme Court seeks to undo a Montana ban on independent political expenditures straight from corporate coffers.

Read the entire article, Here.