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Governor Bullock Signs Executive Order to Shine Light on Dark Money in Montana

Friday, June 8, 2018/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock today signed into law an executive order requiring the recipients of major government contracts to disclose dark money spending in elections.

“Enacting these protections is essential to protecting the integrity of our government,” said Governor Bullock. “It is essential to protecting the public’s right to know and participate in government.  And it is essential to restoring the trust and faith in government.”

During a signing ceremony at the State Capitol, Governor Bullock invited other governors to join him in taking this significant new step for transparency in government.

“Just like Montanans did back in 1912, we have to keep fighting against the outsized influence corporations and special interests have on our elections, our elected officials, and our representative democracy.” said Governor Bullock. “I’m going to keep fighting here in Montana, and I hope other states will join me, because their citizens deserve no less.”

End Citizens United echoed their support for Governor Bullock’s executive order.

"Governor Steve Bullock is taking action to ensure Montana remains a national leader on transparency and accountability in its elections. Like Montanans and Americans across the country, Bullock recognizes that voters have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote. His bold executive order represents a significant step toward rooting out corruption, limiting secret ‘dark’ money, and preventing undue influence and outsized access by mega-donors and corporate special interests in state government. This order should serve as a model for Washington, where politicians have rigged the system to favor big donors, oppose any reforms, and actively seek to bring more money and less transparency into the system," said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller in a statement.

Under the executive order, government contractors who have spent over $2,500 in the past two years in elections will be required to disclose their donations. The order covers contributions to so-called “dark money” groups that are otherwise not required to disclose their donors. The executive order applies to new contracts for goods over $50,000 and new services contracts over $25,000.

Since taking office, Governor Bullock has fought to keep dark money out of politics and championed measures to increase transparency in elections.

  • As Attorney General, Bullock led the effort to preserve Montana’s 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act, taking the case for the state’s citizen democracy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. His office defended Montana’s campaign finance limits and disclosure laws against a wave of lawsuits filed by American Traditions Partnership and other dark money groups.
  • Governor Bullock has been called “the biggest threat to Citizens United,” and remains committed to ensuring Montana’s elections are the most transparent in the nation.
  • Governor Bullock worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the DISCLOSE Act to require the disclosure of donors to independent group spending money on state-level elections.
  • Montana has since received an “A” rating on the 2016 national scorecard for disclosure practices governing direct contributions to state candidates, state political parties, and committees that support or oppose any kind of statewide ballet question from followthemoney.org.

The executive order: http://governor.mt.gov/Portals/16/EO-15-2018_Disclosure%20Requirement.pdf?ver=2018-06-08-112513-760 

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