MTPR

Citizens United

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An appeals court on Monday upheld a Montana law requiring nonprofit groups to register with the state as political committees if they run any kind of ad that refers to a candidate or ballot issue within 60 days of an election.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
(PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Flags are to be lowered Tuesday in memory of Stevens, who died earlier this month at age 99.

'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.

'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.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, August 16, 2018.
Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Governor Steve Bullock made an appearance at the Iowa State Fair Thursday. He gave a speech at the Des Moines Register’s “Political Soapbox” event. It’s an event politicians go to when they’re at least thinking about running for president.

Here’s how Bullock responded when someone asked him if that’s what he’s doing.

A campaign finance reform group has called out a move by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale for allegedly moving money around to skirt campaign finance laws. They said it’s another sign Rosendale is trying to hide who is donating to his campaign.

More than 70 people attended the Democratic candidate forum in Helena, January 11, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Five Democrats running for their party’s nomination to challenge Republican Greg Gianforte for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House met in their second public forum in Helena Thursday night.

They continued working to distinguish themselves as uniquely qualified to beat Gianforte. A Democrat has not represented Montana in the U.S. House since 1996.

Sen. Jon Tester.
PD

A proposed constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people faces extremely long odds, according to one Montana political scientist. Senator Jon Tester announced earlier this month that he plans to introduce three campaign finance-related bills.

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