On Friday, a federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction against a Montana law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1912, that bans corporations from making independent expenditures in political campaigns. Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court, in a separate case from the state courts, issued a temporary order preventing Montana from enforcing that law. These cases and others in the country show how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has upended important state campaign spending laws. As the Montana Supreme Court has said on this question, “Clearly the impact of unlimited corporate donations creates a dominating impact on the political process and inevitably minimizes the impact of individual citizens.”
In states where a corporate spending ban is in place, contributions from individuals represent about half of funds raised by candidates. In states that permit unlimited corporate spending, contributions from individuals are about a quarter of the funds raised.
Now even Montana’s law requiring disclosure of campaign spending is being challenged in court. As Steve Bullock, Montana’s attorney general, said recently, “It’s a concerted effort by out-of-state corporations to dismantle our election laws and undermine the democratic process in Montana.”
Full Article: Undermining State Campaign Laws – NYTimes.com.