Montana Politics Steve Bullock

Campaign Finance; Finger Pointing at its Finest

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I have to get this off of my chest even if it is a little late in coming.

The Montana GOP not-so-recently unleashed attacks on the Bullock campaign for having a paid-by-party spokesperson. Now, let it be known that I understand the legal conundrum this situation potentially presents, even if we were all assuming the issue was solved in May by the commissioner of political practices.  However, there is a larger ethical question surrounding the complaint that I would like to have an honest conversation about.

Why is it more acceptable for Denny Rehberg to receive nearly 30k from Exxon Mobile in 2011-2012 than for a Bullock staffer to be paid by the Democratic Party, since this money is equally coming from “other” sources? This obvious juxtaposition reduces the complaint to watered-down, election season, finger pointing and, frankly, we should have no patience for it. Obviously, it would be naive to assume any Party or candidate is completely clean of outside money, but at least the Montana Dems have not tried to and hide their donors while “crying financial foul” at someone they do not want to see elected. Unfortunately, there is no sense of sportsmanship in politics.

Considering their fierce opposition to any kind of campaign finance regulation, I find it particularly brazen that the Montana GOP now cares about its enforcement. Keep in mind that this is the same group that wants to make contributions a secret so no voter can see who has paid for what. Yet, the GOP knows campaign finance ethics could be a decisive voting issue for the independent Montana base that has not forgotten Citizens United, even if the topic has been mildly written off on the national level. This realization is only heightened by the Montana Supreme court’s rejection of the challenge to the 40,000 signature strong I-166 which received bi-partisan support for its placement on the November ballot.

About the author

ML

I am a Montanan, fisher-person, and a passionate progressive. My political interests lie within political ethics, economic justice, and the responsiveness of government to the needs of real people.

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  • How can a woman who represents herself as Christian work so hard for a party and movement that promotes anti-Christian values such as homosexuality, abortion, the destruction of families, the promotion of promiscuity, the removal of religion from the public sphere, the forced sponsorship of contraception by the Catholic Church, and the support for taxpayer-sponsored abortions internationally through the United Nations? Do you know that the Progressive movement began as a religious movement but has since disavowed its origins? You will recoil at what I write, but one day when you’re older and wiser, you will rue the travesty you are working to inflict upon society. One day, you will have to answer God for your grievous sins against him.

    • First, please do not worry; I am not “recoiling at what you write”, because you are not the first to question the symbiosis of my political and religious beliefs. While I appreciate your interest in the health of my soul, I would like to point out a few things. Also, you may have just inspired my next posting 😉 Thanks!

      1. Jesus, even in the most conservative view, doesn’t tell Christians to point people toward a political party, but to himself.
      2. Matthew 7, Jesus says “Judge not, lest you be judged” You did not ask what I thought of the issues you listed, you merely jumped to the first, easiest, nastiest, most generic place you could.
      3. The Republican party is just as quick to not represent “biblical values” as Democrats. You are simply picking the issues that stand out to you as “big ticket items”. I would love to see how someone of your passion attack issues from a Republican perspective such as transparency, misogyny, global hunger, poverty, oppression, homelessness, hatred, war, and pride in politics.
      4. This post is about campaign finance. I am an equal opportunity offender, but this particular issue is one that the Montana GOP is struggling with. Trust me- if it had been the Democrats that did something this blatantly hypocritical, I would have written a post about it. Because hiding behind flawed political parties is stupid.

      With that in mind, I am now going to answer your main question, why I am a Christian Progressive. It comes from Psalm 82;
      “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

      One last remark; If you have anything to add about campaign finance, please feel free to add away, because so far you are the only one who has added to the discussion 🙂 Any other posts regarding, harassing, or mocking my personal beliefs will magically disappear.

    • Jidia,

      While Micah’s response is far more eloquent than mine, might I suggest you read a book? It’s called the New Testament. Read it–and explain how anyone can support a party that demonizes the poor.

  • Great article Micah! Raises to the front this interesting dilemma the GOP find themselves in!
    And as stated above your response to the attack on your political and spiritual beliefs was well stated and frankly inspiring!! I was curious how you would respond to such an attack but you did it beautifully!! Great job lady! Keep the posts coming!!

  • I think you’re right on the money – those rules not deemed unconstitutional by citizen’s united now seem almost unimportant. It’s like insulating your windows when your roof has blown off. Obviously candidates still need to follow the laws because…it’s the law and all, but for their compliance to be meaningful we need a comprehensive system, which is probably going to require a constitutional amendment or a couple new justices.

    • Great analogy.

      I agree; there are going to be a slew of campaign finance lawsuits that will have little to no impact unless something changes. Personally, I would love to see a few justices replaced, but if Obama is reelected I doubt that will happen

      • ” Personally, I would love to see a few justices replaced, but if Obama is reelected I doubt that will happen”

        I disagree. Obama only chose one justice prior to citizen’s united, and she opposed the ruling. If Kennedy, Scalia, or Thomas were replaced by an Obama nominee, we could see it overturned.

          • Sadly you’re probably right, but Kennedy and Scalia will both be 80 by the time Obama leaves office. There’s a reasonable chance that there will thus be an opening on the court in the next four years; I wouldn’t be surprised if Kennedy actually retired when he felt it was time to, and not just timed with the election of a president of a particular ideology.

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