Montana voters: corporations are not people

In a landslide victory, Montana voters approved an initiative on Nov. 7 Election Day stating “that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings.” The initiative directly challenges the US Supreme Court’s now infamous Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money for campaign groups know as “Super PACs” and “shadow money” organizations. Initiative 166 will likely win by 75% according to a projeciton by the Billings Gazette. The initiative states:

Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy. With this policy, the people of Montana establish that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending, in part by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions and expenditures and by limiting political spending in elections…

The measure, proposed by the group Stand with Montanans, will determine state policy on prohibiting corporate contributions and expenditures in state and national elections, and will charge state lawmakers with furthering the state’s policy on the matter, asking congressional delegates to support efforts to overrule the Citizens United decision by amending the US Constitution.

Similarly, Colorado’s Amendment 65 looks like a victory. Amendment 65 instructs Colorado’s congressional delegation to propose and support an amendment to the US Constitution that would overturn Citizens United. Results from the Colorado Secretary of State project a win for Amendment 65 by a margin of 73%. (Common Dreams, Nov. 7)

Showing another face, Montana voters also overwhelmingly approved measures that require parental notification for abortions by minors, deny services for undocumented immigrants, and forbid governments from imposing health insurance mandates. A measure that upholds the state’s new highly restrictive medical marijuana law was also approved by voters. (Global Ganja Report, Nov. 7)