A Montana judge has ruled that the signature gathering process for three rightwing ballot initiatives "was permeated by fraud and procedural non-compliance" resulting in all three measures being struck from the Montana ballot. The initiatives in question were a spending cap similar to Colorado's failed TABOR initiative, a land use planning initiative based on Oregon's disastrous Measure 37, and measure to allow recall of judges without cause.
In the groundbreaking film An Inconvenient Truth, Vice President Al Gore makes an impressive case that it is now essential that the world act to prevent the potentially catastrophic implications of global warming. The film could not come at a more critical time. While the planet warms, Washington dawdles. The nation's political elite remains mired in a debate manipulated by powerful energy interests.
Published August 28, 2006 in the Great Falls Tribune
by Sen. Steve Doherty (Ret.) and Rep. Dave McAlpin
Beware the traveling salesman peddling political snakeoil. Montana is overrun with such characters these days -- national organizations dumping money in to our state to influence public opinion and advance their hidden agendas.
The most recent and nefarious example in this cycle is the Center for Union Facts, the organization running the vicious ads attacking public employees on our airwaves.
As we detailed a few weeks ago, rightwing developers are using the cover of "fixing" eminent domain to push radical anti-environment initiatives on ballots across the country. Opponents ranging from outdoor sports organizations to labor unions have been mobilizing in response.
For public employees in four states, this may have been a rough week.
As if balancing typical duties of work and family is not enough, a
front group for anonymous business interests this week began running
ads in Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Oregonaccusing
public employees of being lazy and overcompensated. The campaign is
connected to the well-orchestrated rightwing attempt to impose
TABOR-style spending limits in numerous states through ballot measures
Yesterday, we told you about lobbyist Rick Berman's operation Center for Union Facts (a misleading name, to say the least) putting television ads on the air in four states attacking public employees.
Fortunately, not everyone is taking the attacks without responding in kind.
In Montana, Attorney General Mike McGrath has come to the defense of the workers he
Originally Published August 22, 2006
by Susan Gallagher
HELENA, Mont. - Montana's attorney general defended state employees Tuesday in the wake of an anti-union advertising campaign, and a pro-union group challenged claims that the ads are unrelated to upcoming ballot measures in several states.
The advertising insults state employees and demeans their work, said Attorney General Mike McGrath, who heads the Montana Department of Justice.
Orwellian Named "Center for Union Facts" Trying to Fool the Public
Missoula, MT - Former state senator Steve Doherty and author David Sirota, the Montana-based co-chairs of the Progressive States Network, today accused the inaccurately named "Center for Union Facts," of spreading lies in Montana.
There are few more potent tools for impacting the outcomes of elections
than changing what appears on the ballot. And there are no more direct
paths from public outcry to passed legislation than through ballot
issues. For years, the rightwing has been advancing policy goals,
shaping message, and marshalling voters through ballot issues (we've
already highlighted many of their current-year endeavors in this very
newsletter). Progressives increasingly are fighting back using ballot
issues -- which shouldn't be surprising, since initiatives and
referedenda were originally a progressive reform.