Thanks to Missoula Mayor John Engen for hosting “By the People: A Conversation about Corporate Influence on Our Democracy.” And to Anthony Johnstone for moderating and framing the discussion. And to the three panelists, professor Larry Howell, Attorney General Steve Bullock and attorney Jerry Loendorf, for their cogent, edifying commentary on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and the more proximate case challenging Montana’s century-old Corrupt Practices Act, currently under consideration by the Supreme Court...
This Saturday, Jan. 21, will mark the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC. That decision turned established law on its head based on a change of interpretation about the rights of corporations and by its assertion that expenditures of money constitute a protected form of speech. The effect was to render unconstitutional many existing laws that attempted to regulate the flow of money into political campaigns.
David Cobb, the Green Party presidential candidate in 2004, will speak at 7 p.m. Friday in Missoula on “Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule.” His talk, free and open to the public, will be in room 131 of the Clapp Building at the University of Montana. The event will be in the west wing of the building, near Beckwith and Madeline avenues.
Bravo, Ellie Hill, for your forcefully delivered commentary on Montana Evening Edition last Friday shouting out your support for Citizens’ Initiative No. 166, and bravo, Montana Supreme Court, for denying the attempt by a Republican state senator from Helena and a businessman from Billings, along with the shadowy organization, Montanans Opposed to I-166, to have the measure removed from the November ballot.
Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock actually had built a credible case in Montana’s defense of its Corrupt Practices Act of 1912 before the Supreme Court. He really didn’t have to look very hard for his argument. There was ample evidence that corruption was largely caused by the influence of money in the election process. Elections were simply bought. Senators were paid cash to get a Montana industrialist elected to the U.S. Senate.
Walter Wilde wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to say corporations aren’t people.
“I tell you, there’s so much to relate in terms of how far we have gone along the spectrum toward corporate influence, corporate, I say, domination of our political process that it’s hard to even know where to start,” Wilde said Wednesday.