At the Flathead Democrat’s Spring dinner, we were reminded by Attorney General Bullock that Montana is still standing firm in defense of our state’s 100-year-old statute that prohibits corporate spending in non-federal elections.
Unfortunately, there is a serious possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will not issue a final decision on the Montana appeal or overturn the Citizen’s United case prior to the 2012 general election, and a timely constitutional amendment to change the current ruling seems unlikely as well. This means that the voters of Montana will be subjected to a barrage of unrelenting negative campaign ads designed to influence the outcome of our elections that will be paid for by Super PACS and large, out-of-state corporations that are not required to identify the sources of their funds.
In 1912, Montanans recognized the fact that large corporations were having an undue influence on state government, and we passed the Corrupt Practices Act, banning direct corporate contributions in political elections. Over the years this act has served Montana well. 2012 is not the year to allow rich, out-of-state entities to exert unfair influence on who is elected to serve the citizens of Montana.
As this election cycle plays out, I sincerely hope and trust that Montana voters will reject the sordid influence of the out-of-state money and revel in the tried and true electoral process that involves interacting with candidates as they campaign by going door to door, meeting their constituents face to face. Let’s try our best to learn about the most positive aspects of our candidates, and carefully choose the ones who we think will work together to make responsible decisions for our state. We must not let people from out of state tell us how to vote.