Supreme Court Strikes Down Montana's Campaign Finance Law
By Mike Cronin
Story Created: Jun 25, 2012 at 8:07 PM MDT
On Monday, the US Supreme Court struck down the Corrupt Practices Act of 1912, which prohibits corporate spending in state and local elections.
Senator Max Baucus (D – Montana) said, "This decision is an absolute outrage. It's an outrage to montana, to the country. It undermines our democracy in our country."
In a 5-4 vote, conservative justices prevailed, citing the 2010 Citizens United decision, which allows corporate contributions in federal elections. They say that also applies to state and local elections.
Along with 22 other states, Montana has led an effort to challenge that ruling; saying its 100 year old law limits corporate campaign spending in state and local elections.
"It's hard to have quite as much faith in the court when on a 5-4 decision, they strike down 100 years of what montanans have done and stood for," said Attorney General Steve Bullock (D – Montana).
American Tradition Partnership (ATP), a Washington DC based conservative group, is praising the decision.
Donny Ferguson, Executive Director of ATP, said, "The First Amendment clearly states that the government can not restrict peoples' rights to speak, no matter what from the people choose to come together. It's a violation of both freedom of speech and freedom of association."
ATP is now asking for Attorney General Bullock and Governor Schweitzer's resignation.
Ferguson said, "They repeatedly, in our case and in the case of Canyon Ferry, haven unfairly and falsely prosecuted the people for expressing opinions that differ from them and that's a violation of oval office."
"At the end of the day, this is a law that's been important for Montana, not only for the past century, but how we structure our elections and choose our public servants. it's something that's going to be important going generations ahead," said Bullock.
Bullock tells us he'll encourage disclosure laws during the next Legislature, and Senator Baucus says he's going to introduce a constitutional amendment to try to reverse the high court's decision.
Governor Schweitzer has posted a video to Youtube comdemning the decision...