Jonathan Motl

Montana Politics Week In Review
4:42 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Clean Campaigns, A "Clean Platform" And Clean Coal

This week in Montana politics:

The A.P. reported that District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock rejected Sen. Art Wittich's attempt to dismiss campaign finance complaints filed against him. The ruling clears the way for the case against Wittich to proceed.

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Montana News
3:53 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Closed primaries, V.A. craziness and campaign chicanery

Over the weekend, Montana Republicans held their platform convention in Billings.  Chuck Johnson of Lee Newspapers reports that Republicans, "Irked at what they believe is Democrats interfering in their primary elections. . . called for closing their primaries and allowing only registered Republicans to vote in them."  Delegates also supported a resolution to turn over federal public lands to the state.

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McCutcheon Decision
6:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Motl: Supreme Court decision will not impact MT elections much

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let individuals give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they want.

The 5-4 vote Wednesday, led by the court’s conservative majority, frees up wealthy contributors to give more campaign donations ahead of the 2014 election.

It will have an immediate impact on Montana races for federal office, such as the US Senate and House of Representatives.

But, the state Commissioner of Political Practices says statewide elections will not be affected that much.

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Montana BASE
10:28 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moderate Republicans touting virtues of “light money” PAC

The moderate GOP lawmakers calling themselves "Responsible Republicans" gather for a press conference following the 2013 Montana Legislative Session.
Credit Montana BASE website

 A group of moderate Republicans who denounce anonymous campaign spending in elections say their Political Action Committee, or PAC, plays by the rules.

PACs have been the source of so-called dark money over the last few elections cycles, and a lot of that spending in Montana has been aimed at helping more conservative Republicans win primary campaigns.

The moderates say this time they’re fighting back--in a transparent way.

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Political Practices
2:43 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

State lawmaker accused of illegal coordination with dark money group

Rep. Mike Miller (R-Helmville)

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices this week issued a ruling accusing a sitting Republican state lawmaker of illegally coordinating with a “dark money” group during his 2010 campaign, an accusation the lawmaker denies.

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American Tradition Partnership
2:39 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Judge fines “dark money” group more than $260,000

American Tradition Partnership, one of the primary “dark money” groups operating in Montana the past few elections, has been fined more than $260,000 for illegal campaign activity. This even as the group may be quietly dissolving.

“Here, we have what appears to be a deliberate attempt to evade Montana’s campaign and reporting requirements,” District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock wrote in his Monday ruling.

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Campaign Finance
9:28 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Political Practices Commissioner declares ATP violated MT election laws

Montana’s commissioner of political practices is ruling the conservative dark money group American Tradition Partnership illegally coordinated election activities with a former state legislator.

Commissioner Jonathan Motl said Wednesday ATP distributed campaign mailers in coordination with former Billings Republican Representative Dan Kennedy. It’s the second blow to ATP this week, after a federal judge threw out a lawsuit from ATP associates.

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