The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[I-166] and the Montanans that loved her. (aka States' Rights)

DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
I think it's about time I made something about this as the events have been unfolding on it, and I haven't really seen much of any focused discussion about it so far. I'll try to summarize it based on how I understand the situation and provide regular links, as some of the documentation is pretty verbose.

It appears that SCOTUS had struck down Montana's century-old Corrupt Practices Act a little while back, which among other things(but most importantly to this discussion) dealt with corporate money's involvement in the election process. They struck it down based on their previous Citizens United ruling, infuriating the Governet and Lt. Governer of Montana, Brian Schweitzer and John Bohlinger respectively.

As a result, they are now looking to go over SCOTUS and are calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. Their statement is as follows:



They, as well as various other organizations have set up several different web sites about this issue.

I have been receiving various e-mail updated from these organizations and it seems so far that as of last week, six states so far have already gotten onboard - Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, California, and most recently Massachusetts passing a resolution through their state legislature. (For reference, at minimum 38 states and 2/3 of congress are required to pass and ratify and amendment).

Senator Jim McGovern of Massachusetts has also put forth H. J. RES. 88 in the House, and S. J. RES. 29 calling for the constitutional amendment.

Montana has also introduced initiative I-166 as part of a "screw you, SCOTUS" state law, was well as marking the state's official participation in the list of states calling for a constitutional amendment:

Full text of the initiative as follows(warning, may initially be formatted crappily as preview doesn't like spoiler tags):
THE COMPLETE TEXT OF INITIATIVE NO. 166 (I-166)
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Short title. [Sections 1 through 4] may be cited as the
“Prohibition on Corporate Contributions and Expenditures in Montana Elections Act.”
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Preamble. The people of the state of Montana find
that:
(1) since 1912, through passage of the Corrupt Practices Act by initiative,
Montana has prohibited corporate contributions to and expenditures on candidate
elections;
(2) in 1996, by passage of Initiative No. 125, Montana prohibited corporations
from using corporate funds to make contributions to or expenditures on ballot issue
campaigns;
(3) Montana’s 1996 prohibition on corporate contributions to ballot issue
campaigns was invalidated by Montana Chamber of Commerce v. Argenbright, 226 F.3d
1049 (2000). Montana’s 1912 prohibition on corporate contributions to and
expenditures on candidate elections is also being challenged under the holding of
Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. _____, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010). This decision equated the
political speech rights of corporations with those of human beings.
(4) in 2011 the Montana Supreme Court, in its decision, Western Tradition
Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General, 2011 MT 328, upheld Montana’s 1912 prohibition
on corporate contributions to and expenditures on candidate campaigns, stating in its
opinion as follows:
(a) examples of well-financed corruption involving corporate money abound in
Montana;
(b) the corporate power that can be exerted with unlimited corporate political
spending is still a vital interest to the people of Montana;
(c) corporate independent spending on Montana ballot issues has far exceeded
spending from other sources;
(d) unlimited corporate money into candidate elections would irrevocably
change the dynamic of local Montana political office races;
(e) with the infusion of unlimited corporate money in support of or opposition
to a targeted candidate, the average citizen candidate in Montana would be unable to
compete against the corporate-sponsored candidate, and Montana citizens, who for
over 100 years have made their modest election contributions meaningfully count,
would be effectively shut out of the process; and
(f) clearly the impact of unlimited corporate donations creates a dominating
impact on the Montana political process and inevitably minimizes the impact of
individual Montana citizens.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Policy. (1) It is policy of the state of Montana that each elected and appointed official in Montana, whether acting on a state or federal level, advance the philosophy that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights and that each such elected and appointed official is charged to act to prohibit, whenever possible, corporations from making contributions to or expenditures on the campaigns of candidates or ballot issues. As part of this policy, each such elected and appointed official in Montana is charged to promote actions that accomplish a level playing field in election spending.
(2) When carrying out the policy under subsection (1), Montana’s elected and appointed officials are generally directed as follows:
(a) that the people of Montana regard money as property, not speech;
(b) that the people of Montana regard the rights under the United States Constitution as rights of human beings, not rights of corporations;
(c) that the people of Montana regard the immense aggregation of wealth that is accumulated by corporations using advantages provided by the government to be corrosive and distorting when used to advance the political interests of corporations;
(d) that the people of Montana intend that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending that allows all individuals, regardless of wealth, to express their views to one another and their government; and
(e) that the people of Montana intend that a level playing field in campaign spending includes limits on overall campaign expenditures and limits on large contributions to or expenditures for the benefit of any campaign by any source, including corporations, individuals, or political committees.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Promotion of policy by elected or appointed officials.
(1) Montana’s congressional delegation is charged with proposing a joint resolution offering an amendment to the United States constitution that accomplishes the following:
(a) overturns the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission;
(b) establishes that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights;
(c) establishes that campaign contributions or expenditures by corporations, whether to candidates or ballot issues, may be prohibited by a political body at any level of government; and
(d) accomplishes the goals of Montanans in achieving a level playing field in election spending.
(2) Montana’s congressional delegation is charged to work diligently to bring such a joint resolution to a vote and passage, including use of discharge petitions, cloture, and every other procedural method to secure a vote and passage.
(3) The members of the Montana legislature, if given the opportunity, are charged with ratifying any amendment to the United States constitution that is consistent with the policy of the state of Montana.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act.]
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Effective date. [This act] is effective upon approval by the electorate.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Codification instruction. Sections [1 through 4] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 13 and the provisions of Title 13 apply to sections [1 through 4].

As you can imagine, at the ass end of late Friday last week, opponents of I-166 headed by Senator Dave Lewis of Montana filed a lawsuit in order to keep I-166 from appearing on the ballot at all. Now mind you that the valid signature count for the I-166 petition is, as of Monday, nearly 32,000 signatures with 61 of Montana’s 100 house districts qualified. I-166 qualified for the ballot easily, as Montana law requires 24,337 total signatures as well as signatures from 5% of the voters in 34 house districts. I'm not sure what the case number is for this suit but I am curious to see what the basis is for the lawsuit to block it.

C.B. Pearson, Treasurer for the standwithmontanans.org web site as linked above, has also issued a statement about the situation.


That is currently about where everything stands to the best of my knowledge on the subject. I am strictly going by any resources I have found on these sites as well as Google for the specific text of I-166.

It is quite interesting to watch this whole situation unfold. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't say a constitutional amendment would have a snowball's chance in hell, but given the specific nature of this amendment, and the public's general disillusionment with SCOTUS over Citizens United, I can certainly see this getting at least some traction. Particularly when you consider how hard Montana has been pushing it even with almost nonexistent media coverage.

So far the media in general has seen fit to ignore it in favor of such things as exclusive video reports about a morbidly obese woman who lost 100 pounds via marathon sex sessions with her ex(yes, this is an actual story - no, I'm not going to link it). But if it gets far enough to gain widespread support, they may be forced to acknowledge it like they (begrudgingly) did with SOPA.

PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
Donnicton on

Posts

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    I would change the title to reflect this is really about election financing. Only my political crush on your Governor got me to click.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    Push this from a states' rights perspective, you'll pick up some of the right-wingers. "Oh no, the big bad SCOTUS is stepping on Montana's sovereignty!"

    PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Push this from a states' rights perspective, you'll pick up some of the right-wingers. "Oh no, the big bad SCOTUS is stepping on Montana's sovereignty!"

    You say this as if they have principles.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    Push this from a states' rights perspective, you'll pick up some of the right-wingers. "Oh no, the big bad SCOTUS is stepping on Montana's sovereignty!"

    You say this as if they have principles.

    Many do! :)

    PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Push this from a states' rights perspective, you'll pick up some of the right-wingers. "Oh no, the big bad SCOTUS is stepping on Montana's sovereignty!"

    I changed the title.

    I'm still taking courses from the Kotaku school of click fishing.

    PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
  • sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    Oh my.

    It's more about the corp finance laws though than states rights (imo).

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Oh my.

    It's more about the corp finance laws though than states rights (imo).

    Probably, yeah, though Montana didn't get fired up about it until SCOTUS killed the Corrupt Practices Act and told them to deal with it. The Gov/Lt. Gov are retaliating under the pretense of states' rights being affronted because the Act had been in place since 1911, and SCOTUS suddenly comes in and says tough shite -> Citizens United, bitchez.

    Donnicton on
    PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    Oh my.

    It's more about the corp finance laws though than states rights (imo).

    I absolutely agree, but the smart political move is to tangle the states' rights thread into a larger rope of reasons to support this. You'll pick up enough right-wingers (especially in the South) with that rhetoric to divide and conquer.

    PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Oh my.

    It's more about the corp finance laws though than states rights (imo).

    I absolutely agree, but the smart political move is to tangle the states' rights thread into a larger rope of reasons to support this. You'll pick up enough right-wingers (especially in the South) with that rhetoric to divide and conquer.

    I'm wondering what Montana was doing prior to that decision. They had to have seen that coming, that their Act would clearly be in opposition to the Citizens United decision. It wasn't until after the fact that they actually started yelling 'take back America!'

    No doubt there's some political calculation in this - I would suggest sweeping the election for governor, but it appears that he's already at his term limit.

    PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Yeah, if you can get the right-wingers on board without having to concede anything, that would do wonders for ensuring passage. The sad thing is the corporations only need to by off one of the legislative chambers in 13 states different states to prevent passage. If VA is a good indication of anything, state senates will probably be fairly easy in comparison to the state houses of delegates (as in the whole thing will be tough). I think you could find the votes in VA because one or two of our shitty Republicans would probably vote in favor and they're slightly more visible than state delegates. I see the harder battle with getting state houses of delegates on board because their are more people for corporations to buy off, they tend to get some of the more crazy and quite possible corrupt people (seriously fuck the general public for not paying attention to state and local elections) and probably are hardly scrutinized by their constituents, so they'll feel like they can get away with voting no even if signs point to it being a terrible idea.

    Mill on
    Steam ID
    battletag: Millin#1360
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Donnicton wrote:
    are calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United.

    I'm in.

    Can we add in the amendment that all members of SCOTUS who wrote or upheld Citizens United decision have to write "I'm an idiot" 1000 times on chalkboards which will then be turned into a national monument?

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    I thought this thread was about an interstate highway.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Donnicton wrote:
    are calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United.

    I'm in.

    Can we add in the amendment that all members of SCOTUS who wrote or upheld Citizens United decision have to write "I'm an idiot" 1000 times on chalkboards which will then be turned into a national monument?

    Previous jovial suggestions by me have been rebutted as acts of attainder, which aren't legal.

    I felt like a Constitutional Amendment was probably going to be the best way to effect electoral finance reform, so it's interesting to see this initiative. Dunno how effective it will be, but a guy can hope.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    After Citizens a constitutional amendement is the only way to tackle campaign finance reform since money now equal speech, corporations are people, herp derp can't restrict speech.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kagera wrote: »
    I thought this thread was about an interstate highway.

    You and me both.

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I think my ideal EFR constitutional amendment would say something like (Apologies if my language isn't constitutional):
    Congress shall set aside a fixed sum of funding for each candidate to use in campaigning, the amount determined by the office being run for. It is illegal for any other funds or resources to be used to sway the outcome of an election.

    This is probably contradictory to the states rights argument Montana's employing, but it's how I feel about it.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I think my ideal EFR constitutional amendment would say something like (Apologies if my language isn't constitutional):
    Congress shall set aside a fixed sum of funding for each candidate to use in campaigning, the amount determined by the office being run for. It is illegal for any other funds or resources to be used to sway the outcome of an election.

    This is probably contradictory to the states rights argument Montana's employing, but it's how I feel about it.

    It's slightly contradictory.

    You would just have to clean the language up a bit and be clear that you're talking about election for federal office (I would include in this Congressional office) and put in a clause about how the states can determine their own campaign financing law for their own offices.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Donnicton wrote: »
    Oh my.

    It's more about the corp finance laws though than states rights (imo).

    I absolutely agree, but the smart political move is to tangle the states' rights thread into a larger rope of reasons to support this. You'll pick up enough right-wingers (especially in the South) with that rhetoric to divide and conquer.

    I'm wondering what Montana was doing prior to that decision. They had to have seen that coming, that their Act would clearly be in opposition to the Citizens United decision. It wasn't until after the fact that they actually started yelling 'take back America!'

    No doubt there's some political calculation in this - I would suggest sweeping the election for governor, but it appears that he's already at his term limit.

    He is running for the Senate in 2014 or the Presidency in 2016 (or both, but I'd imagine he doesn't run for President if he runs for Senate). And I <3 him. Only reason I clicked on this thread, as I, too, thought it was about an interstate.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Aren't there ways around this? Like couldn't Montana issue a fuck you tax on Political Action Committees that operate in the state, regardless of what party they're for? Summarily declare every single PAC commercial obscene? There are limits on speech, they can't show tits on Adventure Time or anything

    What about state laws that force greater transparency (eg: if you run a political commercial in the state as a SPAC, X% of it needs to be devoted to revealing the names of the persons who funded it)

    At least force the supreme court to keep reaffirming "fuck the country, LET IT BURN"

    override367 on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Aren't there ways around this? Like couldn't Montana issue a fuck you tax on Political Action Committees that operate in the state, regardless of what party they're for?

    I'm not sure.

    I feel like if they did SCOTUS would tell them to fuck off.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    There have to be any number of ways to at least shoot this whole anonymous thing in the foot. There's nothing in Citizens that assures anonymity to the speaker

    And to me it'd be worth forcing SCOTUS to keep revisiting the damned thing every time you attack it from a different angle.

    override367 on
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    There have to be any number of ways to at least shoot this whole anonymous thing in the foot. There's nothing in Citizens that assures anonymity to the speaker

    And to me it'd be worth forcing SCOTUS to keep revisiting the damned thing every time you attack it from a different angle.

    I don't have the link handy, but didn't a Tea Party SuperPAC wade into a Democratic election in Nevada and Nevada law may oblige them to disclose their entire donor list?

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on that one but it would be delicious

    Conservatives are more or less above the law but we'll see

    override367 on
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    The only problem with having a set amount is that inflation will never stop, and the dollar will be worth less and less going forward. If we hard-code a dollar amount in the constitution, it will be stuck at that rate.

    Luckily, people smarter than me will be able to figure out how to get around that.. Like maybe tying election funding to being a percentage of GDP.

    But yeah. Fuck Citizens United. I do not see a single positive that has come from it, and in my mind it's the modern version of Shadowrun's Shiawase decision (the one that gave multinational countries soverign rights, which then led to the right to have a private army). Calling a corporation a literal person with all the rights of the constitution is very, VERY dangerous, especially when a corp starts arguing for their 2nd amendment rights.

    Edit: In the shower I realized how silly that last bit sounded, as all the individuals in the corp have their 2nd amendment rights already, so why would an abstract person need them? Many already do have private armies in the form of security or campus police. No, a better thing to argue might be, say, 5th amendment rights - that the corp, and by extension its people, have a right not to incriminate themselves before a court of law. That could be used to stand up against searches or the transfer of data, though I am VERY far from being a lawyer, so who knows.

    Athenor on
    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    After Citizens a constitutional amendement is the only way to tackle campaign finance reform since money now equal speech, corporations are people, herp derp can't restrict speech.

    Well that or have another democratic presidential term or two in a row and have a democrat replace some of the current conservative justices with a liberal one which honestly is probably more likely to happen than an amendment.

  • TcheldorTcheldor Registered User regular
    Corporations already have 5th and 4th amendment rights, as they should really.

    League of Legends: Sorakanmyworld
    FFXIV: Tchel Fay
    Nintendo ID: Tortalius

    Stream: twitch.tv/tortalius
  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Tcheldor wrote: »
    Corporations already have 5th and 4th amendment rights, as they should really.

    The specific individuals in the corporation, yes. I.e. putting the CFO up on the stand. But I believe he means specifically by way of a corporation itself withhold information. That is, as an umbrella gesture. i.e. withholding company records behind the 5th.

    PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    There have to be any number of ways to at least shoot this whole anonymous thing in the foot. There's nothing in Citizens that assures anonymity to the speaker

    And to me it'd be worth forcing SCOTUS to keep revisiting the damned thing every time you attack it from a different angle.

    Speaking of, has the thing in Nevada been mentioned yet?

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    There have to be any number of ways to at least shoot this whole anonymous thing in the foot. There's nothing in Citizens that assures anonymity to the speaker

    And to me it'd be worth forcing SCOTUS to keep revisiting the damned thing every time you attack it from a different angle.

    Speaking of, has the thing in Nevada been mentioned yet?

    I did. I don't know how viable it is, but override's opinion of it is in accord with my own.

  • TcheldorTcheldor Registered User regular
    No, A corporation has 4th and 5th amendment rights. Not the people, the actual corporation.

    League of Legends: Sorakanmyworld
    FFXIV: Tchel Fay
    Nintendo ID: Tortalius

    Stream: twitch.tv/tortalius
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    After Citizens a constitutional amendement is the only way to tackle campaign finance reform since money now equal speech, corporations are people, herp derp can't restrict speech.

    I really wish people would stop saying this

    The CU decision did not rest on either "money as speech" or corporate personhood

    sig.png
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    After Citizens a constitutional amendement is the only way to tackle campaign finance reform since money now equal speech, corporations are people, herp derp can't restrict speech.

    I really wish people would stop saying this

    The CU decision did not rest on either "money as speech" or corporate personhood

    Scalia would disagree with the first. The whole opposition to campaign finance is contained in Buckley v. Valeo, which CItizens United built off of.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    Tcheldor wrote: »
    No, A corporation has 4th and 5th amendment rights. Not the people, the actual corporation.

    Only some of them. A corporation has any rights that can be expressed collectively, based on the fact that a corporation is a group of people acting as one. That means they have some 5th amendment rights, namely the due process and takings clauses, but not others, such as the right against self incrimination (the component members of a group take are called to testify, not the group collectively).

  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Just received this in a mailing list e-mail, it looks like Massachusetts is now the seventh state calling for an amendment.
    Late last night, with only a couple of hours to spare before the end of the annual legislative session, the Massachusetts State House took the historic step of unanimously approving a resolution calling on Congress to overrule the Citizens United decision with a constitutional amendment restoring democracy to the American people.

    The State House’s unanimous vote last night follows an almost equally overwhelming vote of 35 to 1 in the State Senate to approve a similar resolution, just last Thursday.

    Both votes were solidly bipartisan, with all Republicans joining all Democrats in the unanimous voice vote in the State House last night, and all Republicans joining all but one Democrat in the roll call vote in the State Senate on Thursday.

    All of this is a huge step forward, thanks to your efforts and those of other citizens throughout the state who’ve stood up courageously for the principle that we, the people, not we, the corporations, are the ones in charge of American democracy. Congratulations!

    Massachusetts is now the 7th state in the country to officially call for an amendment.

    Free Speech For People is proud to have launched this effort for a statewide resolution in Massachusetts more than a year ago.

    I'm kind of curious who that one Democrat was.

    PSN: Donnicton - Switch FC: SW-6944-1374-2020 - Wii/3DS FC: 1633-4230-5354 - Steam: Donnicton - BNet: Donnicton#11763
Sign In or Register to comment.