MTPR

National Institute on Money in State Politics

2019 Montana lobbying spending.
Cassidy Alexander, via Datawrapper / Montana Public Radio

At least $6.5 million dollars was spent on lobbying during the state’s 2019 legislative session. That’s according to the spending reports that groups trying to influence state lawmakers are legally required to file.

Montana Public Radio dug into the reports, which this year got harder for the public to make sense of.

Spending to influence Montana laws and elections.
National Institute on Money in Politics

At least $6.5 million was spent on lobbying efforts during Montana’s 2019 legislative session.

That’s more than two and a half times as much as legislative candidates have raised on their election campaigns annually in recent years.

Cash
Pepi Stojanovski (PD) / Unsplash

At least $3.8 million was spent to influence Montana lawmakers’ work during the first three months of 2019. That’s with one more month’s worth of lobbyist spending reports for the 2019 legislative session yet to be filed. The deadline for that is today.

Montanas Against Tax Hikes' campaign to vote no on I-185.
Montanans Against Tax Hikes

Updated at 4:45 p.m.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The $26.1 million campaign over whether to keep Montana's Medicaid expansion program alive by hiking the state's tobacco taxes was the most expensive ballot issue in Montana since at least 2002, and likely in state history, according to reports. 

The latest campaign finance reports show that a lot of the $3 million that’s flowed into the race for Montana’s I-186 ballot measure so far has come from organizations and individuals with out of state and international ties. 

State Auditor Drops Fines Against Top Campaign Donor

Sep 25, 2018

Family members and employees of a Billings-based bail bond company facing fines and sanctions by the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance gave nearly $13,000 to Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale’s political campaigns in 2016.

One day after a 2017 face-to-face meeting with company representatives, Rosendale dropped the fines and dismissed two of the three allegations against Friedel LLC. The company paid no penalty under the terms of the agreement.

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.

Candidate Win Percentage vs. Candidate Self-Financing Percentage In Montana Elections Since the 1990s.
Data and analysis provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Data includes all primary and general election candidates on organization's dataset: https://www.followthemoney.org/show-me?s=MT&c-exi=1#[{1%7Cgro=y

The next campaign finance reporting deadline for candidates in Montana’s primary races for the U.S. House and Senate seats is Sunday, April 15.

The reports will reveal details about how the candidates are funding their campaigns, but we already know that, with a few exceptions, the front-runners are wealthier than most Montanans.

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.
(PD)

The Associated Press is reporting that more than $800,000 has been spent on Montana's special U.S. House election in just two weeks.

It says a Super PAC associated with House Republicans has pledged to spend $700,000 supporting Greg Gianforte in his quest to replace Ryan Zinke, who was confirmed as Interior Secretary in March.

Keith Regier (R) SD-3
Montana Legislature

A new bill in Montana's Senate would decrease the amount of information people who donate to political campaigns must reveal to the public.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Keith Regier from Kalispell says he doesn’t think donors should have to share their employer or occupation when giving money to a political candidate or committee:

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