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Stand Up!

Stand Up!

Jim Bopp and associates Anita Milanovich and Justin Mcadam along with The James Madison Center for Free Speech and Montanans for Community Development (“MCD”)  are standing up for freedom in Montana.  Please see the press release and the brief historical perspective below.

Regardless of one’s political views, freedom of speech and association are tantamount in public debate and discourse.  Without it, there is tyranny.  Montana has an acute cancer that threatens some of the most basic human freedoms- freedom of speech and association.  The Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP) led by Commissioner Jonathan Motl with the support of less than honorable men and women in Montana government, has consistently attempted to silence political opposition. (click here to see a previous post about the COPP and Motl)

In 2010, two Big Timber citizens held an elected official accountable for his votes and deeds in the Montana legislature.  Things haven’t been the same since.  That event produced many consequences.  Among them was the creation of this website, two Big Timber citizens attending the entire 2011 legislative session and the involvement by some local citizens with American Tradition Partnership (ATP) and other groups.  Commissioner Motl has used the COPP to attack, vilify and persecute Big Timber citizens, conservative candidates and office holders,  ATP, and many other entities that disagree with the politics of entitlement thinking.

Some Montanans became  emboldened and involved in the political process during 2010 and 2011 which is absolutely necessary if good leaders are to be elected to public office.  Corrupt public officials from both parties subsequently grabbed the  Office of of Political Practices and wielded it as a weapon against their political opponents.  They used vague and unconstitutional Montana laws to silence citizens and groups who were exercising their civic duties and responsibilities.  The resulting battles have been largely misrepresented by the press.  The political establishment and media shouted out the chorus that certain groups (like ATP) and individuals (like some citizens of Big Timber) were “dark” and secretive, the greedy and rich 1% who conspire against everyone.  They have been harassed and demonized by the press, public officials and corrupt state courts.  Freedoms were lost, speech and activity chilled, while the cancer of corruption continued to grow unchecked in state government.

Montana citizens need to think clearly on this:  It has become painfully clear that in the past four years that government disdain for the will of the American people has grown.  In Montana this same disdain and “above the law” attitude is deeply entrenched in many of our politicians and government bureaucrats.  Our state is joined at the hip to Washington, D.C.  It has fallen deep into this trap because nearly half of Montana’s state budget comes from the Federal Government.  One need look no further than the John Walsh/Amanda Curtis debacle or the federal bribe to set up Obamacare Health care exchanges in Montana.  Corruption is rampant in Montana politics and many citizens use this excuse to avoid getting involved.  Some say we get the government we deserve.  The fault is that there is a shortage of informed voters.   Too many have been brainwashed by the pc notion that religion and politics are taboo subjects unless you are a progressive or an atheist. Ignorance of our spiritual and civic duties and responsibilities has put us, very predictably, in a huge mess.

Jim Bopp and Montanans for Community Development (“MCD”) are suing  Montana’s corrupt Office of Political Practices.  As the late Senator Ted Kennedy said: “In the entire history of the Constitution we have never amended the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments) and now is not the time to start.  It would be wrong to carve an exception in the First Amendment.  Campaign finance is a serious problem, but it does not require that we twist the meaning of the Constitution.” Montana citizens of all political persuasions are indebted to Jim Bopp for standing up and marching forward where others fear to tread.  Shouldn’t we join him?                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                             The James Madison Center for Free Speech

The National Building
1 South 6th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807-3510
www.jamesmadisoncenter.org
PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Contact: James Bopp, Jr.
Phone 812-232-2434; Fax 812-235-3685; jboppjr@aol.com
Montana Policy Group Seeking Injunction Based on Unconstitutional Campaign
Finance Laws
 Today, Montanans for Community Development (“MCD”) asked a Montana federal court to prohibit the Commissioner of Political Practices and other state officials from enforcing unclear campaign finance laws and prevent those officials from investigating violations until constitutionally adequate protections are in place for those accused of violating such laws.
 MCD is a 501(c)(4) corporation that wants to promote and educate Montanans about opportunities for economic development in the state. It wants to circulate ads in early October promoting an energy plan for energy development and Montana jobs. The ads also mention grassroots activist John Sizemore, who has helped promote the cause, as well as Mary McNally, an environmentalist and legislative official who has opposed such efforts. Both are candidates on the November ballot.
 Under Montana law, it is unclear whether MCD’s ads mean it is a political committee and whether its spending must be reported. Federal courts have made clear that simply mentioning a candidate near an election does not make an organization a political committee. Yet in 2013, a Montana court fined a 501(c)(4) organization over $260,000 for failing to report its expenses for an ad that did exactly that. And now, candidates that the Commissioner alleges have benefitted from such ads are being sued for accepting illegal corporate contributions and not reporting them. MCD worries that it, and the candidates mentioned in its ads, could be subject to the same fate.Additionally, MCD is concerned that, if it were investigated because it ran its ads, information regarding its strategies, activities, and associations would be made public by the Commissioner before MCD has even had a fair opportunity to explain and defend itself. Both the complaints filed by citizens and the findings of the Commission are posted on the Commission’s website and made public.
 “MCD’s freedom to speak about issues important to Montanans is being chilled,” said MCD President Bill Coate. “This is not a partisan issue, but an American issue.  The freedom to speak belongs to every Montanan.  Political debate and education should spring from a well-informed population; it should never be controlled by political parties or government officials. The people should not fear their government when engaging in political debate or while educating the population on political issues.  As Thomas Jefferson observed, ‘If the government fears the people, there is liberty, if the people fear the government there is tyranny.’ Our government was designed to derive its just powers from the consent of the governed and not the other way around.”
 James Bopp, Jr., the lead attorney for MCD, stated “The First Amendment requires laws regulating free speech to be clear and appropriately limited. Vague laws, like Montana’s definitions of ‘expenditure’ and ‘contribution’ that treat groups as political committees regardless of their purpose and priorities causes groups like MCD simply to stop speaking. This robs Montanans of the free discourse they are entitled to and MCD of its right to participate.” Mr. Bopp continued, “And if the government is going to investigate an alleged violation, it must respect the freedom of Montanans to associate and strategize without fear that those associations and strategies will be made public.  Confidentiality encourages participation at all levels so that all voices can be heard.  These laws are unconstitutional.”
 The case is Montanans for Community Development v. Motl, Cause No. 6:14-cv-00055 (D. Mont. 2014). MCD is represented by James Bopp, Jr., Anita Y. Milanovich, and Justin L. McAdam. The Complaint can be found athttp://www.jamesmadisoncenter.org/cases/files/mcd-motl/complaint.pdf, and the Preliminary Injunction Memorandum is available at: http://wwwjamesmadisoncenter.org/cases/files/mcd-motl/memo-supporting.pdf.
James Bopp, Jr. has a national constitutional law practice with The Bopp Law Firm, PC.
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One Response to “Stand Up!”

  1. rich christ says:

    I agree

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