Montana Open and Clean Government Act (2008)

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Montana I-156, also known as the Open and Clean Government Act, was a citizen initiative in the state of Montana. It failed to qualify for the November 2008 ballot in Montana due to a failure to acquire the 22,308 valid signatures required by the state's petition drive deadline of June 20, 2008.[1]

The provisions of I-156 included:

  • required contractors to abide by open transparency and reporting requirements, including providing information sufficient for summaries of all government contracts to be published on the internet;
  • specifically required no-bid government contractors (and political action committees or holders of separately segregated funds created or controlled by them) to contractually agree to refrain from making contributions to fund state and local political parties and candidates, and if a contractor contributes to influence a ballot question, that disqualified the contractor from consideration for any no-bid contract that relates to the ballot issue.

George Everett was the sponsor of the initiative.

Opposition from MEA-MFT

Eric Feaver, head of the MEA-MFT, the state teachers union, opposed the Open and Clean Government Act, writing, "I-156 would eliminate MEA-MFT and every other public employee union from engaging in ballot issue government and political candidate support. Read the text and you discover that if MEA-MFT violates the act, we are decertified as a bargaining unit!"[2]

Feaver also said that the measure 2qw "unconstitutional on its face," that if it qualified for the ballot, his union would sue to remove it from the ballot, and that "[t]he intended purpose of I-156 is to screw unions."[3]

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