WTP criticizes, corrects comments by Montana ‘Political Practices Commissioner’

Posted on June 10, 2010 by Quallurce

WTP criticizes, corrects Unsworth comments
Political Practices Commissioner unfairly, incorrectly attacks federally-protected speech

BILLINGS, MT — Western Tradition Partnership, a IRS-approved 501(c)(4) public information and citizen lobbying organization, criticized Thursday  comments made in the media by Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth.  Unsworth stated publicly that WTP’s lawful and legal activities violate Montana law.

“Commissioner Unsworth’s factual and legal characterization of WTP’s programs is flat-out wrong.  What we do is fully authorized and protected by federal law, the First Amendment and right to privacy court decisions, and our activities do not fall within the bounds of Montana’s campaign practices laws,” said Fuchs. “The legal right to inform voters where candidates stand and to urge candidates to support responsible policies is necessary for a healthy democratic process.”  We are very disappointed that Commissioner Unsworth is making unsupported legal decisions in the press and doing so without knowing all of the facts.  The Commissioner’s public statements demonstrate he is not carrying out his duty to be a fair and impartial administrator of Montana’s election and campaign practice laws.

“The reality is this” Free people joining together to publicly discuss issues isn’t just authorized by law, it’s what this country was founded upon and is further protected by the First Amendment,” said Fuchs.

WTP takes issue with Unsworth’s characterization in a Jun. 8 article printed in Montana papers of grassroots lobbying as campaign activity subject to campaign finance disclosure laws, a characterization that is not supported by federal or Montana law.   It should be pointed out that Unsworth happens to be a defendant in a First Amendment lawsuit brought by WTP and Bozeman employer Champion Painting after Unsworth stated his office would not allow political speech by employers as authorized under the United State’s Supreme Court’s Jan. 21 Citizens United ruling.  The fact calls into question Mr. Unsworth’s impartiality as to WTP’s activities.

As one of countless groups organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that do not urge voters to vote for or against a candidate, WTP does not fall under the reporting authority of Montana’s Office of Political Practices because it does not engage in express advocacy for or against candidates.  501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation; they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as campaigning is not the organization’s primary purpose.

“We organize the grassroots to lobby for responsible pro-jobs, pro-property legislation in Congress and state capitols.  Seven of the ten items on our 2008 Montana state survey, for example, were introduced as bills in the state legislature last year.  We advocate for constitutionally protected activities, such as protection of private property right.  That’s our primary  purpose,” said Fuchs.

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Senate votes on CO2 regs Thursday, and a thank you to a friend

Posted on June 8, 2010 by Quallurce

Dear friend,

I know it’s been a while since we’ve communicated with you, but it’s because things have been hectic here.

For one, you and I have to save America.

The U.S. Senate will vote Thursday on Senate Joint Resolution 26, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Call your two senators right now at 202-224-3121 and ask them to support S.J. Res. 26.

This is Step One of our two-step plan to stop the Obama administration from shutting down America’s employers.  Once we pass S.J. Res. 26 and stop the Obama administration from using the E.P.A. as a weapon against employers, we must then focus on defeating Cap and Tax – which has been repackaged and reintroduced as a “jobs” bill.

Research by the Heritage Foundation finds a Cap and Tax bill destroys an average of two million jobs a year, and as many a 2.5 million in the worst years.  So much for economic recovery, much less your right to earn a living.

But for now we must stop the E.P.A. from simply enforcing Cap and Tax’s carbon dioxide regulations through government declarationCall 202-224-3121 right now to be connected to your senators. 

You can also e-mail them by going to this page, http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC.  Be sure to request a written response, and pass it on to us.

I can’t stress enough how important this is.  The radical greens have intentionally bred a two-headed monster, which they hope to use to impose draconian green restrictions on the economy.  Their plan is to tell wavering senators unless they vote for Cap and Tax, we’ll be stuck with the even worse E.P.A. control.

Well, we can stop that Mafioso shakedown in its tracks by getting our senators to vote for S.J. Res. 26, the Murkowski resolution.  After that, it’s on to stopping Cap and Tax.

I also want to take a moment to thank Tim Ravndal, who stepped aside a few weeks ago as WTP’s Director of Grassroots Coalitions to focus his energies and talents on his numerous affiliations with the freedom movement. 

Tim is a great patriot and friend of liberty.  Though he is no longer associated with WTP, he is still hard at work fighting for our freedoms.  If you happen to be on hand at a Tea Party event or gun show in Montana, Tim will probably be there.  Be sure to thank him for his dedication to liberty.

Thank you for your dedication and friendship.  Together we can put a stop to the radical green attacks on our property, our jobs and our rights.

Sincerely,

Donny Ferguson
Western Tradition Partnership
National Director of Media and Public Relations

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