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Montana Commissioner Rules Lt. Gov. Cooney (MT) and the DGA Violated Ethics Law

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Montana Commissioner Rules In Favor of FACT and Against Montana Gubernatorial Candidate Cooney and the DGA for Violating Campaign Finance Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) issued the following statement after the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices ruled against Lt. Gov. and Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), finding that Cooney and the DGA coordinated online advertising, resulting in an illegal in-kind contribution.


FACT filed a complaint with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices on September 3, 2020 detailing the illegal coordination.


Under Montana law, the County Attorney has 30 days to decide whether or not to prosecute. If the County Attorney declines, the Commissioner can either prosecute the case or issue a fine.


Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT: “This decision against Lt. Gov. Cooney and the DGA is a victory for transparency and accountability. We expect elected officials to comply with the law and the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices rightly recognized this was a clear violation. This is a serious matter because when candidates illegally coordinate with outside groups they are both breaking campaign finance limits and creating an unfair playing field--all in secret. We hope Cooney and the DGA will receive the proper penalty for violating Montana’s campaign laws so that they, and future campaigns, are deterred from such conduct.”


The decision in FACT v. Cooney is available here.


The decision in FACT v. DGA is available here.


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