HELENA, Mont. – Today, the Montana Republican Party filed an official campaign complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices against the Mike Cooney for Governor campaign after it knowingly and intentionally violated provisions of Montana law by illegally coordinating with the Democrat Governors Association (DGA).
After filing the complaint on Wednesday, the Montana Republican Party released the following statement:
“Just as voters will hold Lieutenant Governor Cooney accountable for his shameless hypocrisy on outside special interest groups this November, the state must hold Cooney accountable for his blatant and illegal coordination with the DGA today,” said Executive Director Merwin. “Cooney’s continued disregard for Montana ethics and election laws is just another example of why Montanans cannot trust an entrenched career politician like him to lead our state.”
The complaint reveals illegal coordination between the Cooney campaign and DGA on their digital “GianforTAX” campaign targeting Congressman Gianforte. The digital campaign was unveiled on August 4th by the Mike Cooney for Governor campaign. On August 6th, the DGA then shared a press release highlighting the launch of their own “GianforTAX” website, however, the website domain for this coordinated expenditure was registered nearly a month earlier, on July 8th, by an internet proxy and the website is paid for by the DGA.
As a reminder, in July, Cooney received the maximum penalty for violating the state code of ethics by using taxpayer resources for campaign purposes on a conference call with the DGA – the very entity which continues to illegally coordinate with the Mike Cooney for Governor campaign.
To date, the DGA has spent over $8.2 million to support the Mike Cooney for Governor campaign despite Cooney’s pledge last fall to “reject special interests, Super PACs, and the anonymous committees that take refuge in the shadows of a broken campaign finance system.”
You can view the full complaint here.