After a controversial mailer triggered hundreds of complaints at the Montana Political Practices office for posing as an official "voter’s guide" from the Secretary of State’s office, a second mailer, sent by a group called the Montanan’s for Liberty and Justice has now come under scrutiny for some of the same reasons.

Director for the Montana Republican party, Bowen Greenwood says he has filed an official complaint with the  Montana Political Practices Commissioner about the mailer and says that, so far, the law is being applied unequally.

"The Commissioner of Political Practices and the Secretary of State have raised a big stink about one mailer in the VanDyke and Wheat race," Greenwood said. "And yet there are other mailers being sent by the trial lawyers on behalf of Mike Wheat that do the exact same thing which the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Political Practices are completely ignoring and I don't think selective enforcement is right."

A press release from Greenwood points out that the mailer could fall short of some of the same laws that were cited in the recent Dartmouth/Stanford mailer including:

MCA 13-35-218(2), prohibiting use of “fraudulent contrivance” to compel induce, or prevail upon any elector to give or to refrain from giving the elector’s vote at any election;

MCA 13-35-235, Prohibits the dissemination of incorrect of misleading election procedures information;

MCA 45-7-209, Prohibits the impersonation of a public servant.

The same press release also attempts to show bias in Motl's selection process with the following paragraph:

Notably, the law firm Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson and Deola gave a staggering $10,000 to this liberal PAC. Commissioner Motl is on sabbatical from this very firm and is featured prominently on the firm’s website. The Commissioner’s clear conflict of interest in this matter prevents him from issuing an unbiased opinion and would also call into question the impartiality of any substitute he might select to rule on the complaint.

"You know, I think Commissioner Motl has gone ahead and demanded an apology from the people who sent one mailer and he should demand exactly the same quality of apology from the people who sent this pretentious mailer that presents itself as though it were an official voter guide," Greenwood said.

When asked if the Montana Secretary of State would also be filing a complaint against this mailer, the Secretary of State’s office said “Not at this time.”

When asked about the mailer earlier this week, Motl said “we can’t likely deal with every pre-election issue thoroughly because we are such a small number of people here, so we have to sort and choose. That said, it doesn't mean that we don't understand that our duty is to work on behalf of Montanans to keep elections as fair and accountable to our election laws as we can, and we are doing that."


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