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Sat, Jan 21, 2012
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Occupy Helena Rally Jan 21

Occupy Helena Rally Jan 21-- Montanans Celebrate The Montana Supreme Court’s Defiance of Citizens United Ruling, Keeping Montana Elections Free From Corporate Domination Contacts for further information: Sue Hoell, s1hoell@msn.com, 406-461-5768, member of Occupy Helena On Saturday, January 21, at noon on the steps of the Capitol, Montana organizations including Occupy Helena, Occupy Bozeman, Occupy Butte and Reclaim Democracy are meeting to hold a public celebration of the Montana Supreme Court’s Dec 30, 2011 decision in the Western Tradition Partnership v Montana case by upholding the state’s 1912 Corrupt Practices Act. The Occupy Helena celebration rally is on the second anniversary of the Citizens United US Supreme Court decision which allowed corporations to make unlimited campaign contributions. The national media has given extensive attention to this significant Montana Supreme Court decision. While several states have laws similar to Montana law, Montana is the first State to directly confront the Citizens United decision. The rally will begin at the steps of the Capitol and will conclude with a march to the Montana Supreme Court building for a “Thank You” to the Montana Supreme Court. Occupy Helena spokesperson Sue Hoell said: “The Montana Supreme Court’s decision to keep Montana elections free from corporate domination deserves to be celebrated since it points the way forward to reclaiming democracy from excessive corporate influence. When Montana’s Supreme Court upheld the state’s 1912 Corrupt Practices Act and issued its ruling the world of corporate political campaign finance was shaken to its foundations. The Montana Supreme Court rejected the claim that the Citizens United ruling by the US Supreme Court had over-ridden Montana’s Corrupt Practices law and did not nullify all limits to spending on elections by corporations. Many Montanans experienced a swelling of pride in the aftermath of the Montana Supreme Court’s action. The Montana Supreme Court decision has added new impetus to a growing nationwide grassroots movement calling on our elected representatives to overturn the Citizens United’s ruling’s implicit granting to corporations of Constitutional rights equivalent to – or even trumping – those of actual human citizens.” While several states have laws similar to Montana law, Montana is the first State to directly confront the Citizens United decision. The State of Montana’s case documented in extensive detail the history of Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act passed by citizen referendum in response to rampant corruption during the Copper Kings era, and provided evidence of the need (contrary to the US Supreme Court’s ruling) to regulate corporate election spending. Featured speakers at the January 21 rally include Jeff Milchen of Bozeman founder of Reclaim Democracy (http://reclaimdemocracy.org/) and co-founder of the Montana-based American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA, http://www.amiba.net/). Milchen has been involved in efforts to support local entrepreneurs and vibrant local economies and to promote the renewal of grassroots US democracy for more than a decade, with published opinion pieces ranging from the Missoula Independent to the San Francisco Chronicle. AMIBA is a network of 80 community organizations supporting local independent businesses. Reclaim Democracy works to create a representative democracy with an actively participating public, where citizens don't merely choose from a menu of options determined by elites, but play an active role in guiding the country and its political agenda. AMIBA was party to amicus curiae briefs in both the Citizens United v FEC case heard by the US Supreme Court (pdf: http://www.cuvfec.com/documents/case-08-205/Supplemental_Question_Amicus_Brief_of_American_Independent_Business_Alliance.pdf) and the Western Tradition Partnership v Montana case heard by the Montana Supreme Court (pdf: http://freespeechforpeople.org/sites/default/files/FSFPAmicusBrief.pdf).

Event Location

Montana State Capitol Building, Corner of Sixth Avenue and Montanan Avenue
Helena, MT 59601