In an uproarious appearance Sunday on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer had nothing good to say about the Supreme Court decision that overturned his state’s hundred year old Corrupt Practices Act.
The act had been upheld by the Montana courts on the grounds that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision left the door open for limiting corporate political expenditures if they appeared likely to corrupt the democratic process. The past Monday, however, the Supreme Court reviewed the case and concluded that Montana had not proven that it deserved to be considered as a special situation.
Schweitzer, who was obviously furious at the decision but tempered his anger with humor, began by telling Hayes that the law went back to the days when the two so-called “Montana copper kings” were among the richest men on the planet.
“They owned everything,” he explained. “They owned the mines, they owned the newspapers, they bought the legislature outright. In fact, when we first sent a U.S. senator to Washington, D.C. , William A. Clark, one of the two copper kings, he advertised in his newspapers that he would pay $10,000 cash money to any Montana legislator who would vote to send him to Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Senate.”