MTPR

campaign finance

Spending On Montana Senate Race At Record $60M

Oct 26, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Spending on Montana's U.S. Senate race has hit $60 million and shattered a state record as conservative groups funded by wealthy donors saturate the airwaves with ads attacking Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and seek to capitalize on President Donald Trump's feud with the lawmaker.

Visualized: The Incumbent Fundraising Advantage In Montana’s Congressional Races

Oct 22, 2018
Cash
Pepi Stojanovski (PD) / Unsplash

With Montana’s 2018 campaign season into its final month, Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Greg Gianforte, the two incumbents in the midterm election, have charted clear fundraising advantages over their respective challengers, State Auditor Matt Rosendale and former state legislator Kathleen Williams.

A screen shot of a recent political text message sent to phones in Montana
Corin Cates-Carney

Fifty-six thousand Montanans recently got a text from the political committee supporting ballot issue I-186, which would tighten regulations on the mining industry. The group that sent out those messages said they were not "robo-texts," although a messaging app helped send them out.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin talk about President Trump's rally in Missoula and his contradictions and vendettas; the Senate race spending spree; the latest nasty ads; and the tightening House race between Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams. Listen in now on "Campaign Beat," MTPR's weekly political analysis program.

Screen capture from the "Stop I-186.com" website Oct. 16, 2018.
Stop I-186.com

Backers of a Montana citizen's initiative that would add new mining regulations say a foreign-owned company is illegally bankrolling an industry campaign against the proposal.

In a complaint Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission, sponsors of Initiative 186 alleged campaign law violations by the Montana Mining Association, Sandfire Resources and others.

Sen. Jon Tester (D) and challenger State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R).
Rosendale: Corin-Cates-Carney / MTPR

Campaign finance reports released yesterday show that combined spending by candidates in the U.S. Senate race in Montana has topped $20 million.

Incumbent Democrat Jon Tester is outspending Republican Matt Rosendale at nearly a five-to-one clip this election cycle. Tester’s spending is the most by any one campaign in a race for the U.S. Senate in Montana history.

Montana U.S. House candidates Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams.
(Williams: Olga Kreimer/MTPR)

Democrat Kathleen Williams’ campaign raised roughly double the amount of her Republican opponent Greg Gianforte since the start of the July. That’s according to initial campaign finance reports submitted by the campaigns Monday.

State Auditor Drops Fines Against Top Campaign Donor

Sep 25, 2018

Family members and employees of a Billings-based bail bond company facing fines and sanctions by the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance gave nearly $13,000 to Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale’s political campaigns in 2016.

One day after a 2017 face-to-face meeting with company representatives, Rosendale dropped the fines and dismissed two of the three allegations against Friedel LLC. The company paid no penalty under the terms of the agreement.

Matt Rosendale
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A campaign finance watchdog group has filed a complaint against U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale of Montana and the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm.

The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center alleges in the Federal Election Commission complaint filed Monday that the Montana Republican and the gun-rights group illegally coordinated an NRA ad buy this month.

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale.
Eric Whitney / MTPR

A pair of campaign watchdog groups says they’re filing complaints with federal authorities over alleged illegal coordination between the NRA and the Republican candidate for Senate in Montana.

The Campaign Legal Center and former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords’ political organization are asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate what Candidate Matt Rosendale says in a recording released this week by The Daily Beast.

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