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...
An open letter to Will Deschamps, chairman, Montana Republican Party:
We at Missoula Moves to Amend assume that your convention this weekend will be considering one of the most important challenges our electoral system has faced, perhaps in its entire history. I’m referring to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission case and the national, statewide and local efforts to amend our U.S. Constitution to nullify that decision...
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.
ExxonMobil spits out a gob of chewing-tobacco juice and taps a baseball bat against the cleats of its shoes, knocking off the dirt clods. Then "Exx 'Em" — as the fans like to call their slugger — steps into the batter's box and slams the first pitch over the center-field wall of Dodger Stadium.
Meanwhile, Victoria's Secret — who likes to be called Vikki — is elbow-deep in stinky compost in a Denver garden, preparing to plant zucchinis, while Yahoo sits alone in a Seattle park, getting high on marijuana to avoid thinking about how it lost so much market share to Google.
A group of Helenans concerned about the corporate takeover of democracy will host a community forum on “Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule” with guest speaker David Cobb at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Plymouth Congregational Church. Part history lesson and part heart-felt call to action, the event is part of a “barnstorming” tour of Montana to raise support for a movement now sweeping the nation to abolish “corporate personhood” and re-establish a government of, by, and for the people.
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.
Corporations aren't people, an overwhelming 75 percent of Missoula voters said Tuesday, and they don't want corporations treated like people either.
"I'm over the moon about it," said Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken, who brought the referendum to the Missoula City Council to place on the ballot.
The measure - similar to others across the country - calls on the U.S. Congress and state leaders to amend the U.S. Constitution to say that "corporations are not human beings." It earned 10,729 votes in favor and 3,605 against.
When Missoula City Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken knocked on doors in her ward this year, she heard a disappointing theme among constituents.
"I heard an overwhelming sense of despair about government," Wolken said Wednesday.
People don't believe their voices are heard, especially at the state and federal levels, she said. And they believe campaign dollars are distorting democracy.
"A lot of people feel what they say doesn't matter because somebody with more money will come along and drown out their voices," she said at a Committee of the Whole meeting.