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Cross-Post: Montana says no to corporate personhood

Imagine 2050 Staff • Jan 07, 2012

Originally posted on Current on January 4.

In all the hoopla over the Iowa Caucus — who’s up, who’s down, who’s out — a story from Montana has slipped under the radar.

The Montana Supreme Court closed out 2011 by restoring a 100-year-old ban on direct spending by corporations in political campaigns.

The ban came under fire after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which grants first amendment rights of free speech to corporations:

The Montana Supreme Court argued there are plenty of ways for corporations to engage in politics, without funneling anonymous money into the process.

“The evidence submitted by the state in the district court similarly demonstrates that corporations, through their political committees organized under Montana law, are and have been a substantial presence and active participants in Montana politics,” the court wrote. “The many lobbyists and political committees who participate in each session of the Montana Legislature bear witness. Under the undisputed facts here, the political committee is an easily implemented and effective alternative to direct corporate spending for engaging in political speech.”

The decision sets up a potential test case for the Citizens United decision. Given how much money influences election results this question is only going to become more crucial.

Continue reading here.

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