Montana Politics

Tim Fox Claims to Support Transparency Despite Being the Candidate of Out of State Interests

Tim Fox has certainly waged an interesting campaign for Attorney General. He seems to believe that the position involves making laws and confers the power to invalidate acts of Congress, but seems much less certain about the actual functions of the office. That probably makes sense, because Fox has never prosecuted a case in his legal career.

On Wednesday, though, Fox announced an initiative for “campaign finance transparency.” His timing was just a bit problematic, though, as voters learned that he received over $30,000 from the Montana Republican Party—collected from unnamed, anonymous donors contributing well over Montana’s campaign finance limits, a detail Beartooth News didn’t include in their story about the candidate.

They also failed to mention that Fox has been the beneficiary of one of the most transparent efforts to buy political office in Montana since Rick Hill ran for governor.

Back in May, Fox received the benefit of $100,000 in spending from the Republican State Leadership Committee, an unaccountable, non-transparent Republican committee that is little more than a front group for corporate interests:

But exactly a century later, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, corporations are coming back. A Friday finance filing with the state Commissioner of Political Practices revealed that in just the past two weeks, companies contributing to the Republican State Leadership Committee lobbed $108,217 into the race for the state’s attorney general — the same office charged with defending the Corrupt Practices Act.

"I’m sure Shakespeare would love to write a play about this," said Derek Cressman, Common Cause’s regional director of state operations for western states. "It’s a classic example of once the floodgates are open of what can happen."

In September, we learned that the Washington D.C. based group is spending almost $600,000 to help elect Mr. Fox Attorney General. Among the biggest donors to the RSLC are tobacco companies, Montana insurance companies Fox could have prosecute and investigate as AG, and energy companies.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out why these companies would invest so heavily in Fox: the combination of inexperience, poor judgment, and weak ethics make him the perfect candidate for corporate interests.

Montana Republicans are doing everything they can to make choices clear for Montana voters. If you want an Attorney General with no experience, no understanding of the job, and no commitment to the people of Montana, vote for Tim Fox. If, instead, you want a qualified professional, supported by law enforcement and a resume of excellent results, vote for Pam Bucy.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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