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Once in a while, things just seem to fall together.

On the day after New Year's, I spotted an article on the AlterNet news site about the Montana Supreme Court's Dec. 30 decision to uphold that state's right to regulate corporate campaign spending.

In a strongly worded 80-page opinion, Montana became the first state to stand with the 80 percent of Americans who oppose the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Corporate citizens remain happily united behind it.

No less interesting, from a regional viewpoint, was the identity of the lead plaintiff: Colorado's well-connected, purposely under-the-radar Western Tradition Partnership.

To our surprise, the primary players all consented to interviews on extremely short notice, including Montana's attorney general (and 2012 gubernatorial candidate), who took time out on a morning between two days of solid travel, and the state's commissioner of political practices, who answered on the first call and spoke at length with surprising candor.

Even the executive director of Western Tradition Partnership made himself available to entertain questions. Of course, the degree to which he actually answered them is up for debate.

You'll find the results, including an excerpt of the original AlterNet analysis, in our cover package starting here. And since both sides plan to take the battle to the U.S. Supreme Court, this may be only the beginning.

  • Once in a while, things just seem to fall together.

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