- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on a judge’s ruling on Montana’s campaign disclosure law (all times Mountain):

12:50 p.m.

Gov. Steve Bullock is praising a federal judge’s ruling that upholds Montana’s new campaign disclosure law.

Bullock is running for re-election against Republican challenger Greg Gianforte. He spoke about the ruling Tuesday during a campaign rally in Missoula.

Bullock says the 2015 Disclose Act still allows dark-money organizations to send political mailers, but they must register and make disclosures when they do.

He says the best way to get rid of the shadows is to turn up the sunshine.

Gianforte is campaigning in northeastern Montana. Spokesman Aaron Flint says Gianforte believes the Disclose Act is a work in progress, and the next Legislature will look for weaknesses that must be addressed.

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11:05 p.m.

A federal judge has ruled Montana’s new campaign disclosure law is constitutional.

District Judge Dana Christensen rejected arguments that the 2015 law is too vague, that its reporting requirements are overly burdensome and that it allows for discriminatory enforcement.

A Billings-based group called Montanans for Community Development had sued to strike down the law, saying it impedes the group’s First Amendment right to free speech.

The organization argued that it would be required to file as a political committee and disclose its donors and spending if it sent mailers to voters close to Election Day that name candidates but don’t overtly say whether or not to vote for them.

Christensen writes in Monday’s decision that Montana has an important government interest to provide voters with information about individuals and groups seeking to inform voters.


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