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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Groups Voice Concerns Over Montana's Proposed Campaign Rules

Campaign funds graphic
Campaign funds graphic

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

Just a handful of people showed up for a scheduled 7 hour hearing at the state capitol today, but those who did attend said the proposed rules are overly broad and could have a chilling effect on public debate. 

Beth Kaeding of the Northern Plains Resource Council worried that the rules could make her non-profit conservation group register as a political committee, changing its tax status and making its membership list public.

"This would severely limit our ability to participate in the issues that impact the lives of our members," Kaeding said.

Some of the new rules were written to implement the so-called "dark money" bill passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature, requiring groups that try to influence elections to disclose the source of their funding. 

The rules might be re-written to address the concerns of policy groups.  Another 7 hour hearing is scheduled to start Thursday morning at 9:00 at the state capitol.  

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