When you went to Wal-Mart today, you probably could not help but notice that the store was sad. That is because on Tuesday Montana voters overwhelmingly voted to deprive them of their humanity. Initiative 166 was passed with 75% of the vote, and states that corporations are "not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings." The initiative was on the ballot due to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, which held that corporations are cuddly people just like you and me, and are entitled to drop limitless amounts of money into political campaigns.
Montanans overwhelmingly approved the initiative, which received 74% of the vote. C.B Pearson, a spokesman for Montanans United, the group behind the initiative, said, "Montanans are calling on every elected official in Montana to fight for fair elections and overturn the horrible Citizens United decision."
Corporations were not so happy. When asked for comment on the passing of the initiative, a local Home Depot just looked away and stared stoically into the mountains beyond. Elected officials, none of whom would speak on the record, lamented the fact they would no longer be able to go golfing or hunting with their favorite corporations.
Prior to the vote, Verner Bertelsen, a 96 year-old Montana resident, said bluntly, "I've never seen a corporation I wanted to dance with yet." Unfortunately, for Verner, this led to vicious attacks against him in the press, including allegations that he had been caught fondling a local McDonald's franchise back in 1983, charges which Mr. Bertelsen rigorously denied.
In the long run, it is likely this measure will mean nothing, as it will be preempted by the Citizens United decision. Also, one should not be too heartened by the Montana electorate. On Tuesday, voters also approved a measure to require parental notification for minors receiving abortions and another prohibiting the government from requiring citizens to purchase health insurance.