Schweitzer Tells Supreme Court Where to Put Citizens United

Today’s must-read article is a strongly worded op-ed column in the New York Times by our own Governor Schweitzer, who writes that Montana has “fresh mountain air” and implores the conservative-dominated Supreme Court not to “blow the stink of Washington” our way.

At issue is the sequel case to Citizens United, called American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock.  Attorney General Bullock will soon be arguing before the Supreme Court in defense of our anti-corruption law dating back to 1912, which the Supreme Court has forbidden Montana from enforcing because it violates the holding in Citizens United that corporations have free speech rights to influence elections.

Schweitzer tells a colorful history of William Clark bribing his way to becoming US Senator and also discusses what he says is “a rare, pure form of democracy” in Montana that can be traced to strict controls on campaign finance.

The full piece can be found here.

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43 Comments on "Schweitzer Tells Supreme Court Where to Put Citizens United"

  1. I quote from Governor Schweitzer’s article and discuss Montana’s stand against special interests in my guest column today at the Flathead Memo: http://www.flatheadmemo.com/archives_2012/april_june/2012-06-04_guest_post_by_rob_stutz.html

  2. Jennifer Davies | June 4, 2012 7:48 PM at 7:48 PM |

    Schweitzer is a good writer. This is the most clearly I’ve seen this explained. Do we know when this case will be decided by the supreme court? What is the next step?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 4, 2012 8:21 PM at 8:21 PM |

      Yes but, he’s SO much more than a good writer too. He’s very, very intelligent. So much so that one of his favorite pastimes when he was running for office was to go on all the rightwing talk radio shows that he could and destroy them with his own intelligence, logic, and wit! God how I used to luv listening to him on those shows.

      You see, the only thing the morons on those shows had was idiotic rightwing talking points. Not enuff! Scwheitzer eats THOSE for breakfast! It was simply heelarious to hear the radio hosts stammer and stumble for something to say after being thoroughly trounced. And the great thing was that the guv did it in such a nice, inoffensive manner. Even the KOOKS couldn’t help but like and respect him!

      But that’s who Schweitzer is. He’s only about a hundred steps ahead of the wingnuts on every issue. And therefore, they don’t know how to react or defend against him. They really are idiots.

      But I guess what I’m trying to say, though, is that this is really who Scwheitzer is. This editorial is him! His rightwing radio appearances are him! His branding sessions of crappy bills is him! He’s never at a loss for words because he’s already thought it all through! And it shows!

      And that’s why I would like to see him continue in politics, especially as a candidate for president. He would absolutely confound the opposition on a national level just as he’s done here in Montana! They would be at a loss as to what to do!

      But most of all, he understands the issues and has honest-to-God SOLUTIONS for them! And he is NOT beholding to the corporations! His solutions involve what’s right for the PEOPLE of this state and country, and to HELL with any coporation that gets in the way! He was for single payer when every OTHER Dem tucked tail and ran! (right Max?)

      He’s the right man for the job now. I liken him to both TR and FDR. And we really can’t do much better than that! We NEED that if we are to survive the corporate onslaught!

      • man crush

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 7:07 AM at 7:07 AM |

          Man crush??? You got THAT right! I kinda LIKE deviant behavior, especially spanking! You see, I can’t help but LUV the way the guv SPANKED THE HELL outta you Pubbies! Spanky SPANKY! bwhahahahahahahahhahaaa!

          Too funny. If he wasn’t brandin’ your dumb asses, he was SPANKIN’em!

          And you see, zippy, I’m kinda thinkin’ that YOU morons must’a ENJOYED that because you asked for it so often! And that’s kinda kinky, zip! You dufi love a good spanky, doncha zip?

          Spanky spanky!

          bwhahahahahahahahhahahahaaaa!

  3. Brian is my hero. No doubt about it.

    • That is so pathetic! He’s a politician, and your job is not to worship him BT to watch him, keep him in line. They day you tell him that you are his bitch is the day he stops listening to you.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 7:24 AM at 7:24 AM |

        The big difference between the guv and you is that he talks out his mouth and you talk out your ASS!

        For twenty or so years the Dems in this state under Mini Barfus’s tutelage got their asses handed to them. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere comes a guy who punches back, and punches back hard! How can one NOT like the guy?

        If not for Schweitzer, ALL the insanity of the last Lege would now be law! And we really WOULD be Montucky! If he does nothing else in his life, he’s done enough! And I for one will never fail to acknowledge that! Absolutely NOTHING wrong with acknowledging courage and leadership. He walked the walk, dude. You’re simply ass-talkin’ again!

        BTW, what has YOUR hero Ralphy Nadir accomplished recently except for getting bush elected and the destruction of the country?! Let’s put his record up there next to Schweitzer’s for comparison, shall we? OOOPS! I think I just heard someone’s SPHINCTER slam shut! I think Ralphy’s bitch has LEFT the building! bwhahahahahahahaaaa!

      • “They day you tell him that you are his bitch is the day he stops listening to you.”

        Are we in prison? You can’t admire a man without being his bitch? For once Larry is right – Schweitzer has saved us from a lot of stupidity. He’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I think there’s no doubt that we’re better off than if we had elected Karl Ohs or whomever.

        • She didn’t say she admired him. She said he is her “hero.” I admire many people, but In politics, eternal vigilance is the only way to preserve what little is left of our liberties, and hero worship is not the way to go. Schweitzer is a smooth talker, has folsky charm and done some good things, is an environmental disaster, but generally has fight and sass in him, unusual for a Democrat. But he’s not a hero. He’s just a politician. Watch yer back.

          • And your just a peace of shit Mark! Face it! Again with only your crap opinion you knock anothers Opinion because you dont like it.

            Brians is one of my Heroes Because he stopped the I.D. Law here. and Made sure Elders and people in Montana could spend less money for prescriptions.

            What have you done in this world Mark???? Squat! Never helprd your Community? Served on a Board? Pull a person out of a Burning car? Saved an Eagle, hawk, or Owl? Been in the service? Helped a little old person across the street?

            Made any history at all except in you Mind???????

            See you haven’t done shit in your life but complain about others. Your a Troll!

            • You’re not really coming off well here. Might want to give it up.

              • Mark and anyone else. Enough with harassing other commenters. If you can’t do that, please go elsewhere.

                • Please – I merely commented on the use of the word “hero”, and caught hell from Norma, including such foul language as I would never use. Good grief, read her stuff above! So I politely suggested she give it up. Is that harassment?

    • Hey Cowgirl, Marks attacks seem to have centered on me and the woman on this blog Again.

      I think its about time for you to kick this troll off the blog, and send him packing to his own pathetic little piece of web-space somewhere over Colorado.

      • Censorious are we today?

        • When it comes to Tools like you trying to silence and Disenfranchise the people of another state, by Name calling…. and muddying the truth with non-facts, lies, and deception?

          Why Yes!

          I am all for sending sleaze balls like you scurrying. Nothing like getting rid of lying GOP Toll fearmongers from colorado like you…. for the good of any Montana people!

          • Freedom to speak entails saying things you do to like to hear. If it were only a matter of pleasing your ears, would you not be a king, instead of someone’s lackey?

            I said lackey and not bitch.

            • 1. “Freedom to speak entails saying things you do to like to hear.”

              That goes both ways and you are by yourself and I have the majority of people who comment here on my side. If you forgot that is called a majority. That means a Majority of people do not like you on this blog, and do not like your comments here.

              Your second sentence speaks volumes about you and your wish to be king, but not mine. If you Teatards remember your Jesus washed the feet of his disciples to prove he was no better then anyone else. I am by no means a good christian, but I am fairly good at humility, and I have a love of humanity and nature. I wish to serve my community, not be served… that is why I am running. I am just a regular local who gives a damn…. too bad you never had the guts to live life on your sleeve, to stand on the edge of rock and look out…

              You can speak Bullshit all day to try and make your circular points in the comfort of your little mind of baseless facts, just remember you are only fooling yourself here Mark, and your wish to be something grand( a horrible blogger who cant get 1% of the people cowgirl gets here).

              I already found my inner peace long time ago, so I don’t even have to pity you. You will always be a gutter troll thats just who you are. thats the truth of it, you don’t want hear as well

              My son is out of country now, fighting for Idiots like you to say your piece on the soapbox of your choice…. speak your mind troll…. while I go to serve my community in my own way also. Just don’t expect for us real People to stand around and listen to your your bullshit without the catcalls it deserves!

  4. I agree that we need major campaign finance reform but Schweitzer’s (and Bullock’s) argument that we’ll go back to the days of the copper kings is off base. What Clark did had nothing to do with corporate contributions or political donations, it was blatant bribery. He directly paid legislators to vote for him. It wasn’t via campaign contributions or other measures. The idea that corporations, unions or anyone shouldn’t be allowed to donate to candidates is absurd. We just need very low limits on those contributions so a handful I entities don’t control the process. I don’t care if Goldman Sachs wants to keep giving Jon Tester money as long as its limited to an amount that an average Montanan could donate on par with…maybe a couple hundred bucks max.

    • Let the plutocracy begin huh? That’s your view? Let our elections be decided by the pharmaceutical industry? Yikes.

      • Elections are decided by voters. To say that the money determines the election is to say that the voters are bought and sold idiots, and shows a clear arrogance on your part. I have more faith in my fellow citizens than to say that their votes are determined only by the amount of money behind a particular candidate. Who cares where the money comes from as long as it’s limited? How could the pharmaceutical industry decide an election if they were limited to expenditures just the same as idividuals…say $100 per contributor per candidate? That’s clearly not the kind of money that could even infer undue influence. All I’m saying is this has been approached wrong. Everyone has the right to free speech in America, whether they’re single, married, gay, straight, black, white, or part of a group (whether it be NORML, the Catholic Church, or Conoco Phillips). Why should one’s rights dissappear simply because they’ve chosen to partake in a legal contact, ie. corporation? That’s like saying married couples shouldn’t be able to participate in the political system or political parties or any other legal entity. A corporation is a group of people! PEOPLE! Disproportionate political influence is obviously a problem, but to limit ANYONE from participating in the system whatsoever is disgusting. $100 max contribution from corporations, people, married couples, unions, students, Republicrats, Demicans, or whatever…just put everyone on the same playing field. There’s no need to completely exclude a group from participating based on your own prejudice.

        • Jennifer Davies | June 5, 2012 10:09 AM at 10:09 AM |

          You think money doesn’t impact elections? Tell that to mike Lange, Rob Stutz, Jim Shockley, Corey Stapleton, and all the news outlets reporting on which candidate raises how much. It’s idiotic to suggest otherwise.

          • From the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics:

            In 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day Nov. 5, the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning, according to a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

            http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and.html

            Continuing a trend seen election cycle after election cycle, the biggest spender was victorious in 397 of 426 decided House races and 30 of 32 settled Senate races. On Election Day 2006, top spenders won 94 percent of House races and 73 percent of Senate races. In 2004, 98 percent of House seats went to the biggest spender, as did 88 percent of Senate seats.

        • Money is used to buy TV/radio time. Since most voters don’t pay very close attention whatever information that they get from those media outlets is what they base their decision on. In effect, the one with the most money can shout louder and longer than their opponent and thus will win. The link Paul S provided proves that.

          G6, your idea of limiting campaign donations from any source to an amount that most folks could afford is what the Montana Corrupt Practices Act does. It’s why Montana elections are relatively cheap, relatively clean and why the Gov’s article is correct.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 11:55 AM at 11:55 AM |

            Along those lines. The Pubbies never let GO of their dream of fascist Amerikkka ever since Prescott Bush supported Hitler, and Allen Dulles brought all the nazis he could find to a new home in Amerikkka to learn from them! And then created the inner CIA inside the CIA. And big daddy Kockh was creating the Birch Society to kill democracy! First and foremost, it’s vital to understand that these folks are NOT interested in democracy. Never were, never will be.

            But I would argue that this is NOT what America is all about. Unfortunately, the nazis have won in the sense that they’ve got ALL the money, and hence, they are no longer interested in being the loyal opposition.

            Hey, what the hell! Fascism might not be so bad, right? Works for the Teatards!! And it just might trickle DOWN some day, right?

            Danny boy and co.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-rather/norman-ornstein-thomas-mann-interview_b_1571055.html

            THIS is our reality. Nutless press and all. Again, I blame the Boomers who stood by and allowed it to happen. Mini Barfus is right UP there. When attack, Mini felt the best defense was to PLAY DEAD!…..and it shows.

        • Elections are not decided by voters only, and there is no Guarantee in the American Constitution for you to vote.

          The Machinery regarding voting has become more obscure and no longer transparent… and one political Party, called the Republicans wish to do everything they can to stop everyone from voting and turn America into a corporate fascist state.

          The Republicans in this state tried unsuccessfully to tie the hands of communities from voting in city zoning laws, or in Public comments this Year.

          The Republicans in this state tried unsuccessfully In state elections to stop students elders, women and disabled people from voting on election day.

          They are trying now to bind up laws to the point, where you do not have a say in the future of this state unless you are rich. They are doing everything they can to shut you up, and make you another 14 hour a day like chinese workers, by killing your chances to join a labor union… let alone being protected by a labor union.

          You better go out and vote in as many people into equal access of the law and voting( like Gays), as you can, so there are too many people for the GOP to silence in this state….. or they will be after you, you job, and your money next.

          Certain Republicans in this state don’t want George Washington’s or Thomas Jefferson’s America anymore.

          What they want is your voice silenced, and their agendas for you to become a peasant… Pushed through, and to become law. the GOP want Middle class Americans to be taxed more and corporations less.

          The GOP want You breathing dirty air and drinking dirty water. The GOP only want to give tax breaks to millionaires…. they don’t give a rats bottom about the middle class and poor in this state.

  5. Drunks for Denny | June 5, 2012 11:33 AM at 11:33 AM |

    I long for the days when candidates would walk into the bar and and set up round after round to win your vote. That would certainly win mine!

    If corporations are people, then they should be able to walk into taverns and buy vote-, …err, that’s drinks for us voters.

  6. Geez. I guess Ken Miller did not read the Gov’s article either. By the way, isn’t lying a sin too?

  7. And nobody here has a clue that Schweitzer is a first order crony capitalist….why am I not surprised?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 7:28 PM at 7:28 PM |

      WTFaaaaa???? A crony capitalist who took on Big Pharma, and was the very FIRST and most vocal to call for single payer???

      Sorry, Skinflute, like most EVERYthing you post, this doesn’t compute, dude! Sorry. Try again. Check your ass for more talking points. I’m SURE they’re more where THAT one came from! Either that, or call up the Big Kockhs!

      • Ingemar Johansson | June 5, 2012 8:15 PM at 8:15 PM |

        Hey Scary, looks like the Big Kockhs just got themselves another win.

        Race called in WI.

        Put some suave on it.

        • Canada Bracing for Massive Influx of Wisconsin Boat People: @TheAngryindian

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 9:00 PM at 9:00 PM |

            WELCOME TO NEW KOCKHISTAN! In the race to the bottom, Wisconsin takes the early lead! Folks there haven’t apparently suffered enough yet!

            But that’s OK, Ingy. When we finally hit bottom, there ain’t no where to go but up! I’m waitin’ for that day, amigo. Waitin’ for that day!

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 5, 2012 11:30 PM at 11:30 PM |

              “What luck for rulers that men do not think.” Adolf Hitler German Nazi dictator, orator, & politician (1889 – 1945).

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 6, 2012 7:23 AM at 7:23 AM |

              HOLY SHIT! HEY, if you believe THIS shit, you’ll easily believe that Snot Wanker and his Kockh bro. benefactors have your best interests at heart!

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/americans-believe-in-creationism_n_1571127.html

              It USED to be fifty some years ago that the TV preachers specialized in bilking granny outta your inheritance! DROOL money! It was simply granny drooling in her soup in front of the TV and letting out a little “amen” every time jimmy swaggart blasted the devil. But now, NOW, it’s gone viral! The entire freakin’ COUNTRY has gone nucking FUTZ! And that’s not good.

              The TV preachers have somehow stolen not just granny’s dough and your inheritance, but the entire freakin’ POLITICAL system! And it’s damn SCARY that we have become this nation of idiots!

              I remember visiting with some villagers from El Salvador a few years back. And they told me that they couldn’t understand these new rightwing missionaries that were flooding their country. You see, previously, their religious leaders had been Jesuit priests of the Liberation Theology types who were actually trying to improve their lives.

              But NOW, the Fundiwackmentalist preachers were simply encouraging them to accept their lot in life and have unlimited faith and respect in their corrupt government and not WORRY about their poverty, for they would soon recieve their reward in heaven! You see, life on earth is meaningless, and what really counts is your reeward in heaven! These poor Indians couldn’t understand that, for they had been abused by the government terribly, including having their own villages bombed by the government!

              Well, and now that’s where were at in THIS country! Don’t worry about your new Kockh gubmint, for instead of any comforts here on earth, the Kockh gubmint promises you your reeward in heaven! We’ve finally donet it. We’ve finally become BANANAmerica! Thank you my fellow morons! Enjoy your CEEment Jaysus and your flag, for it’s all you got left!

              Sad, so sad.

              • And the want to give more Tax Breaks to the Corporations, when companies have payed less every year for the last 30.

                Think about this:

                Just a mere month and a half ago the middle class GOP base, as well as moderate Liberals where complaining about gas prices going up.The GOP tried to Blame the President for it Bwahahahahaha

                Now prices are falling like someone just shot them out of the sky.

                The reason is that old capitalist expression of what the market will bare. The People of the USA are not complaining the same way on health care, or the argument would be over already,and the people would win.

                Just think about the I phone you bought, it was made in china for $87 and you stood in line to buy it for 400.00 dollars… if you refused to buy it until the price came down, you would have paid half the price of the 400.00 you shelled out…. its the same thing as not buying as much gas isn’t it?? The price?

                Another conundrum: Oil and Gas people are hiring people all over the USA why? Fracking -and the 86 percent drop in U.S. natural gas prices the boom has helped cause.

                “When you think about how quickly shale gas became successful in North America, there might be a bit of an expectation for it to happen just as quickly outside of the U.S….. That just isn’t reality, unfortunately.

                Our part of the earth is softer to drill in -then then any other country in the world is. That’s a geological fact.

                We live on a softer crust then the eastern hemisphere. U.S. gas deposits within shale fields are among the world’s cheapest to exploit, thanks to accommodating geology. European basins tend to be smaller and occur in shapes that are less cost-efficient to access.

                Projects in parts of the Northeast U.S. can turn a profit selling gas for $3 per million Btu. In Poland, the cost is likely closer to $9. That’s been bad news for ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and other companies that grabbed 109 licenses in Poland in recent years in hopes of a U.S.-style gas gold rush.
                Chinese shale deposits won’t produce substantial amounts of gas for about 10 years and will cost at least three times as much to drill as U.S. fields all because of geology.

                France banned fracking in July, citing environmental concerns, and last October, canceled exploration permits held by Total (TOT) and Schuepbach Energy. Bulgaria followed suit in January, stripping Chevron of a drilling license after protesters marched in the capital of Sofia.

                So the cheapest place in the world to frack for gas is the USA, and that softer crust means we will also have more enviromental concerns then other countries we are selling our Gas too. None of these Big companies are saving this gas for Americas future…. Fuck america and Montana too, these Corporations are gonna get rich selling gas elsewhere, while polluting our enviroment in the process…. because the world now has a taste for natural gas.

                Its the New Boom here, because it is the cheapest in the world to get too, Damn our environment in the process.

                Yet we as a nation want to give these Corporations more Tax cuts, while their hedge fund manager feign oil and gas shortages to the American Public?

                Havent you seen enough lies to be able to see through them? Companies from now on are only gonna sell when there is demand somewhere outside the USA and at whatever price they want, cause the People of the USA keeps giving these companies tax breaks? You telling me you dont see the double dipping in our pocketbooks? One from our tax payment and the other at the Punp?

                See Over the last thirty years all these companies figured they could produce less and sell for more. Hedge Managers had a place on wall street mainly to tell companies what they could get away from.

                This is the very issues at stealing your money the GOP in Montana want to expand. they have already tried it by laws they tried to pass Last session like:

                SB 415: which would usurp the Land Board’s constitutional authority to determine oil and gas lease contract terms that are in the best interest of the state’s school trusts. Additionally, other Montana mineral owners could be affected.
                Wellhead contracts are typically offered by producers to private mineral owners because they allow royalty deductions favorable to the oil and gas producer. The Land Board, on behalf of the school trusts, has chosen not to utilize industry-developed contract terms.

                The fiscal impacts of potentially significant lost revenue to the state, is approximately $1 million over the next four years, increasing to $2.5 million per year over the long term. These figures are supported by the fact that recent audits recovered $1.2 million in school trust revenue that would not have been received under SB 415. This is just a bill to screw the state out of money for the schools in our state! Peotecting oilman and gasmen instead of our future!

                Yeah our Gov Brian vetoed that very bullshit this last session, and my spies tell me the GOP will try again to fleece Montana with a law just like this next session. or try to put a GOP AG on the land board to overturn it that way.

                You are not gonna get what you want folks unless your will to sacrifice for it just like #OWS has been doing for you all along. Your being lead by the Nose here….. get real and put those tax payments back in your pocket and make corporations pay their fair share!

  8. One third of South Dakotans voted for someone other than Willard Romney today.

  9. Well we didn’t do bad Richard and I considering we have No Name recognition yet. We got a third of the precincts in our area, and the state was a tempid 41% in voter turnout.

    Now comes the hand pressing folks, and both of us could use whatever you can send us in donations. Please think about supporting us in Dillon. Help us spread the word.

    The fught of the night right now is still Pam and Jesse at twenty to three a.m. here it is still to close to call, and 25% of the ballots are yet to be counted.

    Kenny( Mostly Kenny) and I were right about our area Jesse won here by a landslide. And the president might make this state blue yet, Bullock looks like he will be in the bag, because Rick hill won his side. And the real teapublicans conservatives beat up on all the Moderates in the GOP.

    Lets not get complacent like Wisconsin Dems did. Everyone should be writing to the editors of their papers every week until November now, and spreading the truth to whoever is listening!

    • Please tell me you are not refering to me as “Kenny”. Rob and I have both asked you not to do that. It is a perjoritive representation of my name (indicating me being a child) and as I am over 50, I don’t think I qualify. My preference is Kenneth (as Ken is my dad). Further, it is Mark’s chosen reference to me putting you on the same level as Mark.

  10. Urge the Gov. to grant clemency to Ronald Smith:

    ACLU of Montana.

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