“It was all but transparent during that period of time, which is unfortunate,” Commissioner Jeff Mangan said Friday.
The Republican Party failed to accurately report its $100,000 expenditure to Advanced Micro Targeting on its March 30 committee finance report, Mangan found, calling it a technical violation. The Republican Party had acknowledged paying for the signature gathering on March 24.
Montanans for Conservation violated campaign laws by delaying its filing as a minor party qualification committee, Mangan found.
Montana Republican Party Executive Director Spenser Merwin said party officials properly disclosed their expenditures and followed the law.
“After years of the Montana Democratic Party actively working to suppress Green Party voices, we thought it was time to give voters another choice at the ballot box,” Merwin said. “Plain and simple, the Montana Democratic Party is now filing wild complaints and lawsuits to keep suppressing the Green Party voice in our elections.”
Officials with Montanans for Conservation did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Club for Growth Action was 44 days late with its campaign finance report, which included a $117,500 payment to Stampede Consulting LLC for signature gathering and a refund of $102,000 from Stampede, apparently after it abandoned its signature-gathering plans. Joe Kildea with Club for Growth Action declined to comment on the violation.