Money has been flowing into Montana legislative races at a brisk pace, fueled by political committees seeking to influence the makeup of the Legislature that convenes in January.

Independent committees are spending thousands of dollars on ads and mailers in contested primaries, particularly those races between conservative and moderate Republicans.

Since early May, Montanans for Responsible Leadership has spent more than $33,000 to help moderate candidates, also called "responsible Republicans."

The Montana Contractors Association has spent nearly $6,000 of the $12,000 or so it plans to spend before the June 7 primary.

The Jobs for Montana PAC has already spent $15,000 to help four legislative candidates.

The PACs are making independent expenditures, not directly contributing to candidates, so they aren't bound by Montana's low campaign contribution limits.