Montana Public Radio

James Bopp

A 2020 Montana primary absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s campaign and the national and state GOP argued in federal court Tuesday against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive allowing for all-mail ballot voting this November. They made their case in U.S. District Court in Missoula for why they believe the directive should be blocked. The governor’s legal counsel dismissed their claims and argued that the directive needs to stay in place.

Montana Public Radio’s Shaylee Ragar shared her reporting on the case with MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney.

Jeff Mangan is Montana's commissioner of political practices.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A ruling today from Montana’s top elections cop says the Green party violated state campaign law by not reporting electioneering spending. He says the Greens benefitted from an unknown amount of money from an unknown source to help them gather signatures on a petition to run candidates on the November ballot.

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.

Federal Judge Upholds Montana Campaign Disclosure Law

Nov 1, 2016
"Issue advocacy" mailers from the 2012 Montana elections.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana's new campaign disclosure law has survived its first test, with a federal judge rejecting arguments that it unconstitutionally interferes with the free speech of groups that want to influence elections without revealing where they get their money or how they spend it.

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.

Contribution Limits Back In Court Ahead Of 2016 Elections

Nov 10, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A constitutional challenge to Montana's campaign contribution limits is back in court with the potential to affect the 2016 primary elections after the same case disrupted the 2012 governor's race weeks before Election Day.

11/03/2014 - “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” sums up most peoples’ understanding of the First Amendment. Many were dumbfounded when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a conservative organization named Citizens United, in the case of Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The 2010 ruling has further undermined democracy. Political campaigns are now flooded with dark money, untraceable funds that often determine the outcomes of ballot initiatives and elections.