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Sep 12, 2012

Tester: Citizens United decision a threat to democracy

(U.S. SENATE) - Senator Jon Tester is not passing up any opportunity to warn lawmakers about the dangers to American democracy posed by the U.S. Supreme Court's unpopular Citizens United decision.

Tester today introduced University of Montana Law Professor Anthony Johnstone to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the influence of corporations on elections in the wake of the unpopular 2010 decision. Tester has consistently opposed the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on political campaigns with no transparency.

In his introduction, Tester said that people and their ideas - not corporations and their money - should decide elections, and he warned of the decision's consequences for America's democracy.

"Some people think that Citizens United should be left alone because it helps Republicans, others will tell you that in time it will help Democrats," Tester told the panel. "I will tell you today that this is disastrous for our democracy."

Johnstone, an election law specialist and former Solicitor for Montana, told the panel that the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Montana's law shows that the Supreme Court favors corporations over people.

Tester also highlighted Montana's unique election history in making his case for greater election transparency and accountability.

"At the turn of the last century, one of the world's wealthiest men literally bought himself a seat in the U.S. Senate," Tester said. "His name was William Clark. And because of him, Montana passed a law in 1912 limiting the influence of wealthy corporations over our elections."

Citing Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Montana's century-old law earlier this year.

"Transparency and accountability keep people like William Clark from being able to buy something that all American are entitled to no matter how much money they have: the power to vote," Tester added. "The Supreme Court's decision means we're back where we were in the past - when seats in Congress were up for sale."

Tester supports a Constitutional amendment that overturns the Citizens United decision and restores transparency in elections.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

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Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

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Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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