steve bullock

COPP documents: Bullock took 18 illegal PAC, corporate checks

Posted on October 17, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson released the following statement Friday afternoon:

I’m surprised to read Attorney General Steve Bullock claim he will not accept contributions above the unconstitutional $630 limit.  Back when the contribution law was in force he violated it and other campaign finance laws at least 18 times.

Why did Bullock wait until the law was overturned to suddenly decide he’ll stop breaking it?

American Tradition Partnership follows every applicable law to the letter.  Every case we have ever brought has eventually been settled in our favor.  The law and the Constitution are always on our side.

But when it comes to breaking Montana’s campaign finance laws, Steve Bullock is a virtual Al Capone. Make no mistake.  Steve Bullock is one of the most corrupt public officials in the United States.

According to sworn, documented complaints filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices (http://politicalpractices.mt.gov/2recentdecisions/docket.mcpx):

* Bullock pocketed contributions from the Pfizer drug company corporate PAC on Apr. 27, 2009, June 10, 2011 and June 4, 2012 that totaled far above the legal limit, by nearly 50 percent. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock pocketed corporate PAC cash from British-based GlaxoSmithKline on Dec. 15, 2009, Aug. 1, 2011 and June 4, 2012 that totaled twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock pocketed primary election contributions from the Endo drug company corporate PAC on May 16, 2012 at twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

(It should be noted Bullock was supposed to be negotiating with these drug companies on price-fixing allegations while taking that cash.)

* Bullock received a $300.00 check from the GFEA union PAC, on Mar. 16, 2011.  GFEA is not a legal PAC, therefore Bullock accepted an illegal contribution. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took illegal contributions from the BFFL 521 union PAC, on May 16, 2012 that were more than double the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock also took $1,260.00 in funds from the MEA MFT COPE union PAC on February 1, 2012, that is also twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock did the same thing, which is again illegal, when he pocketed the same amounts from the HEA union PAC on June 4, 2012. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took funds at the legal limit from the Montana Public Employees Association PAC, on April 9, 2012, but then accepted an additional $500 – which is illegal – just weeks later on May 31. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took $600 from the “Rent-A-Center, Inc. Good Government Committee” PAC, the corporate PAC of Rent-A-Center, on June 30, 2011.  Bullock then received an additional $660 on Apr. 13, 2012, which is above the legal limit both cumulatively and as an individual gift.  Bullock also reported it as coming from the “RAC Good Government Committee” to make it appear to be a different donor. (Olson v. Swope)

* Bullock pocketed $630 from Glacier PAC on Mar. 11, 2012 that was legally designated for the general election, but Bullock reported it for the primary (Tuininga v. Bullock)  That allows him to later solicit an illegal contribution.

* Bullock took two contributions from the Swiss-based Holcim corporation PAC totaling $620.  Holcim wrote two checks, $310 for the primary and $310 for the general but Bullock reported them both for the primary (Tuininga v. Bullock).  That allows him to later solicit an illegal contribution.

* Bullock pocketed contributions from The Home Depot corporate PAC totaling $1,260 on Dec. 14, 2011 for the primary election. (Tuininga v. Bullock)  That is twice the legal limit.

* Bullock also did the same thing with Lowe’s corporate PAC on June 5, 2012 (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took $310 from Publishers Clearing House, which is a corporation and not a PAC. (Swope v. Bullock) Corporate donations are expressly illegal.

* Bullock took three checks from “Citizens for Responsible Government – Employees of MSE,” one for $300 on May 12, 2011, one for $300 on Dec. 7, 2011 and one for $660 just a week later on Dec. 14, 2011.  (Swope v. Bullock) The legal limit for a PAC is $630, putting Bullock over the legal limit by $600.

* Bullock took $600 from McDaniel Leadership PAC, which is not registered with the OPP.  It also appears to be a corporation out of Arkansas (Swope v. Bullock)

* Bullock reported spending just $15 dollars for a room at the Big Sky Resort on Jan. 15, 2012.  (Swope v. Bullock) Rooms cost well over $100 a night, therefore Montana law requires the difference should have been reported as a contribution to Bullock, which he failed to do.  Additionally, corporate contributions are also illegal.

American Tradition Partnership follows every applicable law to the letter.

Steve Bullock habitually breaks the law, then tries to cover it up with phony allegations against others that are always thrown out of court.

Instead of false accusations and phony charges against law-abiding citizens Bullock should stop breaking the laws he’s supposed to enforce.

Bullock forced to admit ANOTHER anti-speech law unconstitutional

Posted on October 6, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

Once again Montana citizens have been forced to go to federal court to stop attempts by politicians to outlaw dissent.

And once again the Helena establishment’s efforts to outlaw dissent has been struck down as unconstitutional.

“U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull approved a settlement Tuesday in the case of a Billings minister who sued the state after being arrested on trespassing charges while gathering signatures for a ballot measure seeking to amend the state’s constitution to define unborn children as persons,” the Associated Press reports.

“We are very pleased that yet another absurd, anti-free speech Montana election law has been struck down,” said Bozeman attorney Matthew Monforton, who represented Zastrow. “This means that Cal and other pastors have the same right to engage in the political process that everyone else has.”

Attorney General Steve Bullock and Political Practices Commissioner James Murry were named as defendants, adding to the long list of suits filed against them citizens prosecuted for expressing conservative views.

After repeated courtroom losses to American Tradition Partnership and an admonishment from a federal court he was engaging in the “petty bureaucratic harassment” of innocent citizens for having political views different from his liberal one, Bullock did not even try to defend the latest attempt to prosecute citizens for speech.

The AP reports:

County officials did not allege that Zastrow violated the 1913 law on coercion or undue influence that limits the speech of ministers, clergy and churches regarding candidates and ballot issues. But Zastrow’s lawsuit sought to prevent the state from threatening to enforce it.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Black, who handled the case for the state, said he did not believe the statute had ever been enforced.

“Based on our review we chose to allow the court to enter the judgment that it was unconstitutional,” Black said.

Cebull granted a permanent injunction that prevents the state and county from enforcing the statute and prohibits its text from being included on “warning posters” which are displayed at polling places throughout the state, the newspaper reported.

Bullock suddenly claims he’ll follow laws he broke at least 18 times?

Posted on October 5, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson released the following statement Friday afternoon:

I’m surprised to read Attorney General Steve Bullock claim he will not accept contributions above the unconstitutional $630 limit.  Back when the contribution law was in force he violated it and other campaign finance laws at least 18 times.

Why did Bullock wait until the law was overturned to suddenly decide he’ll stop breaking it?

American Tradition Partnership follows every applicable law to the letter.  Every case we have ever brought has eventually been settled in our favor.  The law and the Constitution are always on our side.

But when it comes to breaking Montana’s campaign finance laws, Steve Bullock is a virtual Al Capone. Make no mistake.  Steve Bullock is one of the most corrupt public officials in the United States.

According to sworn, documented complaints filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices (http://politicalpractices.mt.gov/2recentdecisions/docket.mcpx):

* Bullock pocketed contributions from the Pfizer drug company corporate PAC on Apr. 27, 2009, June 10, 2011 and June 4, 2012 that totaled far above the legal limit, by nearly 50 percent. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock pocketed corporate PAC cash from British-based GlaxoSmithKline on Dec. 15, 2009, Aug. 1, 2011 and June 4, 2012 that totaled twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock pocketed primary election contributions from the Endo drug company corporate PAC on May 16, 2012 at twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

(It should be noted Bullock was supposed to be negotiating with these drug companies on price-fixing allegations while taking that cash.)

* Bullock received a $300.00 check from the GFEA union PAC, on Mar. 16, 2011.  GFEA is not a legal PAC, therefore Bullock accepted an illegal contribution. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took illegal contributions from the BFFL 521 union PAC, on May 16, 2012 that were more than double the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock also took $1,260.00 in funds from the MEA MFT COPE union PAC on February 1, 2012, that is also twice the legal limit. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock did the same thing, which is again illegal, when he pocketed the same amounts from the HEA union PAC on June 4, 2012. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took funds at the legal limit from the Montana Public Employees Association PAC, on April 9, 2012, but then accepted an additional $500 – which is illegal – just weeks later on May 31. (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took $600 from the “Rent-A-Center, Inc. Good Government Committee” PAC, the corporate PAC of Rent-A-Center, on June 30, 2011.  Bullock then received an additional $660 on Apr. 13, 2012, which is above the legal limit both cumulatively and as an individual gift.  Bullock also reported it as coming from the “RAC Good Government Committee” to make it appear to be a different donor. (Olson v. Swope)

* Bullock pocketed $630 from Glacier PAC on Mar. 11, 2012 that was legally designated for the general election, but Bullock reported it for the primary (Tuininga v. Bullock)  That allows him to later solicit an illegal contribution.

* Bullock took two contributions from the Swiss-based Holcim corporation PAC totaling $620.  Holcim wrote two checks, $310 for the primary and $310 for the general but Bullock reported them both for the primary (Tuininga v. Bullock).  That allows him to later solicit an illegal contribution.

* Bullock pocketed contributions from The Home Depot corporate PAC totaling $1,260 on Dec. 14, 2011 for the primary election. (Tuininga v. Bullock)  That is twice the legal limit.

* Bullock also did the same thing with Lowe’s corporate PAC on June 5, 2012 (Tuininga v. Bullock)

* Bullock took $310 from Publishers Clearing House, which is a corporation and not a PAC. (Swope v. Bullock) Corporate donations are expressly illegal.

* Bullock took three checks from “Citizens for Responsible Government – Employees of MSE,” one for $300 on May 12, 2011, one for $300 on Dec. 7, 2011 and one for $660 just a week later on Dec. 14, 2011.  (Swope v. Bullock) The legal limit for a PAC is $630, putting Bullock over the legal limit by $600.

* Bullock took $600 from McDaniel Leadership PAC, which is not registered with the OPP.  It also appears to be a corporation out of Arkansas (Swope v. Bullock)

* Bullock reported spending just $15 dollars for a room at the Big Sky Resort on Jan. 15, 2012.  (Swope v. Bullock) Rooms cost well over $100 a night, therefore Montana law requires the difference should have been reported as a contribution to Bullock, which he failed to do.  Additionally, corporate contributions are also illegal.

American Tradition Partnership follows every applicable law to the letter.

Steve Bullock habitually breaks the law, then tries to cover it up with phony allegations against others that are always thrown out of court.

Instead of false accusations and phony charges against law-abiding citizens Bullock should stop breaking the laws he’s supposed to enforce.

Vladimir Putin, Russian cash join Schweitzer in attacking ATP’s free speech win

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

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.

See the video here.

So who do you stand with?  The First Amendment, or Brian Schweitzer and Vladimir Putin?

ATP wins Supreme Court case, calls on Schweitzer, Bullock to resign

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

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.

ATP wins yet another case against Montana politicians

Posted on May 16, 2012 by Donald Ferguson

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.

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