Jonathan Motl

Capitol Talk
4:49 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

'Capitol Talk': Water Rights, Dark Money, Medicaid And More

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk & Mike Dennison present "Capitol Talk" every Friday during the legislative session.
Credit Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk": The Flathead water rights compact passes out of committee. A bill intended to "shine sunlight on dark money" is making its way through the process. Lawmakers heard testimony on one part of the GOP healthcare plan. And next Friday is the bill transmittal deadline and halfway point of the session

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2015 Legislature
5:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Changes To State Election Laws

Credit William Marcus

Montana lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s election laws.

One bill (House Bill 77) would change who would prosecute political robo-calls which are against the law in Montana. The other bill would allow a special election to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate, rather than an appointment by the Governor.

Jackie Yamanaka of Yellowstone Public Radio has more from the Capitol.

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2015 Legislature
4:26 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Legislative News Roundup - Week 2

A statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, Montana's first governor, stands outside the state capitol in Helena.
Credit William Marcus

In the second week of the 64th Montana Legislature, two initiatives from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget were opened up in joint appropriations subcommittees.

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Supreme Court Mailer
1:20 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Stanford, Dartmouth Apologize For Supreme Court Mailing

Dartmouth College and Stanford University today apologized for a controversial Montana campaign mailer. They’ll send follow-up letters to the 100,000 people who got that mailer, telling them to ignore it. Those letters are supposed to arrive before election day.
 
"I think it’s a good first step," says Linda McCulloch, Montana's Secretary of State. "I think it’s a good pre-election step."

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State Laws 'Disregarded'
6:00 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

State Wants Stanford, Dartmouth To Apologize For Supreme Court Campaign Mailer

Jonathan Motl, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

Update 10/28/14
Read the apology letter from Stanford and Dartmouth here

Lawyers representing Stanford University spoke with Montana’s commissioner of political practices today about a controversial campaign mailer.

That flyer, sent to about 100,000 Montanans last week, used the state seal without permission, and purports to show the political leanings of those running for two seats on the state supreme court. Supreme court races in Montana are by law non-partisan.

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Political Mailer
4:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Montana Secretary Of State Calls Out 'Deceitful' Political Mailer

Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says this mailer is deceitful because the use of the Great Seal of Montana makes it appear to be a voter guide from the SOS office.

Have you received an official-looking mailer that rates the political leanings of Montana's four nonpartisan Supreme Court candidates?

If so, take a close look at it; the flier features an image of Montana's state seal and compares the candidates' political ideologies to those of President Obama and former Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Problem is, it's a fake. The state of Montana has nothing to do with these mailers.

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Missoula County Sheriff's Race
4:43 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Missoula Sheriff Candidate Violated Campaign Finance Laws

Missoula County Sheriff candidates disagree about the seriousness of the violations.
Credit Courtesy Photo

Montana’s commissioner of political practices says Missoula County Sheriff candidate T.J. McDermott violated campaign finance laws.

McDermott has a very different interpretation of what that means than does his political opponent, Josh Clark.

Clark filed complaints about McDermott’s campaign practices in August.

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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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