The Helena IR reported yesterday that the Billings “Montana Shrugged” TEA Party faction is suing the state to invalidate Montana laws that regulate sunshine in campaign spending and reporting in politics.
The lawsuit, filed with the help of the James Madison Center for Free Speech in Terre Haute, Ind., says Montana laws requiring various financial reporting by political committees are unconstitutionally vague and should not apply to groups like Montana Shrugged.
Just who is the out-of-state “James Madison Center for Free Speech”? It is backed and lead by the conservative and religious right-wing of the national Republican Party.
Indeed, one of [the group’s leaders James] Bopp’s greatest sources of funding emerged when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) embraced Bopp and his cause of campaign finance deregulation and helped him set up his own nonprofit litigation center — the James Madison Center for Free Speech — in 1996, on which McConnell agreed to serve as the honorary chairman.
The group’s leader, James Bopp Jr., is a Republican-backed lawyer who’s fought campaign finance laws for 30 years. In fact, he’s the guy that filed the suit that led to last January’s Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate influence on elections.
Once again, the so-called “local TEA Party movement” is just a pawn of a national Republican movement to obliterate transparency in campaign spending.
In fact, the Kansas City Star reports that this same entity is now challenging laws in at least a dozen states that have disclosure laws like Montana: including California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
And finally, all this garbage about how the TEA Party is supposedly not to be interested in social issues must finally be put to rest.