Initiative 166 states that corporations are not people. It will be on the November ballot in Montana unless derailed by political allies of special interests like Sen. Dave Lewis, who is trying to keep it off the ballot. I-166 directs our congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment — perhaps like the one below — to curb special interest influence in politics.
Section 1: The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited-liability companies and other entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
Privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 2: Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
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Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
Section 3: Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
Let’s ask Sen. Lewis why he opposes such a sensible amendment.
Bob Balhiser, Helena