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Decision Reached on Bullock Use of State Plane – Governor ‘Violated Campaign Practice Law by Failing to Timely Report’

peter christian
Photo courtesy of Peter Christian

According to Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan, Governor Steve Bullock used the state plane on 37 trips between March and November of last year in which campaigning or campaign fundraising was involved. In a decision issued today, June 28, Mangan says the Bullock campaign improperly delayed the reporting of the use of the plane to Political Practices.

“Friends of Steve Bullock, the Steve Bullock re-election campaign, followed the policy they had in place, made the state whole for reimbursement, but what they didn’t do was timely report those expenditures,” Mangan said. “They compiled the information and then invoiced the campaign on three different occasions rather than when they should have reported, which is each month.”

Read Full Commisioner of Political Practices Decision: Ellsworth v Bullock

Mangan says the issue is now in the hands of the Lewis and Clark County Attorney, but will likely return to his office.

“Generally, they send that back to us to pursue it civily, which we expect them to do,” Mangan said. “Should that happen, we will pursue that with Friends of Steve Bullock to come to an amicable agreement and settlement, which will likely include a fine and assurance that the records get corrected.”

Mangan did not know how much the fine would cost, and said that would be worked out during the settlement.

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