When the fascist five trashed the Constitution in an attempt to hand our electoral process to the 1%, they said that there were rules that would prevent Citizens United from corrupting the system. I strongly suspect that, even when they said it, they knew it was not true, because the Republican Party cares nothing whatsoever for rules. To understand this, let’s examine what is happening to a state with a history of clean elections.
In 2010, a group now called American Tradition Partnership brought a lawsuit against Montana, seeking to throw out the state’s anticorruption law. It argued that the law, which barred corporate spending on candidates’ campaigns, was unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. In June, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority obliged and handed the group a big victory by blocking the state law.
Now a report by ProPublica shows that this group, which supports development of natural resources, apparently misled the Internal Revenue Service when it applied for and received tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group. It said it would not try to influence elections for public office, yet it has done so repeatedly.
A Montana agency that monitors campaign practices found that the group’s purpose is “to directly influence candidate elections through surreptitious means.” It hides its donors and, as the Center for Public Integrity reported, shields the identities of those carrying out its attacks on candidates who favor alternative sources of energy. As the state agency said, all this deception “raises the specter of corruption of the electoral process.”
The conservative justices waved away the well-documented record of political corruption in Montana that gave rise to its law. Instead, they reaffirmed the baseless theory that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Any review of history would lead to a different conclusion… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
Photo credit: FreakOut Nation
If this were the only rule Republicans were breaking in their quest to create a permanent regime of one-party rule, in which elections do not matter, a Republican corporate plutocracy. Sadly, it is not. By law, there is no coordination allowed between third party funders and the campaigns they support. However, there is now evidence that this same group has been running the campaigns of Republican candidates, and doing so from a Meth-house no less.
The boxes landed in the office of Montana investigators in March 2011.
Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.”
The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates’ strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP.
Altogether, the records added up to possible illegal “coordination” between the nonprofit and candidates for office in 2008 and 2010, said a Montana investigator and a former Federal Election Commission chairman who reviewed the material. Outside groups are allowed to spend money on political campaigns, but not to coordinate with candidates.
“My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that WTP was running a lot of these campaigns,” said investigator Julie Steab of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, who initially received the boxes from Colorado… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Raw Story>
Photo credit: ATS
As smoking guns go, this baby is a howitzer. Now, you may be wondering why a porno picture of a filthy Koch is adorning this article. I cannot state this as fact, because the donors are kept secret, but I cannot imagine the Koch Brothers attending this group’s meetings were the group not made up of well-bought Koch Suckers.
This is one more way Republicans are working to steal our ability to elect candidates of our choice. No Republican may be allowed to take the White House, before the extreme Republican ideologues on the Supreme Court are replaced with honest Justices, and effective campaign reform has been accomplished.