I was interviewed on I-166 for the May 24th evening news on KBZK TV Bozeman by Christina Lysacek. Whether intentional or not, the story that ran distorted the facts and misinformed viewers.
In her interview with me, Ms. Lysacek began by asking me why the Montana Farm Bureau Federation opposed I-166 when small business owners she had spoken to supported the initiative, which was going to keep large corporations in the words of our governor, from stealing our government.
Supporters claim I-166 says corporations are not people and cannot spend money to influence elections.
I-166 supporters' intent may be to keep out of state corporate money out of Montana politics but the actual effect of I-166's passage will have far reaching and devastating consequences for Montana's farmers, ranchers and other small business owners.
The Secretary of State website says, "Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy."
I told Ms. Lysacek 99 out of 100 Montana businesses, including small farms and ranches, are incorporated. We incorporate to share the proceeds of our enterprise with our family or business partners and to protect them from punitive taxes and regulations.
As a group of folks forced to incorporate for our protection, why should we be denied the same rights we have as individuals? If we lose those rights, we lose due process, the legal means to protect our property and our family's future.
If you are a business owner and support I-166, you are bringing the rope to your own hanging.
Executive Vice President
Montana Farm Bureau Federation