campaign finance

Montana Gubernatorial Race On Track To Break Funding Records

Jun 14, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte brought in a total of more than $3.8 million in campaign contributions through last week's primary — already nearly as much as the $3.9 million Bullock and Republican Rick Hill collected during the entire 2012 gubernatorial campaign.

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.

Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte’s campaign brought in more money than his opponent Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock in the latest reporting period. But most of the money Gianforte reported adding to his campaign in the latest period came from several loans from the Bozeman businessman himself, totaling $150,000.

On this episode of "Campaign Beat," Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin talk about this week’s campaign finance ruling, the fuss over the Gianfortes' big donation to MSU, and the race for Montana’s seat in the House of Representatives.

The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices is asking a federal court to put on hold a ruling that would allow political parties to donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns.

A federal court has ruled that Montana's campaign contribution limits are unconstitutional. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell on the limits passed in 1994 comes less than a month before the state's June 7 primary.

The release of the Gov. Bullock's personal emails; Greg Gianforte's campaign donations to himself; Trump's impact on downticket races; the possible spoiler role of Libertarian candidate Ted Dunlap; and Montanans feeling the Bern, on this episode of "Campaign Beat."

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte
Bree Zender

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte put $200,000 of his own money into his campaign last month, on top of more than $1 million his campaign has raised to date.

Sally Mauk and her guests dissect the first TV ad in Montana’s governor’s race, tally up the big bucks in the U.S. House race, and look at the candidates in the race for superintendent of schools in this episode of "Campaign Beat."

Judge To Decide Penalties In Next Phase Of Dark Money Case

Apr 11, 2016
Rep. Art Wittich
Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Now that a jury has ruled a Montana legislator took $19,599 in illegal contributions, a judge now must decide whether to impose the ultimate penalty — the removal of an elected official from office, which hasn't been done by court order in 75 years.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl reflects during a break in the final day of his lawsuit against Bozeman Republican Rep. Art Wittich.
Kimberly Reed.

Testimony and arguments in the civil trial of State Representative Art Wittich wrapped up today. The jury is now deliberating the campaign finance charge against him. The Bozeman Republican has been on trial all week, sued by Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl. Motl says Wittich failed to report substantial contributions of campaign services provided by a national anti-union group in 2010. We spoke with John S. Adams, editor-in-chief of Montana Free Press about the trial's final day, and what happens next.