Montana Public Radio

Jonathan Motl

High Court Upholds Verdict In Wittich Corruption Case

Aug 23, 2017
Rep. Art Wittich, R-Bozeman, testifies on the forth day of his corruption trial in Helena, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

In a 5-0 decision, Montana’s Supreme Court ruled against former State Representative Art Wittich in a campaign finance case that dates back to 2010.

Journalist John Adams of The Montana Free Press spoke to Wittich today. Adams joined us  from Helena.

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

Montana’s commissioner of political practices basically serves as the state’s top political cop. The commissioner oversees campaign finance and ethics laws. It’s a complicated, sometimes controversial job.

In this interview with MTPR's Edward O'Brien, Montana’s brand new Political Practices Commissioner Jeff Mangan says he believes most Montanans are glad the position is there:

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has nominated former democratic lawmaker Jeff Mangan from Great Falls to serve as the state’s next top political cop.

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

Governor Steve Bullock and members of his staff interviewed candidates for the job of Montana’s next Commissioner of Political Practices, this afternoon.

Governor Bullock spent a little over ten minutes in each of his interviews with Ben Tiller, an attorney with the State Auditor’s office, and Jeff Mangan, a former Democratic legislator.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The search for nominees to be Montana’s next top political cop ended this afternoon during a short meeting of legislative leaders.

The majority and minority leaders of the Montana House and Senate approved Jeff Mangan, a former Democratic legislator who owns a consulting firm in Great Falls, to join the Commissioner of Political Practices nominee list.

Rep. Derek Skees (R) HD-11 is the sponsor of a bill that would close the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.
Montana Legislature

Allegations of corruption and partisanship were scattered throughout a meeting of lawmakers today in the House Judiciary Committee as they discussed a bill (HB-340) that would dismantle the current office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

Bill Would Eliminate Montana Office Of Commissioner Of Political Practices

Feb 2, 2017
The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess / Montana Public Radio

HELENA - A bill in the Montana House would get rid of the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices and split the duties between two elected officials — the Attorney General and Secretary of State — rather than one appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

House Bill 340’s sponsor, Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, said the office wields too much power for one person.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl testifies in his lawsuit against Republican Rep. Art Wittich, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

The Montana Supreme Court ruled today that Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl's term has expired, but he can remain in office until a successor is found.

David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, MT.
Mike Albans

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber joins MTPR's Nora Saks to talk about his paper's reaction to President Trump's gag-order covering several federal agencies like EPA and USDA. McCumber talks about how his newspaper plans to hold government agencies accountable.

Republican Lawmakers Try To Cut Off Campaign Regulator's Pay

Jan 12, 2017
The sign outside the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Steve Jess / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's Republican legislative leaders asked state officials Thursday to cut off Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl's pay amid a legal dispute over the commissioner's term of office.

While the maneuver appears to be an attempt to force Motl out of office, Senate President Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, said the issue isn't about the commissioner himself.

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