MTPR

campaign finance

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the latest candidate to join the crowded field of Democrats vying to unseat President Trump in 2020. Bullock waited until the Montana Legislature ended to announce his long-rumored candidacy. Now he'll find out if his statewide popularity will translate to a national stage. Bullock spoke with MTPR's Sally Mauk about his just-launched campaign and why he'd rather be president than a U.S. senator, and his positions on some key national issues.

Gov. Steve Bullock outside a private 'town hall type' event in Butte, April 26, 2019.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

On the day after the legislative session ended, Gov. Steve Bullock was at the historic Carpenters Union Hall in Uptown Butte on Friday for a somewhat mysterious event with constituents.

I tried to follow the crowd into the back room where a podium and chairs were set up, a big pot of chili was stewing, and Gov. Bullock was chatting with locals. But I was turned away at the door.

Tim Fox has raised substantially more money than any other candidate running for a statewide office in Montana so far.

Campaign finance reports for the 2020 election filed Friday show Fox has raised nearly $204,000 since January 1. Fox, who is currently Montana’s attorney general, is running for governor.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

Tonight on Capitol Talk: The state admits it needs to do a lot better job monitoring for-profit wilderness schools for troubled teens. Economics hold little sway in the effort to abolish Montana's death penalty. Money is being restored to the depleted Health Department budget. Another Montana campaign finance reform law is upheld. And lawmakers may have found a way to bridge the infrastructure impasse.

U.S. Supreme Court file photo.
PD


Montana’s 2015 campaign finance law survived its biggest test Tuesday. The U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, declined to take up a case challenging the state’s Disclose Act

The high court leaves in place a lower court’s ruling that Montana’s so-called 'Disclose Act' is constitutional.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

This week at the Capitol: There's new momentum this legislative session to end Montana's statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases; Gov. Bullock remains vague about his political aspirations; the U.S. Supreme Court leaves Montana's campaign contribution limits in place; direct care workers may get a raise; and rallies to focus attention on missing and murdered Indigenous women coincide with possible legislative action. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

U.S. Supreme Court file photo.
PD

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place Montana's voter-approved limits on contributions to political campaigns in state elections, a decision that likely ends a legal challenge that lasted more than seven years and disrupted the 2012 governor's race.

The justices rejected an appeal from opponents of contribution limits, who argued that the caps on political donations are an unconstitutional limit on free speech and free association, and prevent candidates from running effective campaigns.

Spending by Candidates In Montana's U.S. Senate Races, 2000-2018. Data: opensecrets.org, fec.org
Corin Cates Carney

The candidates for Montana's two contested seats in Congress this year, and their supporters, spent more than $76 million over the last two years in their election campaigns.

The U.S. Senate race between Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale brought in most of that money, making it the most expensive election contest in state history.

Anti-I-185 advertising has included a heavy presence at Montana convenience stores
Eric Whitney

Spending in the campaigns for and against I-185 has made it the most expensive ballot measure race in Montana history.

The ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes and continue Medicaid expansion has drawn more than $17 million in spending from tobacco companies. Most has come from cigarette maker Altria, and it’s more than the company has ever spent on any proposed ballot measure nationwide. That’s according to records from the National Center for Money in Politics dating back to 2004.

Senator Jon Tester rallies a crowd at Montana State University in Bozeman, October 26, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Outside groups supporting the candidates in Montana’s U.S. Senate race have now dumped close to $33 million into the race, bringing total spending in the contest to date to around $60 million, a record. Recent polls say the race between Republican Matt Rosendale and Democrat Jon Tester is tightening.

The candidates are making their final push to convince the remaining undecided voters, rally their base, and attract media attention.

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