Time ticks as Legislature awaits political watchdog nominee

HELENA, Mont. - Gov. Steve Bullock has yet to name a new commissioner of political practices. That calls into question whether Montana lawmakers will have enough time to vet a nominee before the legislative session draws to a close, possibly as soon as next week.

Some Republicans are eager to see the current commissioner out the door. But that won't happen until Bullock nominates - and the state Senate confirms - a replacement for Jonathan Motl, who was controversial from the moment he was nominated for the post four years ago to enforce state laws governing political campaigns, ethics and lobbying.

Bullock is picking from two nominees sent to him by a bipartisan legislative panel: former Democratic legislator Jeff Mangan and Ben Tiller, a staff attorney for the Montana State Auditor.

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