There are a lot of reasons that I’m supporting Steve Bullock to become the next governor of Montana, but none are more important than his decision to defend Montana’s century-old restrictions on corporate donations in elections. The latest ad from the Bullock campaign makes the case for the importance of this decision, in which Bullock was the single Attorney General across the nation to defend his state’s law.
While Attorney General Bullock is reminding Montanans about real achievements in his office, his Republican rivals are running around the state trying to prove just how out of touch with the mainstream they are. Instead of grandstanding about nullifying federal laws, Bullock took action to defend Montana’s law and crafted an argument the Court could accept.
While the corporate-controlled Supreme Court may end up ruling against the people of Montana, it’s worth remembering John Paul Stevens’s stinging dissent:
At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.
Stevens—and Bullock—are right, of course, and Montanans would be well-served choosing a governor who knows the importance of limiting corporate influence on elections.