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Posts tagged: Montana Attorney General

Idaho backs Montana in fight to preserve state campaign finance laws against Citizens United decision

Idaho is one of 22 states that have filed a brief today in support of Montana's fight in the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending - even though Idaho has no such laws. Idaho allows direct corporate giving to campaigns, and unlimited corporate independent expenditures in campaigns. “But we do have requirements for reporting,” said Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane. Plus, Idaho places limits on direct corporate contributions to candidates that are the same as its limits as for individual contributions - $1,000 per election cycle for legislative candidates, which means $1,000 for the primary and $1,000 for the general, $5,000 per election cycle for statewide offices - and  several years ago beefed up its reporting laws to prevent corporations from evading the limits by giving the limit from each of numerous sub-entities.

“At the heart of Montana's case is their state regulation of campaign finance,” Kane said. “What we want to do is ensure that Idaho's regime of campaign finance laws is protected. There's a state sovereignty issue involved in our signing on.”

Plus, he said, “This doesn't happen often, but we actually got citizens who emailed and called our office asking us to sign on in support. … And that happens so infrequently, that we actually took notice of it.” Said Kane, “The Montana Attorney General is working to enforce his state's campaign finance law. And if the Idaho Attorney General's office were put in a similar position, we'd want to have support to enforce our laws as well.” Click below for a full report on the case from AP reporter Matt Gouras in Helena.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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