It is a right which all freemen claim, and are entitled to complain when they are hurt; they have a right publicly to remonstrate against the abuses of power in the strongest terms, to put their neighbors upon their guard against the craft or open violence of men in authority, and to assert with courage the sense they have of the blessings of liberty, the value they put upon it, and their resolution at all hazards to preserve it as one of the greatest blessings heaven can bestow.
The “Treasure State” of Montana is truly representative of it’s moniker however, that doesn’t elevate the state above the laws of the land. There are many unconstitutional, vague and over-reaching campaign laws in the Montana Code. Many of them were conceived and written by Jonathan Motl to keep the old-boy network in control of the State government. It is past time to get rid of them. In an interesting twist, Commissioner Motl is stoking the fires of bad Montana code by aggressive enforcement. We have heard it said that a great way to get a bad law off the books is to enforce it. The resurrected lawsuit against Faw, Lair and Baird is just one example.
Motl, the current Commissioner of the Political Practices Commission, is an interim appointment by Governor Bullock and is a long-time advocate for liberal causes and candidates. Mr. Motl has NOT been confirmed to his position by the Senate of the State of Montana nor will he be by all reasonable estimates.
Both the governor and the commissioner are using the resources of the taxpayers of Montana to demonize and punish conservative- minded citizens in Montana. They wish to bully those voters into staying silent about the way their elected officials vote and about the problems created by budget- busting policy decisions by the current administration in Helena (i.e. Obamacare). Mr. Motl would like the public to believe the Constitutional rights of free speech and association apparently do not apply to conservatives who want to speak out on issues of public concern. With the tacit approval of Governor Bullock, commissioner Motl has way over-stepped the boundaries of an already vague and over-reaching section of laws on the Montana books. All Montana citizens should consider that they may be the next target of allegations of unsubstantiated wrong-doing based on unconstitutional laws and may be the next ones to find themselves subject to an investigation by state bureaucrats (we remind you of IRS targeting of state Tea Party groups and conservative non-profits in general (As D.C. goes so goes Montana).
In recent months, Motl has self-initiated complaints and made decisions in cases naming nine Republican candidates whom he says accepted or appeared to accept illegal contributions from Western Tradition Partnership or its affiliates and illegally coordinated their campaigns with the groups. Some of the commissioner’s charges are based on stolen property, as reported by SGCCI in a previous post. To date, he has filed no complaints against any Democrats or liberal leaning groups. There is plenty to complain about, as SGCCI revealed concerning Hilltop and its ties to and coordination with Governor Steve Bullock. See link (Here).
Just check out Jon Motl’s resume (HERE) . Do you really think he is qualified to be impartial?
In 1981 Motl co-founded MontPIRG. PIRG stands for Public Interest Research Group(s), a collection of state level subsidiaries of U.S. PIRG, a political action entity founded by liberal, anti-corporate activists Ralph Nader and Donald Ross, and maybe by Jonathan Motl.
In 1984, Motl joined with Common Cause of Montana in State ex rel Harper v.Waltermire, 691-P.2d 825 and received an injunction against Constitutional Initiative 23. CI-23 was an initiative that would have directed the Montana Legislature to apply to Congress pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution to call a convention to consider a federal balanced budget amendment. The Montana Supreme Court found it was not constitutionally allowed for the citizens to direct the Legislature to submit an amendment to Congress.
As part of his pattern and practice of advancing liberal and progressive causes, Motl wrote Montana Initiative I-118 which passed in 1994. This was America’s first statewide law limiting not only individual, but also PAC contributions to legislative elections.
In 1996 Motl wrote Montana Initiative I-125, which prohibited corporate spending on ballot initiative campaigns. This initiative did not apply to certain nonprofit corporations nor to unions. This initiative effectively prevented Montana’s mining interests any say when an initiative was on the ballot that prevented them from using cyanide leaching pads. It also prevented elk farmers from effectively responding when an initiative was on the ballot that took away their livelihood. I-125 was ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision in Montana Chamber of Commerce v. Argenbright, 226 F.3d 1049 (2000).
The United States Supreme Court has expressly stated that political speech and association are fundamental rights as expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and, as a result, persons who engage in political speech and association are to be protected from government interference, investigation and compelled disclosure. This friends, is still the law of the land. Clearly, in Montana, this is not happening. The letter at issue here was written and mailed with the purpose of informing the voters of H.D. 61 of Mr. Esp’s ‘lousy voting record’ during his time at the Legislature.
As demonstrated by his long history of passing or attempting to pass unconstitutional laws and initiatives, Jonathan Motl has probably done more damage to the free speech and association rights of Montanan’s than any other person in the state’s history.
A recent article in the Montana Standard, hardly a conservative newspaper, reveals more about Motl’s activities. Over a year ago, SGCCI wrote about the Esp case. Yogi Berra had it right when he said “It’s Just Like Deja Vu All Over Again” and “There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ‘em.” The Yankee catcher had some appropriate if accidental insights about the Montana Political Establishment even though he was talking about baseball.
Which dugout, you ask in all of this, is Montana’s champion of the bullied masses, State Attorneys General Tim Fox?
Let’s play ball Mr. Motl