A group whose tax-exempt status allows it to keep its donors and spending secret is asking a federal appeals court to block several Montana laws regulating campaign contributions and expenditures before next Tuesday’s elections. An injunction request by Montanans For Community Development was rejected earlier this month and again Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who called the breadth of what the group was trying to do “staggering.” The group has now gone to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency injunction that would allow it to release ads that mention candidates in this year’s elections, without fear of being labeled a political organization. That designation would require Montanans For Community Development to disclose who is funding the group, and possibly open it to accusations of illegally coordinating with candidates.
A 9th Circuit panel of judges told the group on Monday that it must ask Christensen for an injunction blocking the laws while the appeal is pending, but said it would take up the issue by Wednesday if Christensen denies the request.
Christensen denied the injunction on Tuesday. It is not clear whether the 9th Circuit would make a ruling on Wednesday, Montanans For Community Development attorney Anita Milanovich said.
Full Article: Court to decide quickly on campaign law challenge.