Montana Public Radio

campaign finance

Governor Steve Bullock filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday over its decision to loosen financial disclosure requirements for so-called dark money groups.

The policy change the IRS made last week means that some non-profit organizations that can spend unlimited money on political ads no longer have to turn over the names of their largest donors to government tax officials.

Gov. Steve Bullock during a 2016 campaign stop at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Editor's Note: This post was updated at 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 8, 2018. 

Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order Friday aimed at reforming dark money campaign contributions.

Democrats ask for an investigation on the one year anniversary of Congressman Gianforte’s assault of a reporter; we look at the latest campaign fundraising numbers; and a candidate’s past litigation may hurt his changes in the general election. Those stories and more right now on "Campaign Beat."

2018 Montana Democratic House Primary Voting Guide

May 9, 2018

Five Montana Democrats are running in June 5 primary election for a chance to unseat first-term incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte in the Nov. 6 general election. The Montana Free Press surveyed the five candidates to see where they stand on 10 key issues. The candidates were asked to respond in 50 words or less to each question. Below are their responses, edited only for length and style.

2018 Montana Republican Senate Primary Voting Guide

May 9, 2018

Four Montana Republicans are running in the June 5 primary election for a chance to unseat Montana’s Senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Jon Tester, in the Nov. 6 general election. The Montana Free Press surveyed the four candidates to see where they stand on 10 key issues. The candidates were asked to respond in 50 words or less to each question. Below are their responses, edited only for length and style.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's campaign contribution limits will stay in place for the June 5 primary elections after a federal appeals court decided against revisiting the issue.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday it would not reconsider its October ruling upholding contribution limits for state races.

Democratic candidates are divided on health care; a new no-frills campaign ad; some candidates soften their stance on gun control; money can buy political happiness; and remembering former Montana Senator and U.S. Rep. "Doc" Melcher. Learn more on this episode of "Campaign Beat," with Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin.

Candidate Win Percentage vs. Candidate Self-Financing Percentage In Montana Elections Since the 1990s.
Data and analysis provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Data includes all primary and general election candidates on organization's dataset: https://www.followthemoney.org/show-me?s=MT&c-exi=1#[{1%7Cgro=y

The next campaign finance reporting deadline for candidates in Montana’s primary races for the U.S. House and Senate seats is Sunday, April 15.

The reports will reveal details about how the candidates are funding their campaigns, but we already know that, with a few exceptions, the front-runners are wealthier than most Montanans.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Montana’s campaign contribution limits set in 1994 are constitutional, overturning a previous decision that found the limits violated political free speech.

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the Constitution allows campaign contribution limits to prevent actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption in politics.

High Court Upholds Verdict In Wittich Corruption Case

Aug 23, 2017
Rep. Art Wittich, R-Bozeman, testifies on the forth day of his corruption trial in Helena, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

In a 5-0 decision, Montana’s Supreme Court ruled against former State Representative Art Wittich in a campaign finance case that dates back to 2010.

Journalist John Adams of The Montana Free Press spoke to Wittich today. Adams joined us  from Helena.

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