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 starting with U.S. senator and representatives, governor and other state officials, continuing down the ballot to local officials. The record on the open primary has been a tug-of-war with voters winning every time.
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Ravalli County Republican Central Committee and nine others appealed the decision of the Honorable Judge Brian Morris on February 12, 2015. At the end of the legislative session, May 12, 2015, Matthew Monforton conceded that his appeal was over.
"UNOPPOSED MOTION TO VOLUNTARILY DISMISS APPEAL"
Appellants requested that the court dismiss the appeal with each side bearing its own costs. The appeal concerned First Amendment rights that may have been violated by statutes requiring the internal leadership of political parties be selected by non-party members.
On May 5, 2015, Montana Governor Steve Bullock
signed into law HB 454. The law allows political parties to establish
their own rules regarding the selection of internal leaders.
makes the appeal moot.
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 at Montana's history.
This poster, published in the Montana
Nonpartisan - a Great Falls newspaper, 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.
The question to be argued in a half hour hearing is:
Does a state law allowing non-Republican voters to select 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.
Rules on primary election day in 2014 designated
participation in Montana's Open Primary. At this time,
their candidates and choose the members of the Republican County
For over 100 years the Republicans have advocated the use of an open primary in Montana. In fact, the MTGOP has 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 (April 1910)