Iryan Lochesh Capitol Whispers April 4, 2019
The official press room web page of Governor Steve Bullock announced the news of a proposed bill that would ban foreign spending in state elections. The introduction of the senate bill, although clearly attributable to the state legislative body, is headlined in a way that tries to aim the political spotlight at the Montana Governor, citing the bill’s introduction as the continuance of Bullock’s “decade-long fight against dark money”. The state-run press room of the Gubernatorial office puts forth an image of Bullock that even his last campaign donation list can not reflect.
Here’s what we found:
The legislation is being touted by Bullock’s PR as a law that would close the Citizens United loophole, which currently allows foreign nationals to set up a shell corporation in the U.S., using that shell as a front to fund political candidates and their campaigns. The international influx of dollars into certain politicians coffers has proven, time and time again, to be an effective way to influence America’s elections, and more importantly , to affect a holding of influence amongst those who are elected into power. Shell companies, and the donations run thru their ghost organizations and PACs, make it much easier for foreign entities to have such effects. The law being proposed would essentially close this wretched loophole.
Senate Bill 326, sponsored by Senator Nik McConnell, proposes to “ban spending and contributions in Montana elections by foreign governments, foreign incorporations, and foreign nationals.”
The intent is to limit foreign influence (via financial backing) unto Montana state politicians (during elections). No foreign corporate buy-outs of politicians during elections.
That seems like a good law. Not sure why it wasn’t already a rule, being that it seems a pretty basic rule of fairness…but…timing aside, I support it.
In public, it looks like Bullock does too.
But, records show, as recent as 2016, that for being the self-appraised ‘dark-money defender’, Governor Bullock sure does like to sit in the shade when the campaign contributions are coming in.
Some of Steve’s top contributors during the last election (2016) were foreign mega-corporations. Two of the names recognized are giants in their industries; Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Limited, and Glaxosmithkline plc. Both were founded in the U.K., and registered with the SEC as having corporate organizational jurisdiction in England.
Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu, is a global accountant and auditor firm, commonly known as one of “The Big Four” of globally dominating professional firms. The publicly listed foreign company (see photo below) was a top-tier donor during the incumbent Governor’s 2016 race; falling short in amount only to the Montana Democratic Party PAC itself.
Company type is listed as “UK private”.
Photo credited to Wikipedia.
Photo credited to Wikipedia.
The other familiar foreign corporate name, Glaxosmithkline, is one of the top five drug producers in the world. Officially, the big-pharmacy puts all political donations under the operational auspices of a ‘covertly’ named “Glaxosmithkline PAC”. The PAC channeling of the corporation’s kick-backs first occurred following a legal case of 2006. It was shown that a campaign donation made by Glaxosmithkline to an Arkansas state legislative member seemed to spontaneously (and conveniently) manifest into a non-enactment of a new state Medicaid restriction; a restriction that would have reduced coverage for the off-label use of one of the company’s prescription drugs, instead advising Medicaid patients to try a generic brand of the medication first. To put it plainly, the new policy restriction would have eaten into Glaxosmithkline’s profit from the state’s Medicaid patients, so they paid in “campaign donations” to the right politician, and effectively put a stop to it.
So… not only has Bullock received funding for his 2016 campaign from foreign corporate entities… but, it seems that it’s from quite uncouthly operating foreign entities, at that.
And, although Bullock & his PR team may want to put the legislative announcement of Bill 326 atop the imagined list of gubernatorial anti-corruption achievements, it’s impossible to reconcile the facts with such claims.
The truth surely is the light, when finding the way through these shady, and always misrepresented, operational onslaught of influential dark money.
****all donation statistics and related figures and data were gathered from FollowTheMoney.org .
No affiliations, public or private, are assumed or exist between this author (Iryan Lochesh) and said organization.