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Nov 07

Campaign finance regulations place the private sector at a disadvantage

The Montana and federal constitutions supposedly guarantee equal protection of the laws.

Yet governments everywhere place campaign restrictions on private sector political campaigns. Such regulations do not apply to government advocacy.

Campaign finance regs infringe on the speech and press rights of the (nongovernment) citizenry, forcing private citizens to disclose to government every penny raised and spent by the private sector on political positions and candidates.

Yet government agencies openly promote themselves and campaign for pro-government positions. Recently in Bozeman, Montana, the Bozeman government promoted a ballot initiative designed to extract some $37 million from City residents. The City government erected signs all over the town and loudly called for voters to vote for more taxes.

According to the pro-government Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

This election season, Bozeman employees spent more than 556 hours on the center ballot initiative and the city put roughly $27,827 into getting the word out on the details of the bond. Bozeman also spent $32,263 on its latest design plans.

Montana law allows public employees and bodies to plug time, money and resources into campaign issues when it’s tied to their function.

Montana laws are so unfair that if a private resident erects a sign asking voters to vote AGAINST the proposed marble and oak government palace complex, the resident could be investigated, prosecuted and fined.

Many elected officials turn their official government websites into quasi-campaign websites–and are under no obligation to report such expenditures to the government political police. Witness the attached screenshot of the official Montana Secretary of State website. It is practically a campaign site, with “Cory Stapleton’s” name featured larger than any other print on the page. Corey Stapleton’s smiling image also dominates the website. (Any political opponent of Stapleton in future elections would need to spend thousands of dollars and disclose the source of every penny to the government.)