Governor Bullock today issued the following statement in response to today’s decision by Judge Lovell dismissing a case brought by an out-of-state dark money group challenging his executive order on dark money.
“Today’s decision is another chapter in Montana’s proud, successful history of standing up to out-of-state dark money groups that want to buy our elections. Montanans have long refused to let secret and special interests interfere in our elections — and as I always have, I’ll keep fighting to make sure it stays that way.”
The lawsuit challenged Bullock’s groundbreaking 2018 executive order, the first of its kind in the nation, that requires large government contractors to disclose their contributions to dark money groups before becoming eligible for taxpayer business. Backed by the same lawyers involved in the disastrous Citizens United decision, an out-of-state dark money group called Illinois Opportunity Project sued this summer to challenge the order, arguing that it wanted to spend secretly in Montana’s 2020 gubernatorial election but that it faced difficulty finding corporate donors due to the Governor’s order. The judge’s decision ends the case unless the dark money group can allege that such a donor actually exists.
A copy of the court’s order is attached.
The executive order can be accessed online here: https://governor.mt.gov/Portals/16/docs/2018EOs/EO-15-2018_Disclosure%20Requirement.pdf