Montana Governor Steve Bullock took on dark money in politics, and it’s working.
“One of our great equalizers are that elections are decided by people and we’re all equal on Election Day,” he stated. “I think back to when that Citizens United decision came down, the average state senator won by spending $17,000. It wasn’t all about how much money you had or how much money was being spent.”
Citizens United was a landmark Supreme Court case on campaign finance which ruled that the government cannot limit undisclosed donations by corporations.
“The idea of dark money is money being spent to influence our elections where we don’t know who’s actually writing those checks,” Bullock said. “And unfortunately what we’ve seen since Citizens United is a significant rise in these outside dark money groups spending where we really — no one knows who’s writing those checks to influence the elections.”
Nearly 80% of Americans want limits on political campaign spending, and most believe new laws could reduce the power of money in politics.
“I wasn’t willing to give up. Every other state in the country said Citizens United, game over. But I think our elections are far too important,” Bullock said. “So we brought actually Democrats and Republicans together in our state legislature and we passed what one of the most progressive disclosure laws in our country…”