Helena—This week, the Montana Democratic Party (MDP) filed a complaint against the Montana Republican Party (MRP) alleging they failed to report potentially thousands of expenditures MRP staff made on behalf of candidates during the 2016 election.
According to the 2015 campaign finance reform package passed by the legislature, “personal services” must be reported to the COPP as campaign expenditures made on behalf of candidates. Personal services include any time spent by political party staffers assisting any state-level candidate with tasks or services.
The Montana Democratic Party has rigorously complied with the new COPP rules, and reported 4,479 personal service expenditures during the 2016 election. By comparison, the Montana Republican Party filed just four for the entire cycle, despite the Gianforte campaign advertising that it was partnering with the MRP and its field offices. In fact, the MRP reported they did not do any work on the Gianforte campaign for the entire year.
“With unprecedented out-of-state dark money flooding into Montana’s elections, transparency in our Democracy is more important than ever,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “It appears that the Montana Republican Party has failed to report their campaign expenditures from 2016 in violation of Montana law, and they owe it to all Montanans to uphold the highest standards of honesty, transparency, and integrity by correcting their gross negligence.”
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