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Western Tradition Partnership Compares Bullock's Actions to Poll Tax

by: Matt Singer

Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 09:07:18 AM MST

Steve Bullock has been doing a hell of a job standing up for Montana's ban on corporate spending in elections, making the sort of case that just may reversed Citizens United on the basis of facts (what do they say -- good judges decide cases, not law).

One of his opponents in these cases is Western Tradition Partnership, the apparent one-time employer of Tim Ravndal (the tea party leader who joked about Matthew Shepard's death on Facebook). Western Tradition Partnership is the epitome of entitled good-old-boyism. And they just took it a step further.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the WTP's executive director Donald Ferguson compared "Montana regulations to state poll taxes, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in 1966. Montana's position, Mr. Ferguson says, is like saying poll taxes are no burden because 'you just have to pay a tax and then you can vote.'"

For a group with such a dodgy record on civil and human rights, that's a bold statement. Did I say bold? I meant borderline racist. Poll taxes were hardly a standalone thing. They were a part of an entire set of laws and practices that involved attacking black men, women, and children with dogs and fire hoses. Corporations, on the other hand, are business entities created by the state to limit liability. Not exactly the same thing. Not even close, in fact.

Update -- In another news story that buries the lede, Montana state investigator Robert Hoffman "said his investigation has found evidence that Western Tradition Partnership intends to or has tried to solicit donations from officers of several foreign corporations or their affiliations, including some based in Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom." Foreign contributions to influence federal elections are still illegal. All corporate contributions to influence state elections are still illegal.

Matt Singer :: Western Tradition Partnership Compares Bullock's Actions to Poll Tax
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