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In the last election nearly 75 percent of Montana voters approved Initiative 166, a measure designed to overturn Citizens United and curtail the influence of big money in our election process.

Now, soon after American Tradition Partnership's challenge to Montana's Corrupt Practices Act, we must once again deal with a similar organization that is literally thumbing its nose at Montana voters in much the same manner. This time it is a "non-profit" outfit called Montanans for Community Development that is represented by an Indiana law firm with a reputation for attacking campaign spending limits.

Recently, MCD filed a lawsuit to allow more spending on "issues-oriented educational campaigns" so that MCD can support or oppose candidates who take positions on energy and environmental issues, according to an AP article, "...before the Nov 4 elections without worrying that it will be... required to disclose its donors..."

In a recent IR article, MCD describes itself as engaging in "grassroots advocacy and issues-oriented educational campaigns to further its goal," which appears to be the promotion of energy development unencumbered by environmental regulations. I suspect that MCD consists largely of of coal, oil, gas and energy exploration companies, which, by my definition, does not constitute a "grassroots" organization. However, we will never know for sure until MCD is required to divulge who their officers and donors are and the amounts each has contributed to support its cause.

This suit is just one more argument for putting continued pressure on our Congressional delegation to overturn Citizens United and eliminate the influence of undisclosed special interest money from our election process as specified in Initiative 166.

Bob Balhiser

Helena

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