Montana Political Practices Commissioner Restores Former Contribution Limits After Court Decision
Following the U.S. District Court decision on Tuesday that struck down Montana's 1994 campaign contribution limits as being unconstitutional, the Commissioner of Political Practices re-instituted the limits that were in place pre-1994.
Jonathan Motl held a press conference in Helena following the release of Judge Charles Lovell's decision. He said that the most troubling aspect was that there would be no limits on how much political parties could contribute, because the current limits are greater than the limits that were in place in 1994, so by implication, it also struck down the 1994 limit.
"Those limits for individuals and political committees other than political parties, there's a limit of $1,190 to the governor and lieutenant governor, $990 to the other state offices, $500 to District Court Judge and PSC, and to all other offices including the state house, $330," Motl said. "Unfortunately, there are now no limits on what political parties can donate to candidates as of today, and that is the most troublesome part of this order."
Motl said in his view, because of the introduction of electronic record-keeping and reporting, political campaigns in Montana are becoming more transparent.
"The 2016 elections are really shaping up as the fairest we've seen in the past five election cycles," he said. "We're going to do our best to make sure that this political party contribution issue doesn't make it unfair again."
As was mentioned in a previous report, Motl said the State of Montana will be appealing Lovell's ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.