western tradition partnership
Three “Gang Green” organizations, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Montana Conservation Voters and the political action committee “Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund” are illegally electioneering for the Libertarian candidate in the state’s U.S. Senate race, hoping to throw the election in favor of unpopular Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
“Jon Tester and his liberal allies realize that Tester cannot win this election on his own, so they have engaged in illegal, deceptive practices in a desperate attempt to trick conservative voters,” Montana Republican Party spokesman Chris Shipp said Wednesday as the group filed suit in federal court alleging the groups failed to disclose their activities.
As pretty much the only group in Montana that obeys the law, ATP offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Montana officials.
“The Montana GOP cited the PAC’s recent $146,358 mailing expense and a previous $410,000 contribution from LCV to the PAC as the basis for its complaint. It also noted the Hunters and Anglers PAC has ties to Tester and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.),” The Hill reports.
BOZEMAN — American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson released the following statement Monday morning regarding bizarre and false claims made by PBS:
With days to go until Montanans vote, the activist group ProPublica has decided to release a misleading, sensationalist story built around personal property stolen from a car and delivered by a meth user to ATP’s political opponents. The story falsely links ATP to individual activities the organization has no connection to.
ATP always has, and always will, obey every applicable law. As has been the case with every legal issue we have brought forward, this will be decided in ATP’s favor for one simple reason – the law is always on our side. In fact, ATP just won another court case this morning against the Commission on Political Practices for that exact reason.
ATP does not, and never will, tell voters which candidate to vote for. ATP speaks on the issues, informing voters where candidates stand and of their public records.
Additionally, no candidate has any say or control over what ATP publishes. I have never met or spoken to virtually all the candidates on the ballot. Other than sending them a candidate questionnaire I have never communicated most of them. The story itself admits there is no proof of coordination, and there is no coordination.
Additionally, I seriously doubt stolen property acquired by a meth user and spread around by political activists are true, accurate, unaltered and complete documents. Earlier this year another liberal group stole documents from another free market environmental organization, the Heartland Institute, and proceeded to engage in forgery and fraud for the purposes of smearing conservatives for political gain (http://spectator.org/blog/2012/02/17/theft-and-apparent-forgery-of).
In the past Frontline has broken into computer databases for a story on tuna fishing and relied on the word of a convicted felon fired from an Atlanta dentistry clinic to smear private dentistry, without informing viewers. ATP, on the other hand, has always obeyed every letter of every applicable law and eventually won every court case it has ever brought.
I would suggest the media tread carefully before publishing politically-timed stories built on stolen and possibly forged documents that are unrelated to ATP and distributed by a meth user, politicians and a program with a history of unethical and illegal practices.
* ABC News: Politico: CPI’s Reporting Involved Possible Misdemeanor, Paid Source (Source of false ATP attacks committed crime, violated journalistic ethics)
* Washington Post: Center for Public Integrity changes its story (Source of false ATP attacks takes payoffs in exchange for reporting)
* POLITICO: Tuna and turmoil at CPI (Source of false ATP attacks committed crime)
* PBS Defends Use of Convicted Felon as Expert on Documentary (Source of false ATP attacks has history of relying on convicted felons for reporting)
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.
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.
HELENA, MT — American Tradition Partnership won another victory for free speech Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled in favor of the group and other plaintiffs, tossing out Montana’s political contribution limits as unconstitutionally low.
There are now no limits on contributions to state political candidates by individuals, party committees and PACs.
“The political establishment can no longer tell citizens to shut up because they’ve reached their speech limit,” said ATP Montana Director Doug Lair. “The old contributions limits were so low candidates had no choice but to grovel before political insiders and well-organized interest groups to get elected. Those days are now over.”
Judge Lovell in his order referred to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Randall v. Sorrell, which struck down Vermont’s campaign contribution limits as being too low to allow candidates to raise the funds necessary to run competitive campaigns.
Low contribution limits have been cited by many experts as leading to high incumbent re-election rates – in the nearly 40 years since Congress first adopted contribution limits, the success rate for challengers to Congressional incumbents has been cut in half.
Montana now joins twelve other states that allow unlimited contributions to candidates: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The suit by ATP overturned:
Montana’s individual contribution limit to candidates of $630 to the gubernatorial ticket, $310 to candidates for statewide office and $160 for candidates to other office
Limits on contributions to candidates by political party committees of $22,600 to the gubernatorial ticket, $8,150 to candidates for statewide office, $3,260 to candidates for Public Service Commission, $1,300 to candidates for State Senate and $800 to candidates for other offices.
Limits on contributions to candidates by political action committees of $630 to the gubernatorial ticket, $310 to candidates for statewide office and $160 for candidates to other office.
The case was Lair v. Murray, CV 12-12-H-CCL.
Our liberal opponents tried to shut down ATP with outdated anti-speech laws, but we beat them in the U.S. Supreme Court.
So now they’re trying a new law to shut down ATP…as well as every other conservative group by forcing us to turn in a list of our supporters.
Harry Reid has scheduled a vote on the intentionally misnamed “DISCLOSE Act” (S. 3369) this MONDAY AFTERNOON.
It’s a brazen attempt to acquire a list of “disloyal citizens” they can bully.
Well, we won’t comply.
And we won’t even allow it to pass.
Can I count on you to call your two U.S. senators at 202-224-3121 IMMEDIATELY and tell them to vote no on the DISCLOSE Act?
As I told you, the purpose of the DISCLOSE Act is to use the force of law to bully, silence and intimidate Barack Obama’s political opponents.
>>> It forces groups like ATP to fill out mountains of paperwork before they can comment on Obama’s radical agenda.
>>> And it forces groups like ATP to hand to the government a list of our donors, complete with their home addresses.
>>> But pro-Obama groups like The Sierra Club and the AARP do not have to comply.
It’s a sick, naked and shameless assault on the First Amendment and free elections.
That’s why Harry Reid wants a rushed vote today.
So please, call your two United States senators at 202-224-3121 right now. Tell them to vote NO on the DISCLOSE Act.
Act right now,
American Tradition Partnership
P.S. Harry Reid is holding a vote MONDAY on a bill wants to force ATP to hand over a list of “disloyal citizens” who support us and oppose Obama. WE WILL NOT COMPLY.
Call your two U.S. senators at 202-224-3121 IMMEDIATELY and tell them to vote no on the DISCLOSE Act.
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!