Citizens Opposing Political Corruption
in Montana's Elections
People's Power League
Fighting Corporate Control of Montana Government
Since June 11, 1911
For 102 years, Montana voters have nominated candidates in an Open Primary. They've chosen candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representative, governor and other state offices, continuing down the ballot to local and party officials. During that time, the Open Primary was often attacked by corporate interests that wanted to control Montana Government. Montana voters responded by destroying their plans.
It all started in 1912 when a small group of determined citizens put the Open Primary Initiative on the ballot. Even with overwhelming corporate opposition, the initiative passed with 78% of the vote.
In 1919, U.S. Senator Joseph Dixon, a
Republican, was out of office and back in Missoula publishing the Missoulian. He
was well-placed to block all attempts of the Anaconda Company to dismantle the Open
Primary. He was so beloved by the voters, they elected him
Governor in the greatest landslide victory ever recorded in the
state. His coat-tails carried Republicans into every national and
statewide office. In addition, Republicans filled 76% of the State
Senate seats and 91% of those in the State House.
Republicans are known for their memories so fast-forward to the 1985 legislature. Republican State Representatives stood up against Democrats who wanted to close the Open Presidential Preference Primary. It was a fierce legislative battle. Democrats lost in more ways than one. Voters elected Republican Governors for 16 years -- Stan Stevens, Marc Racicot, and Judy Martz.
In 2015, Montanans are again fighting about the Open Primary, but now with the parties switched. The right-wingers are trying to close the open primary or get rid of the primary all together. Republican's with a memory, Attorney General Tim Fox and State Representative Steve Fitzpatrick, are trying to counter what could be the party's political meltdown. But, the right-wing "newbys" aren't listening.
The penalty for the attempt to destroy the Open Primary could be the same as in 1985. But now the result would be a Democratic Governor in 2016, 2020, 2024, and even 2028.
For more details click on the date below:
Check the facts in the full report on the history of the Open Primary. The story is inspiring and even entertaining. It's a long story -- interwoven with 102 years of political history in Montana.
Click on the dates in the timeline to go directly to the material you find most interesting. But, don't miss the conclusion. History is cycling again and Matthew Monforton may regret leaping before he has looked into Montana's history.
The poster above was published in the Montana
Nonpartisan - a Great Falls newspaper. It appeared during
the 1919 fight to stop any legislation designed to end the Open
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Ravalli County Republican Central Committee, and nine others didn't like the decision of the Honorable Brian Morris to hear the full lawsuit filed by Matthew Monforton on September, 2014. So they appealed on February 12, 2015.
Does a state law allowing non-Republican voters to help elect the internal leadership of the Republican Party violate the Party's First Amendment right of association?
Look for the Appellate Court to tell the Central
Committees to read the U.S.
Supreme Court ruling 450 U.S. 107 (1981). It says
that the party's right to
associate is defined in the Party Rules.
Republican Party Rules on primary election day in 2014 designated participation in Montana's Open Primary. At this time, they nominated their candidates and choose the members of the Republican County Central Committees.
On primary election day in 2014, only an Open Primary
was constitutional. A closed primary was not mentioned in
the rules of either party. To save face, attorney Matthew
Monforton abandoned the appeal before a ruling was filed.
For over 100 years the Republicans have advocated the use of an Open Primary in Montana. In fact, the MTGOP has historically been a stronger advocate of the Open Primary than the Democratic Party.
"No stream can rise higher than its source and the law proceeds
from the people, consequently there is no such thing as law that
stands independent of popular opinion, and for the legislatures and
courts to...divorce the law from reason,...would be fatal to the law
and destructive to the country."
Billings Daily Gazette