Montana Commissioner of Political Practices

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.

Candidates Barred From Targeting Public Workers' Emails

Feb 10, 2016
The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office
Steve Jess

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana candidates for political office are barred from distributing unsolicited campaign material to public employees' email addresses, the state commissioner of political practices said Wednesday.

Campaign Finance Complaint Dismissed

Jan 29, 2016
Jonathan Motl, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices speaks during a forum about the "Disclose Act" in Missoula, MT
Josh Burnham

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices dismissed a complaint today about campaign practice violations. Jonathan Motl ruled today that the complaint filed on behalf of the Montana Republican Party was similar enough to another complaint filed earlier in the year that it wasn’t necessary to charge again.

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.”

Motl Dismisses Complaint Against Gianforte

Sep 15, 2015
The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office
Steve Jess

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices has dismissed a complaint against Greg Gianforte, a Republican Candidate for Governor in the upcoming election.

William Marcus

Montana’s proposed rules for political campaigns need rewriting. That was the opinion of several public interest groups that testified during two days of public hearings Wednesday and Thursday at the state capitol. The rules proposed by Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl, define when a public interest group qualifies as a "political committee".

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.

Dartmouth College may be looking at a substantial fine for violating Montana’s campaign finance laws.

Today State Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl found that the school, along with Stanford University, broke state law last October, when the two mailed fliers to 100,000 people in Montana purporting to rank candidates for state supreme court on a liberal to conservative scale.

The controversy over the water compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes continued this week when the head of the Flathead County Republicans alleged that groups supporting the compact failed to fully disclose their lobbying activities.

Lawmakers Debate Cuts To Office Of Political Practices

Mar 30, 2015

Today at the Montana Legislature, state Senators discussed taking away a full-time attorney for the office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

As written, the commissioner, Jonathan Motl, says the state budget would force him to contract out for an attorney, potentially costing more money for less experience.

Motl says his office may have more complaints due to the increased use of corporate money under the Citizens United ruling.