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Corporations Are Not Citizens, My Friend: Support H.R. 2 (Guest Post)

We ask our fellow Montana citizens and Montana legislators to support House Resolution 2, a bipartisan resolution of Montana’s House of Representatives, urging Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 “Citizens United” decision of the U.S. Supreme Court and restore our right to control money and corporations in politics.

Passing this resolution will help the citizens of Montana clearly re-affirm that we are very concerned about the continued, deepening erosion of our democratic processes by the unlimited, massive expenditures of corporations in our election process and that we will no longer accept this attack on our democratic processes.

The State Administration Committee met the morning of Feb. 8 and voted 13-7 in approval of HR 2 — a successful first step for this important issue. HR2 will be debated in the Montana House of Representatives next, so we must act expeditiously and effectively.

Please remember that the people of Montana — about 75 percent of Montana voters, including the majority of every county in Montana and all counties — on Nov. 6, 2012, passed Initiative 166, asserting that the people of Montana regard money as property (not free speech), and that the people of Montana regard the rights under the United States Constitution as rights of human beings (not rights of corporations) and called for a U.S. Constitutional amendment. Montana 2012 I-166 stated: “Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy.”

Please reaffirm this by voting for HR2. Passing this resolution can help strengthen our democratic processes here in Montana and across the nation by calling for the reversal of the Citizens United ruling’s harmful assertions that corporations have the rights of ordinary persons and that corporations’ use of money in elections is supposed to be protected in the way that the free speech of ordinary citizens and persons is protected. Passage of HR 2 will help overturn Citizens United and restore our right to control money and corporations in politics. Money is not free speech and corporations are not human beings.

Out-of-state corporate and dark money, anonymously donated and used in election campaigns as a result of the Citizens United ruling have had a huge effect on our elections and the outcomes of Montana politics and on politics across the nation. Regardless of our political leanings and party affiliations, we see that these influences have overwhelmed our citizens’ voices in recent campaigns, interfered with Montanan’s right to choose our representatives, and are undermining our democracy. And, as we have seen in the past with the Citizens United ruling, even the U.S. Supreme Court won’t stand with us against these forces.

Please make a statement for Montana, and join the hundreds of other citizens, private and governmental bodies from all over the country working to ban these dark money practices and their destructive influence from our state and national politics. Thanks for your support for Resolution HR 2 in the 2019 Montana Legislature.

Ron Lukenbill and Frank Kromkowski, Helena
and 107 other co-signers
James C. Nelson, Helena
Jean Lemire Dahlman, Forsyth
Jonathan Motl, Helena
Jade Bahr, Billings
Mary Caferro, Helena
Linda Gillison, Missoula
Ellie Parker, Helena
Geoff Gallus, Butte
Ann Waickman, Helena
Sue Kirchmyer, Missoula
Clare Kearns, Helena
Don Jacques, Helena
Cindy Yarberry, Helena
Sharon Patton-Griffin, Great Falls
Kathryn QannaYahu, Helena
Lawrence Pettit, Helena
Kevin Curtis, Butte
Paul Donaldson, MD, Helena
Gerry Jennings, Great Falls
Carol Kopec, Helena
Tootie Welker, Hot Springs
Janice Frisch, Helena
Sue Tarpey, Missoula
Tom Antos, Helena
Angie Dansie, Dillon
Dave Antos, Helena
Celia Winkler, Missoula
Kenneth C. Taylor, Helena
Diane L. Magone, Superior
Haleigh Thrall, Helena
Duran Caferro, Helena
Petra Möller, Dillon
Dee Anna, Boulder
Patty Opitz , Helena
Pete Talbot, Missoula
Nadine Smith, Billings
Mark Ibsen, MD, Helena
Jim Parker, Hamilton
Jim Heikes, Boulder
Grace Johnson, Helena
Katrina Ruhmland, St. Ignatius
Suzy Holt, Helena
Tim Pattison, Helena
Joe Loos, Missoula
Deborah M. Lewis, Tarkio
Rebecca Harris Kotula, Missoula
Karen Loos, Missoula
Gail Trenfield, St. Ignatius
Debra Hanneman, Whitehall
Suzanne Nybo, Helena
Kim Destiche, Clancy
Jerilyn Lessley, Belgrade
Veronica Whitaker, Helena
Jean Triol, Kalispell
Pat Whitaker, Helena
Jeffrey J. Smith, Missoula
Marshall Mayer, Helena
Marianne Forrest, Missoula
Leah Schmirler, Great Falls
Kent Dodge, Helena
Tom Kotynski, Great Falls
Rick Cottingham, Helena
Michelle Risho, Bozeman
Beth Harbolt Cottingham, Helena
Tammy Mehlhoff, Billings
Bob Pyfer, Helena
Jane Stevenson, Helena
Ed Stevenson, Helena
Robert Capriccio, Missoula
John Woodland, Superior
Barb Harris, Helena
Jim Benish, Helena
Sharon Patton-Griffin, Great Falls
Bonnie Lambert, Helena
Mark Anderlik, Missoula
Mary Kathleen Craig, Butte
George Waring, Butte
Becky Bishop, Stevensville
Bill Entwistle, Helena
Lynn Ferguson, Butte
Diane Smith, Missoula
Michael Sweet, Helena
Roger Ala, Helena
Sherri Downing, Helena
Tom Kotynski, Great Falls
Sidney Armstrong, Helena
Diane Bomback, Augusta
Becky Donaldson, Helena
Pamela Morris, Corvallis
Becky Foster, Helena
Tom Stockburger, Missoula
Roy Tyrone Black, Helena
Steve McGrath, Butte
Paul Pacini, Helena
Nona Stockton, Grass Range
Ted Scherf, Helena
Bill Rule, Helena
Linda Kenoyer, Livingston
John Moore, Helena
Mary Ellerd, Bozeman
Ann Buss, Helena
John Kevin Hunt, Missoula
Floyd Dahlman, Forsyth
Giles Stockton, Grass Range
Tim Holmes, Helena
Dean Grenz, Boulder
Deb Bakke, Helena
Gere Hafer Speer
Don Pogreba, Helena
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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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