Montana Public Radio

campaign finance

'Campaign Beat:' Fundraising, Campaign Ads, And The Trump Factor

Jan 10, 2020

This week on Campaign Beat: who's ahead, and who's behind in campaign fundraising. A new ad introduces a political newcomer in the Senate race, and protesters challenge Sen. Daines for going all-in for Trump.

There’s a three-way race underway for a seat on the Montana Supreme Court. Each of the candidates are relying on self funding to get their 2020 campaigns off the ground.

Justice Laurie McKinnon, who lives in Helena, is running for reelection after announcing last year she would not seek a second eight-year term on the state high court.

A U.S. appeals court opened the door for Congress to gain access to eight years of President Trump's tax records, setting the stage for a likely review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to revisit an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel that allowed Congress to subpoena the president's tax records. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed those records in March.

Montana Lieutenant Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney.
Montana Governor's Office

Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney is asking his opponents in the Democratic primary race for governor to sign a pledge to limit outside spending and self-funding in their campaigns. The pledge was called a media stunt by one opponent.

Cooney this week offered the pledge to donate to charity half of the value of any independent expenditures made by outside organizations, individuals, or corporations that benefit his campaign.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bullock will apply to be the first — and perhaps only — Democrat in the presidential primary who accepts public financing for his campaign, a potentially risky move that could give his struggling fundraising a boost but would also require the Montana governor to abide by a cap on the amount of money he can spend.

"Issue advocacy" mailers from the 2012 Montana elections.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

An Illinois advocacy group is suing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock over one of his trademark campaign finance policies targeting so-called 'dark money' in politics.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday asks a federal judge to strike down Montana’s nearly year-old policy that requires certain businesses seeking contracts with the state to disclose donors and spending on elections.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An appeals court on Monday upheld a Montana law requiring nonprofit groups to register with the state as political committees if they run any kind of ad that refers to a candidate or ballot issue within 60 days of an election.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines has reported raising more than $1 million over the last three months for his reelection bid in 2020.

All candidates in Montana races for the U.S. House and Senate were required to disclose their quarterly fundraising and spending Monday.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, August 16, 2018.
Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock’s presidential campaign has agreed to pay for the travel, lodging and meals of the Montana Highway Patrol security detail accompanying him on out-of-state campaign travel.

Bullock’s official staff signed-off on an agreement earlier this month to pay for the expenses after Attorney General Tim Fox ordered a stop to the security. As of publication time the exact cost of the security detail has not been made public. 

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