Petition approved for signature gathering

LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY

POSTED: 2:32 PM Oct 09 2013
HELENA, Mont. -

Backers of an initiative aimed at shedding light on so-called "dark money" in politics have received approval to start gathering signatures.

Initiative 168, if approved by voters next year, is meant to force all independent groups to disclose political spending. Supporters say some nonprofit groups are evading disclosure under current campaign laws.

The issue was a divisive one at the 2013 legislative session, and caused a fracture in the Republican Party. Attack fliers have been an increasingly common tactic in bitter GOP primary battles.

One group of Republicans backing the initiative will have to gather more than 24,000 signatures to qualify it for the 2014 ballot.