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From the Commissioner…

July 3, 2014

Dear Fellow Montanans:

The 2014 primary elections are over. At this point 36 formal complaints have been filed concerning 2014 primary election campaign practice activity. Of those complaints 29 have been resolved, through the Sufficiency Decision stage. Eighteen complains were resolved in a single Decision: Lansgaard v. 18 Legislative Candidates COPP-2014-CFP-006. There are seven 2014 election complaints remaining on the COPP docket, waiting for Decisions to be made.

The good news is that the 2014 complaints and Decisions did not allege or involve the type of sweeping third party corporate involvement in candidate campaigns that Montanans saw in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 primary elections. There are still substantial election issues left to resolve, such as the proper role of non-profit corporations in Montana's elections. However, in general the 2014 primary elections involved fewer campaign practices that candidates or members of the public found objectionable. That is a good step forward for Montanans and candidates for public office in Montana.

I know there are a number of you who use and follow the COPP website, paying particular attention to the docket of pending complaints. We expect to make the Madin v. Kitts Decision next week and when that happens the docket will consist solely of complaints concerning 2012 election campaign practices (Nos. 1 through 17 on the complaint docket) and complaints concerning 2014 election campaign practices. For those of you who are involved with pending filed complaints, we will first issue Decisions on the 2014 election complaints and then begin work on the 2012 election complaints. The 2012 election complaints will be addressed in order, starting with Docket No. 1. We expect to have all past complaints decided, and the Docket brought current, before January 1, 2015.


Jonathan Motl                                                                                                                                                                                             

Commissioner of Political Practices


Proposed Rule 3.15 of the 2008 Montana Code of Judicial Conduct requiring members of and candidates for the Court to comply with the same statutory financial disclosure requirements that apply to other state officials. January 2 order date. Comments accepted for 60 days from the date of the Order. (read the full order HERE)


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