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Daines Stands by Corporate Special Interests, More Dark Money in Politics

Daines Defends Citizens United, Supports Unlimited Spending in Elections

(Helena, MT) – Congressman Steve Daines has once again failed Montanans by blocking a vote on a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United and eliminate dark money from elections. In addition, Daines' allies in the Senate stood in the way of passing a constitutional amendment banning dark money. 

When it comes to influencing elections, Congressman Daines has a long history of siding against Montanans and standing by corporate special interests.

  • Daines Supported Citizens United Supreme Court Decision Allowing Unlimited Secret Money in Montana Elections. When asked if he supported the Citizens United decision, Daines said, “I respect the Justices of the Supreme Court as protectors of our 1st Amendment rights and believe they had that protection in mind when deciding the Citizens United case.” [KRTV, 5/30/12]
     
  • Daines Said He Believed Corporations Had Right to Free Speech. In an interview with KRTV about the Citizens United Decision, Daines said he believes the right to free speech extends to corporations. [KRTV, 5/30/12]
     
  • Daines Opposed Legislation to Limit Corporate Spending in Political Elections. Daines opposes Walsh’s and Tester’s constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision. According to Flathead Beacon, “U.S. Rep. Steve Daines' office said the freshman Republican has ‘serious concerns’ about the bill.” [Flathead Beacon, 6/18/13]
     
  • Daines Has Accepted $20,000 from the Citizens United Super PAC. The Citizens United Political Victory Fund Contributed $20,000 to Congressman Daines over the last two election cycles of 2012 and 2013. [Political MoneyLine, Accessed 4/28/14; The Hill, 7/2/13; FEC.gov, accessed 4/30/14]
     
  • Daines Supported the McCutcheon Decision to Lift Contribution Limits. Daines applauded the decision, saying it protected the right of free speech. [ABC Fox Montana, 4/2/14]

Since the Copper King era, Montanans have stood against corporate money in elections. In 2012, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative calling on the state's leaders to overturn the Citizens United decision, which re-defined corporations as people, allowing them to spend money on political campaigns with no transparency.

“Congressman Daines support for Citizens United and corporate special interests flies in the face of Montana voters who want to see dark money out of our elections,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. “Congressman Daines lacks the leadership to stand up to his corporate cronies and millionaire friends to do what’s right for Montana. It’s time for Congressman Daines to decide who’s side he is on: special interests or Montanans.” 

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