ATP wins yet another case against speech suppression by Mont. politicians

U.S. District court hands ATP latest legal victory, overturning vote record disclosure law

In American Tradition Partnership’s latest victory over Montana’s anti-speech campaign finances laws, in a Friday ruling U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell blocked Montana state laws requiring authors of political election materials disclose another candidate’s voting record.  Under the law, any vote cited by a challenger to an elected official must also cite other votes around the same time, without defining what that may be.  Intended to protect incumbents, it placed any challenger under threat of prosecution.

“There’s a reason American Tradition Partnership continues to win in court, and why Attorney General Bullock loses time and time again.  The Constitution is on our side,” said American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson. “The political establishment in Helena has written these laws to suppress criticism of elected officials, which flies in the face of our founding principles.”

“Why are Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock doing everything they can to pass laws restricting what you can say about elected officials?  Could it have something to do with the endless tales of corruption and unethical behavior pouring out of their administration, which has seen one Commissioner of Political Practices forced to resign under investigation and another reprimanded by a federal court for the ‘petty bureaucratic harassment’ of conservatives?,” said Ferguson.

“There’s a reason every objective court sides with American Tradition Partnership.  The law is on our side.  We are fighting the corrupt political establishment strangling Montana. If Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock wants to get corruption out of Helena, they can start by cleaning up their own administration.”

The ruling was made in a suit brought against Attorney General Steve Bullock by American Tradition Partnership, a grassroots-based organization with wide membership across Montana.  It was heard by Judge Lovell of the United States District Court for the District of Montana in Helena.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of Montana laws prohibiting corporations from engaging in independent expenditures. ATP had won a victory on that suit in state court, only to see it overturned by the Montana State Supreme Court in a ruling that admittedly openly defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. ATP appealed the state Supreme Court ruling to the Supreme Court and won an injunction.

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Santorum stands with Arlen at Specter's stridently pro-abortion 1996 presidential announcement

Santorum occupied the place of honor next to the podium at Arlen Specter's 1996 presidential campaign announcement, where Specter says he's running to "protect a woman's right to choose," proclaims his outright opposition to social conservatism and vocally declares he's running to make the GOP pro-choice.

Watch the video here.

Santorum, occupying the seat of honor next to the podium at Arlen Specter's stridently pro-choice 1996 campaign announcement (March 30, 1995).
Santorum, occupying the seat of honor next to the podium at Arlen Specter's stridently pro-choice 1996 campaign announcement (March 30, 1995).
Santorum applauding in front of a "Republicans for Choice" sign.

Santorum and a "Pro Choice - Pro Specter" sign at the speech intended to declare war on pro-lifers.

Specter, with Santorum at his side: 

"In 1996, I intend to win the other house -- the White House -- with ten commitments to champion tolerance and freedom, including a woman's right to choose...

"...Even though we have this historic opportunity for these achievements, there are those in our party who would lead us down a different path -- and squander this unique moment in our nation's history -- by using our political capital -- to pursue a radical social agenda -- that would end a woman's right to choose -- and mandate school prayer.
"When Pat Robertson says there is no constitutional doctrine of separation between Church and State, -- I say he is wrong. The First Amendment freedom of religion is as important today -- as when the Bill of Rights was written.

"When Pat Buchanan calls for a Holy War in our society, -- I say he is wrong. We don't need holy wars, -- we need tolerance and simple humanity.

"When Ralph Reed says a pro-choice Republican isn't qualified to be our President, -- I say the Republican Party will not be blackmailed. I and millions of other pro-choice Republicans -- will not be disenfranchised.

"I believe there is an important place in public life -- for people with deep religious and moral convictions. I am one of them. When I look at teenage pregnancies, -- the high crime rate, -- the fact that many high school graduates cannot read their own diplomas, -- there is no doubt that people with deep religious and moral convictions must be active in the political process. But it is not Christian, -- or religious, -- or Judeo-Christian to bring God into politics; -- or to advocate the intolerance and exclusion.

"I think Jack Kemp put it best -- when he said when it comes to moral values -- we must seek to persuade rather than impose. I want to take abortion out of politics. I want to keep the Republican Party focused on the vital economic and foreign policy issues -- and leave moral issues such as abortion to the conscience of the individual. I believe abortion is an issue to be decided by women -- not by big government.

"I will lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform -- and replace it with language that respects human life, -- but also respects the diversity of opinion within our own Party on this issue. Let me say it as plainly as I can: Neither this nation -- nor this Party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right that we end up reelecting a president of the incompetent left.


"Ladies and gentlemen, that's a core line that bears repeating. Neither this nation -- it got the most applause -- nor this Party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right we end up reelecting a president of the incompetent left....I say it a third time. It got more applause the second time...."

Yes.  That was the televised announcement and speech Rick Santorum was sitting next to the podium for.