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Montana campaign finance disclosure law stays in place

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

HELENA (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to a Montana law on spending disclosure for political ads within 60 days of elections, eliciting praise from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

“Time and again, dark money groups have tried to attack Montana’s campaign finance laws – because those laws work,” Bullock said in a statement Tuesday. He said he was pleased with the court’s decision Monday “and will keep fighting to ensure that our elections belong to the people, not special interests.”

The law requires nonprofit groups to register with the state as political committees if they run any kind of ad that refers to a candidate or ballot issue within 60 days of an election.

It was passed in 2015 in response to the 2010 Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on ads in elections if they didn’t coordinate with campaigns.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law last August, after the National Association of Gun Rights sued to strike it down. The group said it wanted to send mailers to voters about public officials who support or oppose the Second Amendment ahead of the 2020 elections.

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