Montana Attorney General Files ‘Limited’ Appeal to Stay District Court Ruling Striking Down Contribution Limits From Political Parties
In conjunction with a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Montana Attorney General’s Office has filed a request with the federal district court in Helena seeking a stay of that portion of Judge Lovell’s ruling addressing campaign contributions from political parties.
The Commissioner of Political Practices has already determined that the contribution limits of Montana’s previous statute for other types of contributions (other than contributions by political parties) will be in effect as the result of Judge Lovell’s rulings.
The stay that the state is requesting would not change that determination, but, if granted, would mean that the limits for contributions by political parties would remain as set under the challenged statutes during the appeal.
The appeal states :
"The upshot is that Montana currently has contribution limits on the amounts that individuals and political committees can donate to a candidate, but no limits on the amounts that political parties can donate. This loophole must be closed."
"Given the wild west approach to campaign contributions that sprang up in the week following this court's 2012 ruling, there can be no doubt that unlimited donations by political parties would create mass chaos in Montana's elections. Within two days of this court's decision in 2012 the Rick Hill campaign accepted a donation of $500,000 from the Montana Republican Party....the integrity and fairness of Montana elections are at stake."
The stay request was filed by the Attorney General's office just after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.