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Mission Statement

To monitor and to enforce, in a fair and impartial manner, campaign practices and campaign finance disclosure, lobbying disclosure, business interest disclosure of statewide and state district candidates, elected state officials, and state department directors, ethical standards of conduct for legislators, public officers, and state employees, and to investigate legitimate complaints that arise concerning any of the foregoing.


Year Changes Commissioner

John H. Hanson

Office of Commissioner of Campaign Finances & Practices: established for full
disclosure and reporting of the sources and disposition of funds used to influence elections in Montana
1981   Peg Krivec
Additional responsibilities added to Office of Commissioner of Political
Practices: both lobbying disclosure and disclosure of business interests of elected officials
  Dolores Colburg
1993   Ed Argenbright
Code of Ethics enacted: responsibility added for the administration of ethical
standards of conduct for legislators, public officers, and state employees
  Linda Vaughey
2005   Gordon Higgins
(Jan 2005 - July 2006)
2006   Dennis Unsworth
(Sept 2006 - Dec 2010)


  Campaign practice complaints dramatically
increase in number. The complaint docket becomes
increasingly large with 40 or more complaints
routinely listed on docket. Up to this time COPP has
a four person staff consisting of the Commissioner
and 3 staff. All legal work has been handled by outside
counsel working under contract with COPP.
Changes were in-house counsel, investigator and a compliance specialist 
position added to COPP staff, increasing staff size to seven.   

Jennifer L. Hensley
(Jan 2011 - May 2011)
Not confirmed

David B. Gallik
(June 2011 through Jan 2012)

James W. "Jim" Murry
(Feb 2012 - April 2013)
Not confirmed


Complaint docket brought current.  Staff size is seven and budget is
$650,000 a year.

 Jonathan Motl
(June 10, 2013 to present)


Commissioner of Political Practices:

  • is appointed by the governor, confirmed by the State Senate;
  • has one single six (6) year term and is ineligible to serve again as commissioner