KXLH: Rehberg, Tester & Baucus differ on campaign spending

One of the most politically charged issues this year is whether or not corporations should be allowed to spend money to influence elections. It’s an issue that has divided Montana’s congressional delegates.

The U.S. Supreme Court said in its Citizens United decision that corporations have a right to free speech. This means they can buy political advertisements which advocate for or against a candidate.

Senator Max Baucus (D – MT) says this unbridled power is most often used for negativity.

“The dollars in American politics today is obsessive. It’s a cancer on our system. It’s part of the cause of excessive partisanship.” Baucus says.

Baucus is sponsoring a U.S. Constitutional amendment which gives Congress the power to regulate how corporations spend money in elections.

Under the current system, a corporation can spend unlimited amounts of money on ads and if it’s set up correctly they don’t have to disclose who’s paying for it.

This has already come into play in the U.S. Senate race between Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT).

“There has been over $1 million flow into this state, not to educate people on what I’ve done, but to try to give them bad information on who I’m not,” Tester says.

Tester supports the Constitutional amendment. He also supports legislation which requires full disclosure of campaign spending.

Congressman Denny Rehberg won’t support the amendment. He says a healthy democracy is made up of many voices.

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