Illegal Money Appearing in Legislative Races

A TEA Party candidate from Whitefish has gotten in on the illegal money game.  Tim Baldwin, son of Chuck Baldwin, is seeking to replace Derek Skees for the Whitefish House Seat.  As you can see from this screenshot of Baldwin’s campaign finance report, the TEA Partier has taken two donations well above the $160 limit.

Ironically, Baldwin has bragged about his “demonstrated skill is writing and understanding Montana Annotated Code” and his “understanding of our laws.”   If these claims were true he’d have given back the illegal money like GOP Attorney General candidate Tim Fox has done. 

There is no known tally of how much illegal money has made its way  into Montana legislative races across Montana.  Check the Office of Political Practices reports to see if your local candidates have taken illegal donations.


15 Comments on "Illegal Money Appearing in Legislative Races"

  1. Looks like maybe Sen. C. Kaufmann did too – is that a $480 I see on her campaign finance report?

    • That looks to me like three $160 contribution lumped for some reason. I prefer to hear from Kaufmann’s campaign before drawing conclusions. Candidates of both parties receive contributions that unintentionally exceed the limit. Those are invariably returned once identified.

      • That would be why I said “maybe”, James. I also see two entries from Janet Ellis that were both counted in the page total, combined they put her well over the limit and there are no dates included. Sen. Kaufmann did not have a Primary yet she is claiming primary donations. She also accepted money from the same people in the primary and the general that apparently put her over the $160 limit.

        • Kaufmann’s C-5, which I’m not defending, is less screwed-up than many I’ve read. We need a mandatory online electronic filing system with the reports stored in a readily accessible and fully searchable database.

          • We are in agreement, James. All it takes is money.

            • Money — not that much — and political will. The money can be found. The political will may never materialize.

              • It would certainly be more convenient to be able to search a 100+ page campaign finance report for a specific donor than having to read all 100+ pages.

                I don’t see why the political will would not be there.

                I suspect there may be some reorganizing going on with political practices; maybe this will be one benefit of that.

  2. the dog killer’s on the list for taking illegal donations — its also interesting to note who else is funding his campaign: Jeff Essmann, Jason Priest, Greg Gianforte, Sarah Laszloffy,{6790E12F-EA0D-4CB6-9A9A-E1E6F88F6C5D}&impersonate=true&objectStoreName=PROD%20OBJECT%20STORE&objectType=document

  3. Who no mention of the “illegal” checks written on the “Friends of Steve Bullock Campaign” account?

    Bullock ran for AG in 2000 and 2008. I understand he didn’t know in 2012 that such check writing wasn’t allowed. Really? A lawyer and AG that doesn’t know the rules, or doesn’t think the rules apply to him, should make an underwhelming Gov.

    • Should be “Why” not “Who.”

    • The checks complaint is small beer. It shouldn’t have happened, but the campaign’s bills were paid, there was no effort to conceal what happened, and nothing was done off the books. Trying to make hay from this is gotcha politics, nothing more, and diverts attention from the major issues. I despise gotchas.

      • James, the “Barney Fife” defense for Bullock not knowing the rules rings rather hollow after 3 campaigns for high state office, especially for an AG. As to despising “gotchas” how do you stomach returning to read the political gossip paraded here on a daily basis?

  4. (1) I have a strong stomach.

    (2) I doubt this was a case of not knowing the rules or of offering that defense. Most likely, either the person authorized to sign the checks was not available or was incapacitated when the checks needed to be signed. Of course it shouldn’t have happened, but it’s a petty complaint, a low level gotcha, and not, in my opinion, something that will outrage many voters (many of whom probably have committed their own technical violations). I think trying to make a mountain out of this molehill indicates some desperation on Rehberg’s part.

    • James the accounts I have read state that Bullock did not know the rules requiring only certain people may sign the checks. BTW, there are several more complaints filed over questionable practices by Bullock. Anyone can find them online at the Office of Political Practices. For example I mention this not to encourage outrage but to provide some measure of balance that high profile Dems have problems too.

      • Sad, Craig. As James has indicated, your effort is little more than light-weight chicanery. You’re equating the theft of a candy bar, one admitted and acknowledged, with a million dollar ponzi scheme, and attempting to claim that both parties are equally awful. If that’s what you’ve convinced yourself of, hey, more power to you. Hopefully you will be so disenchanted with both sides that you won’t vote. It cleans up the results for those of us not so gullible.

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