Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Attorney General Steve Bullock have found a powerful ally in their opposition to the Constitution’s “supremacy clause” and the First Amendment’s guarantees of the rights of free speech and free association.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin-funded, Putin-controlled “Russia Today” TV network has come out in opposition to American Tradition Partnership and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday ruling in ATP v. Bullock.
“RT” aired a segment Tuesday with defeated former Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) harshly criticizing the concept Americans can question their government without hiring and attorney and first seeking permission through the formation of a PAC or other body.
The network, dedicated to spreading pro-Russian propaganda in the United States, has firmly sided with Schweitzer and Bullock. While foreign corporations are prohibited from spending money in American elections and all corporate spending must be disclosed, Schweitzer and Bullock refuse to criticize Putin for spending foreign money on their behalf.
So who do you stand with? The First Amendment, or Brian Schweitzer and Vladimir Putin?
In response to American Tradition Partnership’s request he resign from office for widespread corruption and his repeated violations of his oath of office, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer compared Executive Director Donald Ferguson to Cuban leader Fidel Castro Monday.
Ferguson responded: “Fidel Castro is a blustering bully who rails against capitalism and falsely prosecutes people for questioning him. He must be thinking of Brian Schweitzer.”
ONCE AGAIN AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP STANDS ON THE SIDE OF THE LAW, CONSTITUTION
Once again American Tradition Partnership has prevailed in court, for the simple reason the law and the Constitution are always on our side. ATP has now emerged victorious in every case brought to a court of law.
We are pleased the Justices of the United States Supreme Court have upheld the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech without limits or retribution by government officials. As clearly stated by the First Amendment, politicians cannot outlaw political speech to create a favorable political environment or because they simply don’t like the type of speaker.
This reversal on summary judgment is a resounding rejection of Governor Schweitzer’s and Attorney General Bullock’s indefensible attacks on Montanans’ God-given right of free political speech. ATP has always adhered to every letter of applicable law and we will continue to expose corruption and misbehavior by government officials.
As outlined in our case the unlawful misbehavior by Governor Schweitzer, Attorney General Bullock, Senator Esp and the revolving door of poorly-qualified, politicized and downright corrupt Political Practices Commissioners is precisely why Montanans should be allowed to speak freely about politicians without limit or fear of persecution.
Schweitzer and Bullock sought to preserve limits on political speech that may shed sunlight on their corrupt practices, and were rebuked by the Supreme Court. Only the corrupt should fear free political discourse.
Over the coming months Montanans will find out about the corrupt practices and radical positions Schweitzer and Bullock were trying to hide through threats and intimidation.
This is not the first time Governor Schweitzer’s administration has been rebuked by a federal court for unlawfully attacking private citizens he disagrees with.
In 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled Montana “Political Practices Commissioner” Dennis Unsworth, a political appointee of Gov. Brian Schweitzer, violated the constitutional rights of the Canyon Ferry Baptist Church when he falsely ruled the church must file as a political committee. The church sued, and the Montana Legislature eventually approved a $225,000.00 payout to Schweitzer’s victims.
ATP previously sued the Schweitzer administration after Unsworth issued a false and defamatory “finding” against the group just three days after ATP won a different free speech case against the Governor. In retaliation for his headline-making defeat the Schweitzer administration issued a 41-page document making numerous false and outlandish damaging claims about ATP.
At the end of the “legal finding” the Schweitzer administration openly admitted they had no evidence whatsoever to back up any of the claims.
Both Governor Schweitzer and Attorney General Bullock assumed office by taking a sworn oath to uphold the rights of Montanans.
Given Governor Schweitzer and Attorney General Bullock’s latest court loss in a case in which they failed to honor their oath, American Tradition Partnership’s grassroots members across Montana ask both men to tender their resignations immediately.
American Tradition Partnership (ATP), a nonprofit 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization, won a critical victory for First Amendment freedoms today in Montana. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell today ruled in favor of ATP in a motion for summary judgment on several claims, finding that the state could not prohibit corporate contributions to groups engaging in independent political speech, require ATP to include certain disclaimers on their communications, or prohibit political speech about candidate voting records the state judged ‘false.’
“This is a victory for the free speech rights of all Americans, and a loss for Montana politicians trying to squelch the voices of grassroots citizens challenging their power,” said Donald Ferguson, Executive Director of ATP. “The court today recognized that burdening ATP and other citizen groups with unnecessary, intrusive, and unwarranted regulations on speech is an affront to the First Amendment.”
ATP filed the lawsuit to prevent the State of Montana from enforcing unconstitutional restrictions on its speech. The judge ruled that ATP’s challenge to Montana’s excessively low contribution limits ($160 to a candidate for state legislature, $630 to a candidate for Governor) will proceed to trial, and ruled in the State’s favor that the ban on direct contributions from corporations to candidates was constitutional.
The case is Lair et al v. Murray et al, case number 6:12-cv-00012-CCL.
“I really hope somebody kills you. I really mean that. That would make me very, very happy.”
That message, left on my personal cell phone, is just one of the many I get every day from radical environmentalists.
It comes as no surprise to me. Environmentalists speak the language of violence.
And they have reason to target me with their threats.
We are going to the Supreme Court to affirm the rights of Americans to speak out without fear of government harassment.
You see, in the state of Montana it is against the law for employers to spend their company money to speak out about issues affecting their business.
But it’s perfectly legal for radical liberal groups to do the same.
Enforced by a bully liberal governor and a liberal attorney general, both of whom preside over a corrupt administration, we have seen everyday citizens hauled into court for questioning the liberal establishment.
It’s gotten so bad a federal court lashed out at the liberal administration, accusing them of “petty bureaucratic harassment” of conservatives.
But they made a mistake.
They came after American Tradition Partnership when we exposed the truth about them.
And we fight back.
So we took them to court.
The court ruled they could no longer attack our First Amendment rights.
But they refused to accept the court’s ruling.
They even attacked the U.S. Supreme Court!
So now, that’s where we’re going.
I am taking our case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Two Supreme Court justices have already sided with me, issuing an injunction telling the governor and attorney general to stop their illicit attacks on citizens.
But our legal fight is expensive, and we are not assured victory.
If we lose crooked politicians could shut down American Tradition Partnership and silence people who speak out against radical environmentalism.
But if we win we affirm YOUR right to speak out against corrupt politicians and their Gang Green henchmen, without fear of government harassment.
Being unable to use government resources to harass people who speak the truth would be a serious blow to Gang Green.
So now they are coming after me with death threats.
Unfortunately for them I don’t back down. Ever.
Even in the face of death threat.
But I do need you to stand with me.
Whatever you can afford will be great appreciated.
Your gift will go to support American Tradition Partnership in this fight to affirm your First Amendment rights.
This fight is hard. And expensive.
But we must wage it.
I refuse to stand by while two crooked politicians haul citizens into court simply for telling the truth about a corrupt regime.
And I will not let them silence American Tradition Partnership.
Even when their henchmen leave death threats on my cell phone.
I’m fighting for citizens who have already been hauled into court, and for people-powered citizen groups like American Tradition Partnership who have also been targeted with bogus government harassment and death threats.
And most importantly, I’m fighting for you. If victorious in their fight to silence American Tradition Partnership they will go after citizens like you next.
This fight, which is now in the Supreme Court, is expensive and tough.
And now they’re hurling death threats. So please stand with me.
American Tradition Partnership
P.S. Death threats on my personal cell phone. That’s what they’ve stooped to.
Why? We have a case going before the U.S. Supreme Court to shatter Gang Greens’ illicit political monopoly.
Please let me know you stand with me in the face of death threats and a Supreme Court fight to protect your First Amendment rights.
U.S. District court hands ATP latest legal victory, overturning vote record disclosure law
In American Tradition Partnership’s latest victory over Montana’s anti-speech campaign finances laws, in a Friday ruling U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell blocked Montana state laws requiring authors of political election materials disclose another candidate’s voting record. Under the law, any vote cited by a challenger to an elected official must also cite other votes around the same time, without defining what that may be. Intended to protect incumbents, it placed any challenger under threat of prosecution.
“There’s a reason American Tradition Partnership continues to win in court, and why Attorney General Bullock loses time and time again. The Constitution is on our side,” said American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson. “The political establishment in Helena has written these laws to suppress criticism of elected officials, which flies in the face of our founding principles.”
“Why are Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock doing everything they can to pass laws restricting what you can say about elected officials? Could it have something to do with the endless tales of corruption and unethical behavior pouring out of their administration, which has seen one Commissioner of Political Practices forced to resign under investigation and another reprimanded by a federal court for the ‘petty bureaucratic harassment’ of conservatives?,” said Ferguson.
“There’s a reason every objective court sides with American Tradition Partnership. The law is on our side. We are fighting the corrupt political establishment strangling Montana. If Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock wants to get corruption out of Helena, they can start by cleaning up their own administration.”
The ruling was made in a suit brought against Attorney General Steve Bullock by American Tradition Partnership, a grassroots-based organization with wide membership across Montana. It was heard by Judge Lovell of the United States District Court for the District of Montana in Helena.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of Montana laws prohibiting corporations from engaging in independent expenditures. ATP had won a victory on that suit in state court, only to see it overturned by the Montana State Supreme Court in a ruling that admittedly openly defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. ATP appealed the state Supreme Court ruling to the Supreme Court and won an injunction.
Join ATP, Stop Gang Green!
American Tradition Partnership (ATP) is a no-compromise grassroots organization dedicated to fighting the radical environmentalist agenda. We support responsible development of natural resources and rational land use and management policies. Only together can we protect access, private property rights, and affordable energy for all Americans!