Montana Gov. Steve Bullock jumps into crowded 2020 presidential race
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, one of the country’s only red-state Democrats to win reelection in 2016, announced Tuesday that he would join a crowded Democratic campaign field for the White House.
Bullock made his announcement in a video released early Tuesday that castigated what he called “evidence of a corrupt system all across America that serves campaign money, not the people.”
He noted that after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that loosened regulations governing campaign money, he had pushed through “one of the strongest campaign finance laws in the country.”
“I believe in an America where every child has a fair shot to do better than their parents,” said Bullock, who was expected to hold a public event later Tuesday. “But we all know that that kind of opportunity no longer exists for most people; for far too many, it never has. That’s why we need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat a corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone.”
He has prepared a campaign focused on his record of winning over Republican-leaning voters and lawmakers in the Mountain West with liberal policy ideas — a pattern he says will allow him to argue he is one of the most electable Democrats in the packed field.
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How 2020 Democrat Steve Bullock plans to drive big money out of politics
Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock on Monday said he would unilaterally shake up the country’s campaign finance system if elected, promising a set of immediate executive actions to increase transparency and reduce the influence of wealthy donors.
None of Bullock’s proposed actions would require approval from a divided Congress, though the Montana governor said he would be open to working with lawmakers on sweeping legislation similar to the kind he signed into law in his home state. Taken together, they amount to some of the most aggressive proposals yet from a Democratic White House hopeful to take on big-money outside groups.
“You can take meaningful action immediately as both an executive and working with Congress to make sure people know that elections are about them, not the special interests or the outside spending,” Bullock said in an interview with McClatchy.
Bullock said he would issue an order on his administration’s first day to require companies with federal contracts to disclose all political spending, even if the contributions are made to a nonprofit group not legally required to reveal its donors before the end of the campaign. The proposed executive order mirrors action taken by Bullock in Montana last year. ...
The governor also said he would re-institute an Internal Revenue Agency rule the Trump administration revoked last year that requires some nonprofit groups to disclose its donors. And he said he would use the Department of Justice to scour the country looking for cases that, if successful in court, could reduce the breadth of the Citizens United decision.
Des Moines Register OpEd
Steve Bullock: I beat dark money in Montana. We can beat it across America.
On Wednesday, I'm taking the Trump Administration to court to defend the integrity of our elections.
Why? In 2018, the same day Trump was meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Trump Administration repealed a rule in place since the 1970s requiring dark money groups to disclose their biggest donors to the IRS. These groups are some of the biggest spenders in our elections, and their influence has corrupted our politics and our policies for far too long.
Trump’s new dark money loophole pours gasoline on a fire that has raged out of control since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
That didn’t sit right with me then — and it doesn’t sit right with me now. It’s why I’m using the rule of law to take on President Trump and stand up for our democratic rights. ...
These dark money groups spend millions to sway our elections, yet they refuse to reveal where the money comes from. Before the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United, these groups accounted for about two percent of outside spending in our elections. Now it’s more than half.
Trump’s dark money loophole is telling these secretive groups that they don’t even have to disclose the source of their funding to the IRS. It opens the door not only to significantly more spending by corporations and wealthy donors, but also to potential spending by foreign entities.
This is a direct threat to our core belief that the people should decide elections.
Jon Tester endorses fellow Montana Democrat Steve Bullock for president
Gov. Steve Bullock got a boost in his bid for the White House on Sunday with the endorsement of fellow Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester, who, like Bullock, has managed to win several statewide elections in a deep-red, predominantly rural state.
Bullock unveiled the endorsement on "Face the Nation" Sunday, saying he's "awfully excited" about the announcement.