Montanans to GOP: “Pass DISCLOSE Act Now”
Montanans Demand Sunshine, Transparency in Elections
(Helena, MT) - While Greg Gianforte continues to pour money into groups opposed to transparency and despite Republican leadership doubling down on their support for dark money in Montana elections, Montanans are demanding passage of Governor Steve Bullock’s DISCLOSE Act.
Editorial boards from Billings to Missoula have called for shedding light on dark money. The Billings Gazette even went as far as hammering the Greg Gianforte-backed Montana Family Foundation for opposing transparency.
“We’ll make this simple enough that Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation can understand: Senate Bill 289, which aims to neutralize dark money in Montana elections, is really simple — if you give a campaign donation, you have to disclose it. It really is just that simple.” – Billings Gazette, 3/23/2015
“Montanans deserve to know what financial interests are behind any messages that aim to influence our votes - and through them, shape our elections…SB 289 may be Montana's last, best opportunity to shed light on these dark money groups before the next round of elections begins in the last, best place.” – Missoulian, 3/2/2015
“"Dark money is an insidious influence that must be rooted out." – Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 3/24/2015
“The Tribune editorial board objects to lack of disclosure over campaign contributions and other political spending in which the public doesn't know who is spending money in an attempt to sway an election." – Great Falls Tribune, 11/8/2014
And it’s not just editorial boards making a stand against dark money. Here’s what Montanans are saying:
“We, as engaged, active citizens, deserve to know who is funding the ads flooding our airwaves each election. Voters should be fully informed as we are the ones who shape the outcome of elections. I urge you to contact your legislator in support of SB289. Help us make our voices heard about the need and right for more transparent elections.” – Karen Heser, Billings Gazette, 3/22/2015
“Senate Bill 289 is a vital step toward ensuring free and fair elections in Montana by cracking down on anonymous dark money in politics and increasing the frequency with which financial contribution reports are made.” - Kelly Moylan, Florence, 3/15/2015
“This bill gets rid of anonymity in the realm of political sponsorship, and widely opens the door for more fair elections within state of Montana. If keeping dark money out of our politics is important to you, I urge you to contact your state legislators in favor of the passage of Senate Bill 289.” – Chase Greenfield, Missoulian, 3/20/2015
“Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Duane Ankney have crafted a bi-partisan campaign finance bill, SB 289, which would keep dark money out of Montana. It would provide for better reporting of who is influencing our politics and the ability to shine some light on outside corporations that try to influence our elections and refuse to be open and honest. Let’s uphold that tradition of open government in Big Sky country.” - Katjana Stutzer, Missoulian, 3/18/2015
This is not the first time Montanans have demanded the end of dark money and more transparency. 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.