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State Republican Committee Fails To File Timely Reports – Will Face Fines Says Political Practices Commissioner

photo by Jon KIng
Political Practices

The Montana Legislative Campaign Committee is facing fines from the Office of Political Practices after failing to respond to a complaint filed by the Montana Democratic Party for not providing specific information in their campaign finance paperwork.

Political Practices Commissioner Jeff Mangan said the Republican committee has twice failed to update their campaign finance reports.

“The legislative finance committee needs to update their campaign finance reports to include the missing information that was requested last year by then Commissioner Motl,” Mangan said. “They also need to update some other discrepancies that I found in my decision that had to do with independent expenditures.”

Mangan said he was surprised that the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee has seemingly ignored the violations.

“I am surprised, ” he said. “We asked for the information and obviously there was a decision last October from Commissioner Motl that would have gone away had they provided the information and updated their report. For some reason, that has yet to happen.”

Mangan said the Republican party’s inaction will result in fines being levied.

“There will be a fine,” he said. “That will be determined by the amounts involved and the willingness of the committee to provide us the information and correct the report. It has been a few months, but, as far as the amount of the fines,  we haven’t put any of that together yet.”

Mangan says he will reject any criticism that his office is selectively targeting Republicans, as was charged when Jonathan Motl was the commissioner.

“We’re just working on the complaints that are in front of us,” he said. “Since I came into the office, I’ve been dealing with them one at a time, whether they’re considered Democrat or Republican or ‘other’. This just happened to be one of the cases that was on my desk. The fact remains that the proper information wasn’t provided, so I’m hoping that this will spur them into action to get this information into us.”

A call to the Montana Republican Party headquarters for comment has not yet been returned.

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