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Injunction Brings End to Political Practices Case Against Montana House Candidate

Monforton Billboard
Photo courtesy of Matt Monforton

Montana House District 69 candidate Matthew Monforton has been embroiled in legal trouble with the Montana Office of Political Practices over a billboard that commissioner Jonathan Motl ruled to have broken Montana campaign laws. The billboard in question came under fire for not including some, but not all of the different votes that Monforton’s competitor, Ted Washburn, had cast on the issue expanding medicaid. Monforton said the case’s newest development included a sense of acknowledgement:

“Essentially, the case is now over for all practical purposes,” Monforton said. “The state has conceded and acknowledged that our legal arguments are sound and that the statute isn’t constitutional. The order issued by Judge Christiansen is a permanent injunction which means the state is no longer allowed to enforce the statute.”

The James Bopp law firm, known for handling the famous Citizens United case, stepped in to help Monforton fight the Montana law which they say is an abuse of free speech. Monforton has already drawn up plans for a new billboard.

“We now have that federal injunction reaffirming the fact that we have a first amendment right,” Monforton said. “We have several various billboards that we are contemplating putting up and we’re going to put them on our website and have the voters pick the one that they think is the best in terms of portraying Ted Washburn’s support for Obamacare is the one we’re going to put up.”

Monforton said the law requiring candidates to list every vote cast by an opponent would use up an entire billboard in many cases. He said the law is simply there to protect incumbent politicians.

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