MTPR

Campaign Legal Center

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.

According to an audio recording obtained by the Daily Beast , Republican Montana State Auditor and U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale may have illegally coordinated with a top NRA official prior to the conservative gun rights group spending nearly $400,000 on ads attacking Rosendale’s opponent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

Rosendale’s campaign denies the charges and says the candidate was referring to the pro-gun group’s endorsement in the hotly contested 2018 Senate race.

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.