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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

120 Political Committees Miss Campaign Finance Disclosure Deadline

Campaign funds graphic
Campaign funds graphic
120 Political Committees Miss Campaign Finance Disclosure Deadline

Dozens of groups failed to meet a deadline for Montana's campaign finance disclosure rules that aim to bring more transparency to state elections.

Governor Steve Bullock signed the Disclose Act last April amid concerns over the role so-called dark money could play in elections. Those concerns were raised after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl says more than 120 organizations registered as independent political committees missed the January 31 deadline to file their first campaign reports.

“That transparency doesn’t do any good if you fail to file the report.”

Motl says the information in those reports wasn't critically important, but the upcoming reports in primary season will be.

“And we need to adjust the political committees' thinking to where they understand that they need to file these 2016 reports on time when they are due, because those 2016 reports are going to be the only source of independent expenditures.”

The next deadline for an independent committee to report giving money to a statewide candidate is March 1. Reports for legislative candidates are due 35 days before the primary.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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