In case you missed it, this weekend’s New York Times included an editorial about the role of out-of-state corporate money in the Montana elections . Here’s an excerpt:
The big money affecting many state races that most vexes Montanans came from a group of outsiders called American Tradition Partnership, a tax-exempt organization that describes itself as “fighting the radical environmentalist agenda” and refuses to disclose its donors. It brought the lawsuit that led the Supreme Court to strike down the state’s anti-corruption law.
The group has brought another lawsuit in Montana to strike down the state’s campaign contribution disclosure law, scheduled to go to trial next year. Its deeply flawed theory is that the more money there is in politics, the freer the exchange of ideas, and that disclosure inhibits that exchange.
Initiative 166 gave voters the chance to say they want to control how political campaigns are run in their state. As Gov. Brian Schweitzer summed it up, Montanans are saying loudly enough for the Supreme Court to hear, “Now it’s up to Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to get the dirty, secret, corporate, foreign money out of our elections for good.”