One of this blog’s favorite and most astute sources kindly pointed out that according to the minutes of the Sanders County Republican Central Committee referenced below and online here, as recorded by Republican Representative Pat Ingraham, the committee appears to have decided to illegally contribute to a non-partisan office race at that meeting, the non-partisan campaign of Nels Swandal for Supreme Court.
In what as known as the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices “Pink Book” Page 9 it says, “Another important distinction of a political party Committee is that it ‘may not endorse, contribute to, or make an expenditure to support or oppose a judicial candidate.’ [13-35-231, MCA]”
Excerpts from the official minutes:
Judy Woolley brought up the visit to the community by Supreme Court Candidate Judge Nels Swandal who is a conservative. Bob Zimmerman moved that the party send Judge Swandal the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law, seconded by Greg Hinkle, discussion followed. When asked why Bob wasn’t at the Thompson Falls meeting for Judge Swandal, Bob Zimmerman withdrew his motion. Pat Legard moved to reinstate Bob Zimmerman’s previous motion to give Supreme Court Candidate Judge Swandal the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law, seconded by Greg Hinkle; the motion carried.