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Friday, October 23, 2020
This new reporting adds to an extensive record of skirting Montana law over the course of his brief time in the state. Downing has received criticism for his California residency and his guilty plea in acquiring in-state resident hunting licenses without in-state residency. Downing’s campaign has been plagued by campaign fairness violations — a pattern of disregard and illegality that definitively shows that Montanans cannot trust Troy Downing.
Billings Gazette: Divorce and old threats emerge in state auditor race
By: Rob Rogers
Court records alleging threats of violence and an attempt to underpay child support have come to light late in the race for Montana’s state auditor.
Troy Downing, the Republican in the race, was accused in 2005 by his ex-wife of threatening to kill her, which she testified to under oath in a San Diego, Calif. family court. The alleged threat occurred in 2002.
Laura Downing testified she and Troy had separated and were no longer living together. One evening she showed up at the house unannounced to tell the children goodnight and make arrangements for the morning, she testified.
“Troy was livid and did not want to let me enter the house,” Laura Downing stated. “As I passed by him to enter, he said, ‘I’m gonna kill you, maybe tonight.'”
Laura’s Downing’s testimony detailed her deteriorating relationship with Troy Downing and was part of a suit to restructure their divorce settlement. The details appear in court documents from the Downings’ separation, divorce, child custody, and child support proceedings that began in 2002 and stretched into 2009 in San Diego.
In her court declaration, she talked about her mental health struggles and the issues it created in the marriage. She added that is was exacerbated by Troy Downing’s long absences while on active duty with the Air Force.
Four years later, in early 2009, Laura Downing sought to modify the child support payment agreement between the two, arguing that Troy Downing’s income allowed him to pay more.
The court found that Troy Downing was earning $25,000 a month, an amount he had contested, and that he had failed to meet the burden of proof that his gross monthly income was less than $25,000.
He was then ordered to pay $2,894 a month in child support for his two children.
During that Senate race, Downing briefly took the spotlight when accusations surfaced about his buying less expensive in-state hunting and fishing licenses as an out-of-state resident. A month after the primary election, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for obtaining the in-state hunting and fishing licenses between 2011 and 2016 while living in California.
Downing again found himself in trouble with the state earlier this summer when the state’s Commissioner of Political Practice Jeff Mangan determined that he committed seven campaign finance violations while running in the state auditor primary in June.
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