ICYMI: Downing Violated Montana Campaign Finance Law Seven Times

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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ICYMI: Downing Violated Montana Campaign Finance Law Seven Times

Helena, MT – The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices has found Troy Downing violated Montana campaign finance law on seven separate counts. Downing’s campaign described the violations as “administrative at best,” demonstrating a clear disregard for Montana’s campaign fairness and transparency laws. It’s not the first time that Downing has flouted Montana laws. In 2017, he was charged with nine hunting violations on instances ranging from 2011 to 2016, and pled guilty in July of 2018 to having obtained resident hunting licenses as a non-resident and unlawfully procuring a license or permit. 

“How can we expect Downing to regulate the insurance industry when he is constantly violating Montana law himself?” said MDP Communications Director Nathan Stein. “Time and again, Downing has proven that he’s out for himself, and can’t be trusted to stand up for Montanans.”

AP: GOP Candidate For Montana Auditor Could Face Campaign Fines
By: Amy Beth Hanson

“A primary election contest that spilled over into the campaign finance arena has led to potential fines for the Republican state auditor candidate who won and another GOP candidate.”

“The state’s Commissioner of Political Practice Jeff Mangan determined last week that the winning candidate, Troy Downing, had seven violations while another candidate who lost, Scott Tuxbury, had one violation. The state auditor is also Montana’s commissioner of securities and insurance.”

“Downing failed to provide opposing candidates with copies of a campaign direct mail promotion and a television advertisement that mentioned them and were used within 10 days of the primary election, in violation of Montana’s Clean Campaign Act, Mangan said. Such violations can lead to fines up to $500, or three times the amount of the unlawful expenditure, whichever is greater.”

“Downing also failed to report the cost of about 33,000 direct mail campaign promotions and the money spent on television ads aired in the days before the June primary, said Mangan.”

“Mangan also found Downing did not report the purchase of 25 bottles of hand sanitizer as an in-kind donation to, or expenditure by, his campaign.”

“The ‘Troy Downing for Montana’ stickers on the hand sanitizer bottles did not include the required ‘paid for by’ language, while a Facebook ad did not say Downing was a Republican, Mangan said.”

“Downing’s campaign manager, Sam Loveridge, said a former opponent’s campaign manager filed a ‘litany of complaints’ against Downing’s campaign, for issues that Loveridge labeled as ‘administrative at best.’”

“Downing pleaded guilty in 2018 to buying in-state hunting and fishing licenses when he was not a Montana resident.”

“The offenses for buying the hunting licenses that are cheaper than those for non-Montana residents happened between 2011 and 2016. As part of a plea agreement, Downing was fined just over $2,000 and forfeited his hunting and fishing privileges for 18 months.”


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