Commissioner Tosses Campaign Ethics Complaints
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The commissioner of political practices is tossing four complaints alleging misrepresentation of a candidate's record in the wake of a judge's decision that the underlying state laws unconstitutionally restrict free speech.
In May, U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled a law requiring attack ads to disclose voting records was unconstitutional, as is a state ban on knowingly making false statements about a candidate's record.
That court case is part of a multi-pronged effort by conservative groups to toss many aspects of state campaign finance laws by piggybacking on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision that granted some free-speech rights to corporations.
Commissioner of Political Practices Jim Murry wrote Tuesday that the Lovell's decision prevents him from enforcing the ban. He dismissed four local election complaints that had alleged misrepresentation.