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Entries in Montana politics (40)


Additional legal review ordered for MT campaign spending law

(SAN FRANCISCO)- A federal appeals court is ordering another lower court to take another look at Montana's most recent law seeking to limit campaign contributions. 

Tuesday's ruling is the latest development in the on-going efforts by Montana leaders and citizens to limit the amounts that can given to in-state political campaigns, especially by special interest groups and corporations from outside Montana. 

After a non-jury trial, a U.S. District Court judge here in Montana had ruled in 2012 the state's latest efforts to limit campaign spending were unconstitutional because they limited free speech. The suit had been brought by several groups as varied as the American Traditional Partnership, the Montana Right to Life PAC and Lake County Republicans. 

However, in the new ruling issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the three judge panel faulted the district court on a technicality, saying the lower court judge hadn't applied the new formulations from the Citizens United case. They're ordering the District Court to take another look at the suit and determine how Montana's campaign limits fair under that newer case law. 


Ballots mailed across Montana

(HELENA)- Thousands of absentee ballots hit the mail boxes across Montana Monday, in one of the last milestones before the 2014 General election next month. 

Monday was also the deadline for traditional voter registration to close. But county elections offices will be offering late registration, and even same day registration, right up to election day. 

Spirited battles for key Senate and House positions in Montana's Congressional delegation are at the top of this year's ballot. 


Ravalli GOP pressing Montana Primary election law

(HAMILTON)- Ravalli County Republicans are suing Montana's Secretary of State, saying the system of allowing "open" Primary elections violates the U.S. Constitution.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Helena this morning by the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee, naming both Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and Ravalli County Election Administrator Regina Plettenberg.

The suit challenges Montana's Primary system, which allows voters to "cross-over" and vote for either Democrats or Republicans, arguing that the system is a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. 


Daines, Walsh show strength for November runoff 

(HELENA)- There were no surprices in Tuesday's Primary election voting for the chance to permanently replace legendary Montana Senator Max Baucus, with a race that will pit two of three members of the state's Congressional delegation on the campaign trail. 

Neither Representative Steve Daines, nor Senator John Walsh even broke a sweat Tuesday night as both easily captured their parties' nominations. 

Daines, opting to challenge for the Senate seat instead of seeking a second term in the House, dispatched Missoula's Champ Edmunds and Susan Cundiff with an especially robust 83% of the vote. And Walsh did nearly the same thing on the Democratic ticket, sweeping to victory with nearly 64% of the ballots over Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger. 

Bohlinger had hoped to tap into some of the opposition to Walsh's appointment to the seat after Baucus retired this spring, but got just 22% of the vote. 


Zinke holds on to advance in Montana Congressional race

Zinke campaigns for last minute votes Tuesday - Zinke campaign photo(HELENA)- The former Navy Seal may have seen tough battle conditions before, but it was a fight to the wire for Ryan Zinke to advance to the November General election. 

Caught in a showdown that debated how conservative each of the Republican hopefuls really were, Zinke emerged victorious early Wednesday morning after a final tally of ballots from Tuesday's Primary election. 

The Secretary of State's office reports that with just over 78% of the precincts reporting, Zinke had captured just over 33% of the vote, giving him enough of a lead to top Matt Rosendale's 29.6% and Corey Stapleton, who polled 28%. 

That sends Zinke on to face Democrat John Lewis, who cruised to an easy win over John Driscoll with just under 60% of the vote. The pair are facing off to see who can replace incumbent Rep. Steve Daines, who is trying a move up to the Senate.