Official Statement on I-166 Lawsuit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lawsuit Filed to Deny Montana Voters the Right to Cast Their Vote on I-166
Corporations Don’t Want the People to Have a Voice in Fighting for Fair Elections
Late in the day on Friday, June 20, attorneys for Montanans Opposed to I-166 and Sen. Dave Lewis filed a lawsuit with the Montana Supreme Court to remove I-166 from the November 2012 ballot. Due to the timing of the filing, Stand with Montanans: Corporations Aren’t People – Ban Corporate Campaign Spending only became aware of the lawsuit on the afternoon of Monday, July 23.
Remarks from C.B. Pearson, Campaign Treasurer, I-I66 campaign, on the lawsuit filed to block vote on I-166:
“We are mad as hell, this lawsuit is nothing more than corporate hired guns trying to deny the people of Montana a chance to vote on a citizen initiative, one that clearly states corporations aren’t people and money is not speech.
What justice is there in trying to block the people’s vote on this important issue? We are confident that we will prevail but the real question is who is funding this frivolous lawsuit. This tactic smells of the Anaconda Mining Company when the company used their thugs to silence the people of Montana and used their money to buy elections.
The opponents had their chance to weigh-in during the review process and while the petition was circulating. Their action is even more outrageous given that we have already passed legal review to get on the ballot, and then gathered all the signatures. That makes the challenge even more severe and unfair.
What are the opponents to the initiative afraid of? Don’t they want the people of Montana debating this issue? People are fed up with big money dominating our politics and they are ready to fight back. Clearly the corporations don’t want the people to have a voice in fighting for fair elections. The corporations will try anything to stop this effort.
There is widespread support for this initiative. The valid signature count for the I-166 petition is still growing, but as of today it is approaching 32,000 signatures with 61 of Montana’s 100 house districts qualified. I-166 qualified for the ballot handily, as Montana law requires 24,337 total signatures as well as signatures from 5% of the voters in 34 house districts.”