Tester: Supreme Court decision ‘rolls back 100 years of transparency’

Farmer slams controversial decision overturning Corrupt Practices Act

BIG SANDY, Mont. – Montana farmer Jon Tester released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court, citing its own controversial Citizen United v. FEC decision, today overturned Montana’s century-old law limiting corporate influence in state elections:

“This decision rolls back 100 years of transparency in Montana, returning us to an era when millionaires and billionaires bought elections for themselves.  That’s not free speech; it’s corruption. 

“Today’s ruling is an endorsement of secret spending and the backwards notion that corporations somehow have the same constitutional rights as American citizens.  We don’t believe that in Montana.  We believe that people and their ideas—not corporations and their money—influence elections.

“Today’s ruling will open the gates to even more out-of-state money from secretive special interests.  But Montanans know that their votes can never be bought.”

With a vote of 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court today said “there can be no serious doubt” that its Citizens United decision affects Montana’s longstanding law, called the Corrupt Practices Act of 1912.

The 2010 Citizens United decision gives corporations the ability to spend unlimited, secret money in political elections.

During a June 16 debate in Big Sky, Mont., Congressman Dennis Rehberg endorsed the controversial decision, saying, “When it comes to the federal government and money coming in and out of the state, Citizens United was the right decision on the part of the Supreme Court.”

Rehberg himself has been endorsed by the organization Citizens United, the plaintiff in the case.