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Taibbi: Montana decision ‘just the start’ of fight against ‘Citizens United’

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, January 6, 2012 10:08 EDT
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Current TV host Keith Olbermann talks to Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi. Image: Screengrab via Current TV.
 
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Appearing on Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Thursday night, Rolling Stone political contributor Matt Taibbi suggested that a recent decision by the Montana Supreme Court will be seen as the start of a long fight against corporate money in American elections.

The highest court in Montana recently struck down a lower court’s ruling which said the state’s ban on corporate spending to influence elections was illegal due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the controversial “Citizens United” decision.

Critics say that “Citizens United” will allow unlimited corporate money to pour into U.S. elections thanks to the Supreme Court finding that money in politics is the same as speech and should not be restricted.

The Montana Supreme Court held that because the state is vulnerable to powerful corporate interests wielding more power than its government, lawmakers in 1912 acted wisely to enact a ban on corporate political spending, which remains needed today. They ruled that even though the U.S. Supreme Court has equated political spending with free speech, the decision did not compel them to strike down the state’s ban on corporate political spending.

“I think this is the start of something,” Taibbi explained on Thursday night. “The more I talk to people that are in the ‘Occupy’ movement, not only here in New York but around the country, I think the one issue that everybody can agree upon, not only in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ but also on the other side of the isle, among some of the Ron Paul people, among some of the tea party people, is this problem of money in politics.

“I think everybody agrees that it’s gotten completely out of hand. People no longer want to live in a country where whoever raises the most money wins every election.”

This video is from Current TV, broadcast Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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