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New Montana Political Practices Commissioner Working to Change Perception of Office

photo from State of Montana
Photo courtesy of Jon King

Montana Political Practices Commissioners don’t often last very long. Even though the seat is supposed to come with a six-year term, Montana has had five men hold the position in the last seven years. Former Legislator Jeff Mangan was picked during the last legislative session and says he’s already busy processing cases and meeting deadlines.

“We had eight open complaints [when I took office] and I wanted to make sure I got decisions on those before the beginning of the new fiscal year. I’ve got four out, two are in vetting and we’ve got two to go and then we have a number of enforcement actions and other things I want to see if we can’t get settled. I’m going to put a timeline together over the next six months to see if we can’t address those.”

The Political Practices Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and some Republicans, like attorney and Representative Matthew Monforton have said that the position has been “weaponized” on a partisan basis. Mangan hopes to change that perception.

“I have good relationships with individuals on both sides of the aisle. I think I’ve always been perceived as a fair and open minded person and that’s certainly how I’m going to approach this era of mine and these next few years. I have an Idea of what folks need to go though day to day to run a campaign.”

Mangan passed through a senate committee on a stunning 49 – 1 vote in likely the fastest Political Practices decisions by the Montana Senate. Mangan was a Democrat from Great Falls when he last served in the legislature back in 2006. He says one of his biggest jobs will be to understand and help the state follow the new Disclose Act.

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