Montana Public Radio

Gianforte Repeals 'Dark Money,' Mail Ballot Rules

Feb 12, 2021

On Friday, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte repealed an executive order put in place by his Democratic predecessor that aimed to combat so-called "dark money" in political elections.

He announced his repeal of former Gov. Steve Bullock's executive order on campaign finance disclosure in a Friday press release that also made good on Gianforte's promise to repeal former Bullock’s statewide mask mandate.

The 2018 order required state contractors to disclose if they’ve made campaign contributions larger than $2,500 in the last two years to organizations that are not legally required to make their donors' names public.

Gianforte also announced the repeal of another election-related directive Friday. It was a directive Bullock made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed counties to conduct all-mail ballot elections. The directive was challenged in court by the state GOP and former President Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2020 election. Those court challenges were unsuccessful and the directive expired in November.

Gianforte wrote in his repeal memo that only the state Legislature gets to set election procedures.