The Great Seal of the State of Montana

About Us

Mission Statement and History

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.

The Commissioner of Political Practices is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate, and serves one single six (6) year term, after which he or she is ineligible to serve again as Commissioner.

Year Details Commissioner
1975 Office of the Commissioner of Campaign Finance and Practices established for full disclosure and reporting of the sources and disposition of funds used to influence elections in Montana.

John H. Hanson

1981 Additional responsibilities added to the Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices: lobbying disclosure; and disclosure of business interests of elected officials. Peg Krivec
1987   Dolores Colburg
1993 Code of Ethics enacted: responsibility added for the administration of ethical standards of conduct for legislators, public officers, and state employees. Ed Argenbright
1999   Linda Vaughey
2005   Gordon Higgins
(Jan. 2005 - July 2006)
2006   Dennis Unsworth
(Sept. 2006 - Dec. 2010)
2011 Campaign practice complaints dramatically increase in number. The complaint docket becomes increasingly large with 40 or more complaints routinely listed. Up to this time, the COPP has had a four-person staff consisting of the Commissioner and three staff members. All legal work has been handled by outside counsel working under contract with COPP. Changes included the addition of in-house counsel, an investigator, and another compliance specialist position, increasing COPP staff size to seven. Jennifer L. Hensley
(Jan. 2011 - May 2011)
Failed to be Confirmed

David B. Gallik
(June 2011 - Jan. 2012)

James W. "Jim" Murry
(Feb. 2012 - April 2013)
Failed to be Confirmed

Under Commissioner Motl, the campaign finance complaint docket was brought current, with 189 decisions issued resolving 215 complaints. A numbering system was created to better organize the increased volume of complains and decisions.

The COPP files district court campaign enforcement actions for the first time.

Montana's Disclose Act passes the 2015 Legislative Session, mandating electronic filing for certain candidates and committees, as well as increasing transparency of finance reports.

Jonathan Motl
(June 2013 - May 2017)


Jeffrey Mangan
(May 2017 - Present)

Contact Us

Phone: 406-444-2942
Fax: 406-444-1643
General Email:
Compliance Email:
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Jeff Mangan

Jaime MacNaughton
Staff Attorney

Kym Trujillo
Compliance Supervisor

Karen Musgrave 
Compliance Specialist

Deb Belford
Compliance Specialist

Scott Cook

Katie Beall

Press Releases

Agency Goals and Objectives

Commissioner Motl's Letters to the Public