What are you favorite quotes that inspire you to fight against corruption?
We created this page to share inspiring and insightful quotes from our past and the current debate. As we collect these we will share and we will look for creative ways to make these quotes part of the much needed debate. If you have an idea for how we can promote, let us know.
“Allow all the governed an equal voice in the government, and that, and that only is self-government.”
- Abraham Lincoln, 1854
“A representative democracy only works when everyone truly has a voice, and when the voices of the many aren’t drowned out by the pocketbooks of a few.”
- Helena Independent Record Editorial, Feb. 21, 2012
"For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation…. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains."
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
A lecture with featured speakers Jeff Clements, president of American Promise and co-founder of Free Speech for People, and James Nelson, former justice of the Montana Supreme Court.
It's never to late to thank the governor for signing our law.
Please thank Gov. Bullock, Sen. Ankney and Rep. Garner for their leadership in passing the Montana Disclose Act.583 signatures
We want to extend our sincere gratitude for your work to pass the Montana Disclose Act and sign this important legislation into law. It is refreshing to witness political leaders, from different parties, come together to address this threat to our democracy. With your leadership, Montana is taking a stand against dark money.
Montanans are united in support of clean and fair elections and against the secretive, special interests who seek to buy our elections. There is still much work to do to turn back the tide that has eroded our campaign finance laws in recent years, but dark money groups can no longer operate in the shadows.
Thank you for shining a bright light on those dark money groups. Thank you for restoring fairness and transparency to our elections.
With sincere thanks,
In 2012, Montana voters stood up for clean, fair elections, approving I-166 with 75% voting FOR.
I-166 received bipartisan support from prominent Montana political figures. Governor Brian Schweitzer (D), Lt. Governor John Bohlinger (R), and former Secretary of State Verner Bertelsen (R) were the first to sign the petition to place I-166 on the ballot and came together to author the argument for I-166 in the Voter Information Pamphlet.
"We need to get the dirty, secret, corporate, foreign money out of our elections,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “Just as we did over 100 years ago, Montanans stood-up and took the first step, sending a clear message to the nation that corporations are not people and money does not equal speech. Now it's up to Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to get the dirty, secret, corporate, foreign money out of our elections for good."
Supporters of I-166 believe that the strong passage of the measure in Montana will have a ripple effect throughout the country, and will ultimately lead to the overturning of the Citizens United decision.
“Montana’s rebellion against corporate money in politics has sparked a fire that has already spread to many states and will soon be spreading to many more,” said Derek Cressman, Vice President of State Operations for Common Cause, a good government group and one of the lead supporters of the Stand with Montanans campaign in partnership with Free Speech for People. “We are already getting inquiries from leaders in other states who want to launch similar initiatives in 2014 to keep pushing back against the court’s big mistake in Citizens United,” he added.
"Montanans voting for I-166 in such strong numbers reflects how important it is to Americans everywhere that we overrule the U.S. Supreme Court and overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment, and the fact that it happened in Montana shows the geographic sweep and trans-partisan depth of this growing national movement," said Peter Schurman, Campaign Director of Free Speech For People, a national non-profit organization founded the day of the Citizens United decision that leads and catalyzes the national movement for a constitutional amendment to overturn it and to rein in unchecked corporate power.
With this historic vote Montana voters became one of the first two states where voters have gone on record calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizen United decision.
Every election cycle – even in small, local races – Montana voters are inundated with phone calls, ads and mailers that attack some candidates and support others. These groups have positive-sounding names, but who are they? Where are these groups based? Where do they get their money? Are they funded by Montanans or out-of-state interests? What are they trying to achieve?
No one knows because these groups are not required to disclose this information. As a result, our political process gets hijacked by wealthy, (sometimes out-of-state) groups with a lot of money.
The Montana Disclose Act is supported by:
GOAL: 1,000 signatures
You can help shine a light on dark money by supporting the Montana Disclose Act (SB 289) to:
- Update Montana’s campaign law to provide voters with more information on dark money political groups,
- Require virtually any group that spends money to support or oppose a candidate or ballot issue to disclose its donors and campaign expenditures, and
- Require that legislative and district candidates file campaign finance reports electronically.
Time is running out - the Montana Legislature is considering SB 289 and will be taking action in the coming days.
Sign the petition supporting the Montana Disclose Act today!
We believe that BIG money, whether it comes from wealthy individuals, corporations, or unions should not dominate our elections. The Citizens United decision applied to both unions and corporations because unions are corporations. Montana campaign finance law has always treated them the same. Montana has been a model for clean, fair elections. Why? Because we had a ban on corporate campaign spending and candidates had to abide by contribution limits ($160 per donor per election for a legislative candidate). Now, all of that is at risk. American Tradition Partnership is pushing an agenda, through the courts, to eliminate all of our campaign finance laws and clear the way for unlimited, secret, untraceable money. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. This issue is about restoring fair elections. That is why people of all political stripes support I-166.
“A representative democracy only works when everyone truly has a voice, and when the voices of the many aren’t drowned out by the pocketbooks of a few.”
(Helena Independent Record Editorial, 2-21-12)
Our Elections Are Under Assault from Big Money
The U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. FEC opened the floodgates for corporate money. In that decision, the Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as people, and that their unlimited corporate political spending equates to constitutionally protected free speech.
On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on the case challenging the Montana Corrupt Practices Act. The Court refused to hear the case. Instead, the Court decided to summarily reverse the Montana Supreme Court, throwing out our century-old ban on corporate money in elections.
It’s Time to Fight Back
We believe that the U.S. Supreme Court grossly missed the mark. Quite simply, corporations are not people, they shouldn’t be granted the same rights as people, and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to buy elections. And the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Montana's Corrupt Practices Act only means that the campaign FOR I-166 is more important than ever.
It’s time for all Montanans to stand against corruption. It is time to fan the flames of the prairie fire Montana started by standing up against the U.S. Supreme Court and its Citizens United decision. It is time to stand with Montanans in support of I-166.
Gov. Schweitzer and Lt. Gov. Bohlinger Call on You to Join the Fight
Stand with Montanans is supported by:
Stand with Montanans is about people. It's about restoring government that is of, by, and for the people.
While this is a people-powered campaign, it also takes money for us to be effective.
Your support will enable us to put organizers in communities across Montana to work with the hundreds of Montanans that have already volunteered to help with the I-166 campaign.
Please donate what you can, because every donation makes a difference.
This is a test of the survey page in Nation Builder.
Supporters of I-166 need to make their voices heard in communities across Montana. The whole nation is talking about Montana’s role in restoring clean elections, and it’s time for you to join the conversation by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is often the easiest way to get your message in print and the LTE pages of some publications are often the most widely read sections. A letter can raise reader awareness of our issue and respond to information contained within an article published in the newspaper.
Click on the link to submit a letter
- Billings Gazette (250 word limit)
- Bozeman Chronicle (300 word limit)
- Daily Inter Lake (300 word limit)
- Great Falls Tribune (250 word limit)
- Havre Daily News
- Helena Independent Record (200 word limit)
- Livingston Enterprise
- Miles City Star
- Missoulian (250 word limit)
- Montana Standard (400 word limit)
Drafting an LTE
- Keep it short. Check with your newspaper’s editorial department on the word limit requirements; this can often be done on-line, at the newspaper’s website. Editors may take the liberty of slicing out parts of your letter, so keeping your letter short also means that your important points won’t be left out.
- Be clear. Stick to one very clear point. In other words, what is the message you are trying to communicate?
- Personalize. Tell why you care about the issue.
- Make it local. How does this issue relate to the community?
- Be polite!
- Sign it. Include your name, address, and telephone number. And if you are mailing your letter in rather than sending it via email, don’t forget to also sign and date it. Many papers will call to confirm the author before printing the letter.
- Cite references. If you are writing in reference to a recent article, cite the headline and date in the first or second sentence of your letter.
Letters from I-166 Supporters
- 10/8 – Bozeman Chronicle – Support of I-166 step to restore balanced elections
- 9/24 – Missoulian – I-166 opponents invited to university campus debate tonight
- 9/23 – Ravalli Republic – Political ads: Reaffirm Montana's voting values
- 8/19 – Billings Gazette – I-166 guarantees vigorous debate on campaign finance
- 8/2 – Helena IR – A sensible amendment
- 7/31 – Billings Gazette – Initiative 166 links Montana’s past to present
- 7/26 – Montana Standard – Passage of I-166 a priority for Congressional delegation
- 7/17 – Missoulian – Clean up politics: Constitutional amendment a chance to save democracy from secret spending
- 7/10 – Missoulian – Citizens United: Send a message to our delegation
- 3/25 – Missoulian – Citizens United: fight back against justices' ruling
Can you help with a donation as well? You've just made a huge difference by taking action. Can you help with a gift as well?Every dollar you donate to the Stand with Montanans campaign FOR I-166 supports our work to get corporate money out of our elections. Needless to say, this campaign won't be funded by big corporate money, so we're going to need support from people like you in order to win.
How I-166 will appear on the ballot in November
Statement of Purpose:
Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy. With this policy, the people of Montana establish that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending, in part by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions and expenditures and by limiting political spending in elections. Further, Montana’s congressional delegation is charged with proposing a joint resolution offering an amendment to the United States Constitution establishing that corporations are not human beings entitled to constitutional rights.
 FOR charging Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, with implementing a policy that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights.
 AGAINST charging Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, with implementing a policy that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights.
Job Announcement: Citizens’ Initiative Campaign Organizer
Stand with Montanans: Corporations Aren’t People – Ban Corporate Campaign Spending is a statewide campaign working to pass a Montana initiative to address the problem of big corporate money in our elections.
The campaign is seeking qualified organizers for temporary full-time and part-time positions for the period of April 2 to June 22 to assist in qualifying this important ballot initiative for the fall 2012 election. Positions are available in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Flathead County, Helena, Missoula and Great Falls.
Tasks will include overseeing petitioning at the local level; recruiting, training and managing volunteers; researching community events and outreach opportunities; gathering signatures; tracking progress according to goals set for the community; providing daily reports to the field director; and functioning as a local face for the campaign.
Successful applicants must be MT residents and be able to travel locally. They should also have strong time management and communications skills, previous campaign or grassroots organizing experience, and a genuine interest in good government.
Pay is $11-13/hr to start.
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to M + R Strategic Services, attn: Matt Leow, PO Box 5800, Missoula, MT 59806 or email them in an attachment to email@example.com.
Montana Standard – June 17, 2016, Rebuilding our nation's Democracy, guest column by Evan Barrett and Bob Brown
Missoulian – March 23, 2015, MT House must approve ‘dark money’ disclosure act, guest column by C.B. Pearson
Billings Gazette – March 23, 2015, Gazette opinion: ‘Dark money’ legislation is simply the right thing to do, editorial
March 28, 2015 - Landmark Campaign Finance Reform Passes House
December 4, 2012 - Stand with Montanans Sends Letter to Congressional Delegation
November 7, 2012 - Voters Overwhelmingly Endorse Initiative 166
September 19, 2012 - Stand with Montanans Issues Second Debate Challenge
August 15, 2012 - Stand with Montanans Issues Debate Challenge
August 10, 2012 - Montana Supreme Court Rejects I-166 Challenge
July 11, 2012 - Initiative 166 Qualifies for the November Ballot
Democracy Now! – June 27, 2012, Citizens United, Part 2? Supreme Court Overturns Montana Law Banning Corporate Spending on Elections
MSNBC – May 4, 2012, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Montana's fight against bribery, corruption and Citizens United
KFBB – May 3, 2012, Gov., Lt. Gov. Endorse Ban on Campaign Finance Contributions
KXLH – May 3, 2012, Schweitzer, Bohlinger sign their support of I-166
KFBB – February 28, 2012, Initiative Seeks to Ban Corporate Campaign Spending
KPAX – February 28, 2012, "Corporations Are Not People" ballot issue launched in MT
Montana Public Radio – July 24, 2012, News story begins at 4:40 mark
Montana Public Radio – June 25, 2012, by Dan Boyce. News story starts at 1:00 mark
Public Radio International – June 7, 2012, Gov. Schweitzer on To The Point. Interview starts at 7:15 mark
Montana Public Radio – May 3, 2012, by Dan Boyce. News story starts at 13:46 mark
Montana Public Radio – February 28, 2012, by Dan Boyce. News story starts at 4:30 mark
Helena IR – July 24, 2012, Lawsuit aims to get corporate campaign spending measure off ballot, by Charles S. Johnson (Lee State Bureau)
Great Falls Tribune – July 24, 2012, Campaign Finance initiative challenged in Montana hight court, (AP)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – July 22, 2012, Political Notebook: Anti-Citizen United policies proliferate across country, by Laura Lundquist
Billings Gazette – June 28, 2012, Gazette opinion: 5-4 ruling opens Montana politics to more spending, editorial
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – June 26, 2012, Montana reacts to Supreme Court campaign finance decision, by Laura Lundquist
Missoulian – June 25, 2012, U.S. Supreme Court nixes state's ban on corporate campaign spending, by Charles S. Johnson (Lee State Bureau)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – June 24, 2012, Initiative clears hurdle while Supreme Court delays decision, by Laura Lundquist
The New York Times – June 3, 2012, Mining for Influence in Montana, guest column by Gov. Brian Schweitzer
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – June 3, 2012, Nation watches as Montana seeks to bolster laws against corporate personhood, by Laura Lundquist
Flathead Beacon – May 16, 2012, One Person, One Vote, opinion column by Mike Jopek
Billings Gazette – May 3, 2012, Schweitzer signs initiative opposing corporate donations, by Charles S. Johnson (Lee State Bureau)
Helena IR – May 3, 2012, Governor backs initiative opposing corporate money, by Matt Gouras (AP)
Billings Gazette – February 28, 2012, Proposed ballot measure takes aim at corporate money, by Charles S. Johnson (Lee State Bureau)
Missoulian – February 29, 2012, Groups back statewide ballot measure banning corporate campaign money, by Charles S. Johnson (Lee State Bureau)
Great Falls Tribune – February 28, 2012, Initiative aims to define 'corporation' with policy, by Matt Gouras (AP)