MTPR

campaign finance

Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R) are running for Congress in a special election to fill Ryan Zinke's seat.
MTPR News

Candidates and outside groups are dumping more than $12 million into Montana’s short special election race for the U.S. House, surpassing the spending in last year’s race by $3 million. That’s according to the latest federal campaign reports filed this week.

Mark Wicks was the Libertarian candidate for Montana's U.S. House seat in the 2017 special election.
Courtesy Mark Wicks

While about $12 million is financing the U.S. House race between Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist, the Libertarian candidate says contributions to his campaign are just starting to roll in. The main party candidates have each brought in over $3 million to fund their campaigns.

Outside groups have dumped millions more, picking sides between the Republican and Democrat, according to federal election reports. Those reports also show that Libertarian candidate Mark Wicks has raised $2,030, coming entirely from individual donations.

U.S. House Candidates Greg Gianforte (L) and Rob Quist (R).
Corin Cates-Carney/Josh Burnham

About $12 million is fueling the special election between Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte, according to latest campaign finance disclosures.

The money pouring into Montana’s sprint race to fill the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House now exceeds the total from the previous House race held in 2016. In that race just over $9 million was spent, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission.

The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess

A bill to reform state campaign finance laws hit a snag on Monday when Senators rejected work by their peers in the House.

Billings Republican Tom Richmond says his bill to increase contribution limits and remove loopholes in state campaign laws passed with wide support, picking up all but two votes in the Senate in March, but is now at risk of being vetoed by the governor unless changed.

Rob Quist speaks to a crowd at a 'Rally for Public Lands' in Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

The National Democratic party has made its first contribution to Rob Quist's campaign for Montana's House seat in the election that ends May 25. That's according to a story in The Huffington Post. The story says the contribution's size is “in the low six figures."

Increased Campaign Finance Limits Near Passage In Montana

Apr 20, 2017
Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, listens Thursday to debate in the House before introducing Senate Bill 368. Manzella is carrying the bill that would increase campaign contribution caps for state candidates.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

A bill that would increase the money state candidates can raise is one vote away from passing the Legislature.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill under consideration in the Montana House would raise the campaign contribution limits that individuals, political committees and political parties can give to state candidates. A glance at the limits being proposed:

Rob Quist talks with supporters during a campaign stop in Great Falls, April 11, 2017.
Eric Whitney

Democratic candidate for Congress Rob Quist today released his first quarter of 2017 fundraising total.

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.
(PD)

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.

It says a Super PAC associated with House Republicans has pledged to spend $700,000 supporting Greg Gianforte in his quest to replace Ryan Zinke, who was confirmed as Interior Secretary in March.

Sen. Jon Tester.
PD

A proposed constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people faces extremely long odds, according to one Montana political scientist. Senator Jon Tester announced earlier this month that he plans to introduce three campaign finance-related bills.

Sen. Jon Tester.
PD

Montana's senior senator has introduced three bills that he says would increase transparency and accountability in elections.

Democrat Jon Tester says all three would "shine a light on dark money that tries to influence our elections and restore the right of citizens of this country – not to corporations."

Keith Regier (R) SD-3
Montana Legislature

A new bill in Montana's Senate would decrease the amount of information people who donate to political campaigns must reveal to the public.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Keith Regier from Kalispell says he doesn’t think donors should have to share their employer or occupation when giving money to a political candidate or committee:

It’s NOT your imagination.  There are a lot of political ads airing right now on television. 

A national study released today by the Wesleyan Media Project found Montana ranked near the top in the volume of ads bought and airedin the gubernatorial and U.S. House contests.

Federal Judge Upholds Montana Campaign Disclosure Law

Nov 1, 2016
"Issue advocacy" from the 2012 Montana elections.
Josh Burnham

Montana's new campaign disclosure law has survived its first test, with a federal judge rejecting arguments that it unconstitutionally interferes with the free speech of groups that want to influence elections without revealing where they get their money or how they spend it.

Gov. Bullock during a 2016 campaign stop at UM in Missoula.
Mike Albans

Governor Steve Bullock’s re-election campaign on Tuesday quickly seized on a judge’s ruling to uphold Montana’s campaign finance disclosure law. Bullock was in Missoula ostensibly to rally with students.

In the final check on campaign finances before Election Day, Republican Greg Gianforte brought in more money than incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock.

Over the last month, Montana’s gubernatorial race drew over $2 million to fuel the two main party campaigns. But most of that money is coming out of the pocket of the Republican candidate Greg Gianforte.

The most recent campaign finance reports released today show, in the last month, Gianforte nearly doubled the money he’s given to his campaign since entering the gubernatorial race.

Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives Denise Juneau stumps on the state Capitol steps Thursday in a promise to end what she calls unethical campaign behavior in Congress.
Corin Cates-Carney

Democratic candidate for Congress Denise Juneau promised legislation to curb what she calls unethical campaign behavior in Congress Thursday, Sept. 8. Juneau is calling it the CASH ACT of 2017, which stands for Congress Abolishes Super PAC Hiring.

Challenger Denise Juneau and incumbant Ryan Zinke met in Billings for their second debate on September 1, 2016
DENISE JUNEAU: COURTESY BRONTE WITTPEN; RYAN ZINKE: WILLIAM MARCUS

Last night, for the second time in less than a week, the candidates for Montana’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives met to debate, arguing policy and social issues, and making their case to voters.

Groups Change Ad Strategies Before Campaign Finance Deadline

Aug 12, 2016
"Issue advocacy" from the 2012 Montana elections.
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Representatives from three organizations say they will either change or cease running issue ads that mention Montana political candidates ahead of a deadline Tuesday that would require them to register as political committees and make financial disclosures to the state.

Montana Lawmaker Seeks New Trial In Dark Money Case

Jul 22, 2016
Rep. Art Wittich (R) HD68
Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana lawmaker is asking for a new trial after a jury ruled he took illegal corporate contributions from an anti-union organization in 2010.

Montana Campaign Watchdog To Review Political Party Committees

Jul 7, 2016
The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — More than two dozen Montana campaign committees currently registered as political party committees may have to be reclassified as independent campaign groups or be re-established as official arms of the Democratic, Republican or Libertarian parties.

Montana House of Representatives.
MTPR

Montana lawmakers have rejected a call for a special legislative session by a group of Republicans who want to raise campaign contribution limits.

Gov. Steve Bullock (file photo)
Josh Burnham

After Montana’s primary election on June 7, candidates in Montana’s gubernatorial race are building up their bank accounts to fund the contest in November.

Rep. Art Wittich (R) HD68
Montana Legislature

  Today a judge fined state Representative Art Wittich $68,000 for campaign finance violations from 2010 that a jury found him guilty of in April. But the judge said Wittich does not have to give up his seat in the legislature.

District Judge Ray Dayton handed down the penalty today in Anaconda.

Montana Gubernatorial Race On Track To Break Funding Records

Jun 14, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte brought in a total of more than $3.8 million in campaign contributions through last week's primary — already nearly as much as the $3.9 million Bullock and Republican Rick Hill collected during the entire 2012 gubernatorial campaign.

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.
(PD)

Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte’s campaign brought in more money than his opponent Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock in the latest reporting period. But most of the money Gianforte reported adding to his campaign in the latest period came from several loans from the Bozeman businessman himself, totaling $150,000.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat," Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin talk about this week’s campaign finance ruling, the fuss over the Gianfortes' big donation to MSU, and the race for Montana’s seat in the House of Representatives.

The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices is asking a federal court to put on hold a ruling that would allow political parties to donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns.

A federal court has ruled that Montana's campaign contribution limits are unconstitutional. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell on the limits passed in 1994 comes less than a month before the state's June 7 primary.

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