The AP just reported five minutes ago that 22 states and the District of Columbia have joined Montana's challenge to Citizens United.
By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, May 20, 7:00 PMThe point made by Montana was that its rules apply to elections other than just the Presidential and Congressional elections and that Montana has a long history of excess corporate influence--which led to the implementation of campaign finance laws in 1912 that have been in effect ever since.
HELENA, Mont. — Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending.
The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana’s state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York’s attorney general’s office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released Monday.
Beyond Montana's limited challenge, the other 22 states asked that several of Citizens United's core findings be reconsidered, and said that state campaign finance laws are necessary since the ability of corporate money to influence state elections is far higher than in federal elections. In addition, both Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have joined the appellants in asking that Citizens United be overturned.
Obviously, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is to be commended for his principled stand against this almost unbelievable case of judicial overreach. He's also a good guy and is running for Montana Governor to replace Brian Schweitzer, who's termed out after eight years.
Bullock has been very vocally and actively supported by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, (whose ads to overturn Citizens United regularly run on Daily Kos). While Jon has every reason to oppose Citizens United, since much of his opponent Denny Rehberg's de facto advertising is coming from outside groups, and particularly from Karl Rove's American Crossroads PAC, Jon's been out there every day slugging on this issue.
In 2010 Montana saw just what the Super PAC money could do, when, with some of the best economic numbers in the U.S., Montana's Democrats went from being tied with the Republicans for seats in the Montana House in 2008, to losing 18 additional seats in 2010, and being down 68 to 32 in the 2011 Legislature.
Please write or email your state's attorney general if he or she hasn't yet signed on to support Bullock's and Montana's appeal, and let's make this fight one the U.S. Supreme Court understands is going to produce significant negatives for them, if they try to further mute the voices of average citizens.