Montana Public Radio

campaign finance

An outside group is running ads trying to influence voters in Montana's U.S. Senate race — a battle between Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock that could be key in determining which party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Gianforte and Mike Cooney each raised over $200,000 in the most recent 30-day campaign finance reporting period.

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.

A group seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Montana says it has gathered enough signatures to put the question to voters in November's election.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to a Montana law on spending disclosure for political ads within 60 days of elections, eliciting praise from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Campaign Beat: Big Money Is Pouring In To Montana's Elections

May 22, 2020

Outside PAC money is pouring into Montana's races for Senate and governor - one indication of how competitive those races are. But money isn't the only factor, which gives some underdogs hope. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney gets criticized for participating in a campaign call in his state office. Absentee ballot collection remains a contentious issue. And Montanans likely aren't as leery as the president when it comes to voting by mail.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Dark Money Group Found In Violation Of Campaign Law

May 19, 2020
Montana Free Press

HELENA — Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan issued a decision on Friday, May 15, stating that the organization behind a late-March cable ad mentioning Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Fox violated state campaign practice law. The organization, American Prosperity Group, purchased $28,837 worth of Montana airtime through cable provider Spectrum between March 24 and April 1, but did not register with the state as a political committee and did not file a finance report disclosing details about its fundraising and spending.

This week we are airing conversations with some of the candidates running for Montana governor as the June 2 primary approaches.

Republican Greg Gianforte has been Montana’s U.S. Representative since 2017. He spoke with YPR New’s Jess Sheldahl this week about why he came to Montana, his business experience, and the Affordable Care Act.

The money funding Montana’s U.S. Senate race has grown by the millions since the start of 2020.

According to federal campaign finance reports, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has drawn in a net of $3.3 million since he entered the race in early March. After some spending, Bullock still ended the first quarter of 2020 with more than $3 million in the bank.

More than 85 percent of the money fueling primary campaigns for Montana’s U.S. House race this year is held by two candidates; Republican Matt Rosendale and Democrat Kathleen Williams. Rosendale and Williams each have more than $800,000 in the bank to start the 2020 election year.

A Montana case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have far-reaching implications for public education funding and the debate over the separation of church and state. Two candidates in the U.S. House race — one Democrat and one Republican — are running away from the pack in fundraising. A controversial tribal water compact could become an issue in the governor's race. And the three Republican candidates for governor square off in their first debate. Listen now on Campaign Beat.