dark money

Montana Counties To Receive $30 Million In PILT Funds
flickr user 401(k) 2012 (CC-BY-SA-2)

This year’s gubernatorial race is expected to draw record-breaking amounts of money for the two leading candidates. Recently, the opposing campaigns are disputing where that money is coming from.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat:" The impact of Justice Scalia's death on the Clean Power Plan lawsuit and Montana's governor's race; the political impact of out-of-state control over Colstrip's future; new revelations of "dark money" spending, and the upcoming campaign finance trial of Rep. Art Wittich.

New Judge Assigned To Political Corruption Lawsuit

Feb 5, 2016
Chief Justice Mike McGrath, left, swears in Mike Cooney as Montana’s 32nd lieutenant governor with Cooney’s wife, Helena District Judge DeeAnn Cooney, at his side.
Courtesy Governor's Office

The Helena district court judge Gov. Steve Bullock recently appointed to the bench has recused herself from presiding over a high-profile political corruption case involving one of Bullock’s staunchest critics.

Donors To 'Dark Money' Group Include Media Mogul, Broker

Dec 21, 2015
Former State Senator Jason Priest.
courtesy Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Donors to a secretive conservative group accused of breaking Montana's campaign laws to influence the 2012 elections include a media mogul, a famous investment broker and leaders of the energy industry, according to records released Monday by the state.

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

Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl today formally filed the state’s new campaign-finance rules with the Secretary of State. The new rules, that define how candidates and political committees report their contributions and spending, take up more than 50 pages.

Tie Vote Gives Motl His New Campaign Rules

Nov 17, 2015

  Chalk up another victory for Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl.

“I think it's a good day for Montanans and the people in Montana,” Motl said outside a hearing room at the state capitol Tuesday. “I think that this will be a step towards transparency that’s the greatest step we’ve taken as a state.”

Montana lawmakers will review proposed new campaign-finance rules Tuesday. The rules, written by political practices commissioner Jonathan Motl, are controversial. Steve Jess reports that they might be delayed.

Several groups voiced concerns today about proposed new rules that govern Montana political campaigns.

Jonathan Motl is rewriting the rules for politics in Montana. That might sound like hyperbole, but it’s not.  The state's Commissioner of Political Practices has come out with a top-to-bottom rewrite of the rules that candidates, parties, and political committees must follow, partly because of Senate Bill 289, the so-called “dark money” bill passed by the state legislature this year.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

On the final "Capitol Talk" of the 2015 session, Sally, Chuck, and Mike talk about the death of the infrastructure bill, the session's winners and losers, and how the outcome might affect the 2016 election.