Decision says groups coordinated with candidate
LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY
The commissioner of political practice says an ongoing investigation has found that so-called "dark money" groups were illegally coordinating spending with a candidate.
Jonathan Motl released five decisions on Wednesday siding with a former Republican House candidate in Billings. Debra Bonogofsky alleged former state Rep. Dan Kennedy coordinated mailers in 2010 to avoid campaign finance laws.
Motl said he found election activity in support of Kennedy that was not reported by the candidate, or outside groups that included Western Tradition Partnership. The case will now move to prosecution.
The investigation will now expand to other 2010 and 2012 legislative candidates.
Motl sent a stern warning to 2014 candidates "to take heed" and don't get too close to third-party groups. Penalties could include fines - and even removal from office.
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