All eyes are on Montana this week after AG Steve Bullock’s huge win against shadow political groups. These groups tried to overturn Montana’s centuries-old ban on corporate spending in elections. Bullock beat them down.
A few years ago the U.S. Supreme Court gave it’s full seal of approval to corporate influence in elections, in the infamous Citizens United Case. Since then, Montana has been the only state in America with the backbone to wage a war to defend it’s own state laws prohibiting such corporate spending. Our laws date back to 1912, and were passed in response to Copper Kings who tried to buy the entire state government with bribes.
The ruling by the Montana Supreme Court in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. State of Montana is a ray of hope for American election law. During the 2010 elections, giant industries descended on Montana and spent huge sums of unregulated, undisclosed money, as much as $6 million, to elect Republican legislative candidates. The result was the most lopsided election in Montana history.
A big shout-out to Chief Justice Mike McGrath, who found an artful way to weave an opinion out of delicate cloth, upholding Montana’s ban on corporate money passed by voters in 1912, by finding meaningful distinctions between Montana’s law and the federal law that was held unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in Citizens.
Bullock should be proud of having argued a landmark decision that will be remembered in Montana for many decades. This is our gubernatorial nominee. Contrast him to the nine homunculi put forward by the GOP, none of whom can point to a single accomplishment on behalf of Montana citizens.
What results might this crop of GOP contenders point to as evidence that they are competent leaders?
–creating the most expensive work-comp system in America, and raising taxes to try to fix it (Hill)
–working for Qadaffi (Livingstone)
–preventing terminally ill cancer patients from getting medical cannabis to ease their pain (Essmann)
My money is on Bullock.