Montana’s new rules on disclosure of campaign spending are facing two potential delays – including a poll of all 150 legislators on whether the rules violate legislative intent. But the state’s top campaign-law enforcer, whose office drew up the rules, said Monday he’s optimistic the rules will take effect in time for the 2016 campaign season, and shed more light on election spending. “I am firmly of the belief that the public in Montana wants these regulations to come out,” said Jonathan Motl, commissioner of political practices. The rules carry out a new law passed by the 2015 Legislature, to crack down on so-called “dark money” in campaigns and require more and faster reporting of campaign spending in Montana.
On Tuesday, a bipartisan legislative committee meets in Helena and will consider whether to block enactment of the rules.
The State Administration and Veterans’ Affairs Interim Committee is chaired by Sen. Dee Brown, R-Hungry Horse, an opponent of the law. A majority vote of the panel could block the rules, but a tie vote would allow the rules to go forward.
Also this week, nearly two two dozen legislators who voted against the law have forced a poll of all legislators on whether the new rules violate legislative intent.