Montana Public Radio

dark money

Capitol Talk: Antifa; 'Religious Freedom', And Limits On Local Control

Feb 19, 2021

Bills heard this week at the Capitol seek to: limit the ability of local governments and health departments to require restrictions during a public health emergency; limit services to LGBTQ people in the name of religious freedom; make Montana a right-to-work state; declare antifa a domestic terrorist organization — even though there isn't such an organization.

And after years of criticizing dark money groups, former Gov. Steve Bullock raises eyebrows by taking a position with a PAC tied to dark money.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

What can we learn from the ways political corruption shaped Montana's past? And how can we keep up with all the special interests trying to influence voters today?

Listen now on Shared State Episode 09: "For This And Future Generations"

Campaign Beat: Big Money Is Pouring In To Montana's Elections

May 22, 2020

Outside PAC money is pouring into Montana's races for Senate and governor - one indication of how competitive those races are. But money isn't the only factor, which gives some underdogs hope. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney gets criticized for participating in a campaign call in his state office. Absentee ballot collection remains a contentious issue. And Montanans likely aren't as leery as the president when it comes to voting by mail.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana Lieutenant Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney.
Montana Governor's Office

Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney is asking his opponents in the Democratic primary race for governor to sign a pledge to limit outside spending and self-funding in their campaigns. The pledge was called a media stunt by one opponent.

Cooney this week offered the pledge to donate to charity half of the value of any independent expenditures made by outside organizations, individuals, or corporations that benefit his campaign.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bullock will apply to be the first — and perhaps only — Democrat in the presidential primary who accepts public financing for his campaign, a potentially risky move that could give his struggling fundraising a boost but would also require the Montana governor to abide by a cap on the amount of money he can spend.

"Issue advocacy" mailers from the 2012 Montana elections.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

An Illinois advocacy group is suing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock over one of his trademark campaign finance policies targeting so-called 'dark money' in politics.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday asks a federal judge to strike down Montana’s nearly year-old policy that requires certain businesses seeking contracts with the state to disclose donors and spending on elections.

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.

Steve Bullock Vows To Disentangle 'Dark Money' From Politics

Jul 17, 2019

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

Gov. Steve Bullock’s administration argued along side the state of New Jersey in federal court in Great Falls Wednesday against the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has loosened disclosure requirements for so-called dark money campaign groups.

U.S. Supreme Court
PD


Montana’s 2015 campaign finance law survived its biggest test Tuesday. The U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, declined to take up a case challenging the state’s Disclose Act

The high court leaves in place a lower court’s ruling that Montana’s so-called 'Disclose Act' is constitutional.

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