(Digression) "Real protest, real change" -- Montana Supreme Court vs. ATP vs. Michael Mann
From Sturgis's essay:
The Montana Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling last week and reinstated the state's longstanding ban on direct spending by corporations for or against political candidates.
The ruling came in a case brought by an organization that was the subject of a recent Facing South investigation: the Western Tradition Partnership, a 501c4 conservative advocacy group that has since changed its name to the American Tradition Partnership. We reported that ATP's 501c3 nonprofit arm, the American Tradition Institute, has been working to overturn state renewable energy laws and is involved in a controversial Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the University of Virginia seeking emails from a prominent climatologist [Prof. Michael Mann] formerly affiliated with the school. ATI -- which, like ATP, is funded by dirty-energy interests -- works to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that global warming is real and driven by human activity.
ATP has also been involved in efforts to overturn laws that limit corporate money in elections and that require disclosure of contributions. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's January 2010 Citizens United decision loosening restrictions on corporate spending, ATP (then still known as WTP) challenged the constitutionality of the Montana Corrupt Practices Act of 1912, which bans direct corporate contributions to political campaigns. [...]
Think about that. A political advocacy group which has been asking to look at other people's e-mails, while refusing to let others even look at their own finances, was just told by a court that their nonsense 'legal' arguments don't wash. That shouldn't be surprising, except it is.
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone cites a different report on the same story (sans the Mann reference), saying,
In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this [2012 US] presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event -- the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.
Let's put it this way. What feels more like a real news story -- Newt Gingrich calling Mitt Romney a liar for the ten millionth time, or this sizzling item that just hit the wires by way of the Montana Supreme Court [...?]
Now that is real politics -- real protest, real change. Exactly the opposite of the limp and sterile charade in Iowa. [...]
There is justice in America.