Contact Us

Following Montana’s Campaign Cash – a Guide

Watch Big Sky, Big Money on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Big Sky, Big Money is a brand new feature length documentary from PBS’ FRONTLINE. The documentary is the latest salvo in a war between those who want to spend money influencing political campaigns and those who want know who is spending the money.

Every state has a different set of laws on campaign spending, but Montana has one of the strictest. Or at least had, it’s difficult to tell exactly where Montana sits from day to day. Judge’s decisions have taken the state from strict rules to no rules and back again in just a matter of weeks.

Despite the judicial dance, a variety of groups are tasked with finding out where all of the political money is coming from.

First and foremost, the office of the Commissioner of Political Practices requires all state candidates to file financial reports on a monthly basis (and even more frequently in the approach to Nov. 6). All of these reports can be found on the office’s website once they’ve been scanned into the system.

Other sites have grown up to track campaign finance money. Through their website, followthemoney.org The National Institute on Money in State Politics tracks spending from both candidates and outside groups in every state. They also happen to be based out of Helena, Montana. Here, one can find a spreadsheet showing the top campaign contributors, or discover if the point of interest (the bulk of donations) for a particular candidate is in Montana or elsewhere.

For federal campaigns, like the presidential election or U.S. Senate races, the website OpenSecrets.org tracks things in a similar way to followthemoney.org. Even with all of this information though, it is impossible to get an accurate picture of campaign spending.

All of the Office of Political Practices reports won’t be scanned in until after election day and all of the third party spending will likely never be traceable. What many consider an accurate picture of the campaign likely won’t be available until after Christmas. In other words, we won’t know where the money came from until after we’ve cast our votes.

More From News Talk KGVO

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://newstalkkgvo.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!