A federal judge on Wednesday struck down Montana’s limits on contributions to state political candidates, allowing politicians in the state to receive unlimited donations from individuals, party committees and PACs.
U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled that Montana’s contribution limit to candidates was unconstitutionally low.
“Having reviewed and considered the entire record and the parties’ arguments and evidence, the Court concludes that Montana’s contribution limits in Montana Code Annotated § 13-37-216 are unconstitutional under the First Amendment,” he wrote in his decision.
Nobody should be surprised by that given Citizens United, but the logic here is just as shocking as that awful decision:
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court case Randall v. Sorrell, which struck down Vermont’s strict limit on contributions to candidates, Lovell wrote that, “[t]he contribution limits prevent candidates from ‘amassing the resources necessary for effective campaign advocacy.’”
Montana law limited individual and political action committee contributions to $630 for the gubernatorial candidates, $310 to candidates for statewide office and $160 for candidates to other office.
Political party committees could contribute $22,600 to gubernatorial candidates, $8,150 to statewide candidates, and $800 to candidates for other offices.
In other words, that's just not enough money to buy a state office in Montana, dammit. And the legal advocacy group that killed Montana's fight against Citizens United claimed victory here for unlimited corporate money in politics once again.
Montana really is the Treasure State if you're a corporate candidate running for office.