The Ken Miller for Governor campaign is crying foul against the Commissioner of Political Practices, Jim Murray. At a press meeting earlier today, the Miller campaign brought forward evidence from the Political Practices website to argue their point. Here is the Miller campaign's press release in full. To follow along with the report, it may be helpful to follow along in the official Bishop v. Miller decision from the Commissioner of Political Practices website.
Ken Miller, Republican Candidate for Governor 2012 and conservative, Tea Party favorite, addresses in detail the MT Commissioner of Political Practices' complaint against his campaign for reporting violations. The COPP allegations made against Miller just four days before the primary election are unfair and largely untrue, as outlined in the attached, detailed report provided by the Miller Campaign auditor, career CFO and comptroller, Tom Balek.
"The Miller for Governor campaign has, from the outset, maintained a complete and accurate set of income and expenditure records," Balek concludes. "It has maintained transparency and has communicated and fully cooperated with the COPP, following all prescribed instructions and remediation."
The Miller campaign maintains that these allegations are both politically motivated and untrue.
The following are examples where the evidence is clearly on the COPP website, making the allegations blatantly false:
Finding: Contributions from Howard Lowe were not reported. False. Reported as Russell Lowe. See COPP C-5 report of political contributions for Ken Miller, 4/1/11 through 6/30/11 and 10/1/10 through 12/31/10.
Finding: Nancy Allen contributions were not reported. False. See COPP C-5 report of political contributions for Ken Miller, 1/1/12 through 3/5/12; Page 20.
Finding: Harry Spooner contributions were not reported. False. See COPP C-5 report of political contributions for Ken Miller, 1/1/12 through 3/5/12; Page 10.
Finding: Miller For Governor received two contributions for $250 each - one from Jeff Melugin and one from Lucy Melugin, and that those contributions remain unreported. False. One contribution received Pyrix, Inc. from Jeff and Lucy Melugin in the amount of $250 on 1/18/12. Since the donation stated it was from both contributors, Miller for Governor split the amount between Jeff and Lucy, $125 each. Jeff Melugin's contribution is reported on page 12 and Lucy's on page 17 of the COPP C-5 report for 1/1/12 through 3/5/12.
Finding: Miller for Governor allocated a $1000 contribution from Mark Channer as $370 for the primary election and $630 for the general election. False. Exactly the opposite, per COPP's own records on their website. See COPP C-5 report of political contributions for Ken Miller, 3/6/12 through 4/5/12.
"The Miller campaign has carefully audited their records," Balek continued, "and identified all contributions which exceeded the primary limit, and contacted the COPP for instructions. The Miller campaign followed the COPP instructions and all excess contributions have either been refunded or allocated to be in compliance, with notification to donors."
Other minor infractions have been alleged by the COPP, and are either refuted or explained in Balek's attached, detailed report.
"Again, I stand firm on the ground that these allegations are 100% false, and now the people of Montana can see for themselves what a waste of taxpayer money and character mutilation that this was. The nature of the claim is malicious, spiteful and unethical, to its core," Miller continued.
"I'm not the kind of Montanan who will stand by and let my name-and the names of innocent supporters--be strewn through the mud without a fair fight. The gloves came off when the COPP decided to aid his allies in the Democrat Party by falsely accusing an innocent campaign of wrongdoing, and Jim Murry should answer for that to the people of Montana. Until then, you, the voters, know what kind of man I am, and what I've always been, and I hope you see that it is the kind of man who also will not back down to the federal government and its intrusion into our lives the way Jim Murry tried to with mine."
A key focus of the Miller/Gallagher campaign is building Montana's economy through natural resource jobs, agriculture, and fiscal responsibility. A Miller/Gallagher administration would seek to reverse the trend of Montanans seeking jobs in states like North Dakota and Wyoming, and undo what they feel are obstructionist regulations that keep the state economically stagnant and encourage government corruption.
Ken Miller is a successful Montana businessman, former Montana Republican Party Chairman, and former Montana State Senator. He is running to restore fiscal discipline and to reinvigorate Montana's stalled economy with natural-resource jobs and limited government. Ken his wife of 31 years, Peggy, reside in Laurel, Montana and their two children, Max (23) and Kyndall (19) are students at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Ken Miller took the time to speak with KGVO news about the findings. In the following interview, Miller details why he Commissioner's charges are politically motivated and also how he believes the office needs to be reformed to prevent abuse.
The auditor credited with finding the information is Tom Balek, who also spoke with KGVO News. Balek's comments can be found here.