On Tuesday, Montana U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris issued his decision in Governor Bullock’s lawsuit against the IRS’s decision to remove the disclosure rule for nonprofit organizations known as “dark money” groups.
Judge Morris ruled the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act when they moved to no longer require disclosures of the names of dark money donors by failing to give the public notice of the change as required by law.
The Great Falls Tribune wrote:
‘Bullock called it a “big victory for Montanans, for Americans and for our representative democracy.”
“We’re holding the federal government accountable to following its own rules and making sure that people, not dark money groups, decide our elections,” he said in a news release.’
In July 16, 2018, Governor Bullock authored the original lawsuit against the IRS and shepherded the case with his Chief Legal Counsel Raph Graybill. Mr. Graybill argued the IRS lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Bullock.
Raph Graybill called it a big win for the public.
“It’s not hard to follow the rules and do the right thing. The IRS chose simply not to,” he said. “When you make big changes to disclosure requirements, states have a real stake in that.”
Raph Graybill is Bullock’s talented Chief Legal Counsel who is also running to be Montana’s next Attorney General.
Mr. Graybill also argued on behalf of Bullock in front of the Montana Supreme Court against the current Attorney General Tim Fox when he moved to prevent FWP from approving conservation easements through the Habitat Montana Program. Bullock and Graybill won that case against Attorney General Fox.
Graybill also wrote the lawsuit against Secretary of State Corey Stapleton when Stapleton tried to make a bill Governor Bullock vetoed become law, which is unconstitutional. Governor Bullock and Mr. Graybill prevailed over Secretary Stapleton as well.
Governor Bullock’s efforts and wins against dark money are important, not just for Montanans, but for all Americans. Bullock had a solid debate performance on Tuesday and it is anyone’s guess where his bid for President will go from here. I certainly have no clue.
But, he’s also brought on board a brilliant young attorney in Raph Graybill, who shares his vision for keeping elections about people and not about corporations and millionaires. Like Bullock, Mr. Graybill understands the stakes we are up against with money in politics and has the skills to use the law in Montana to fight back against these forces who want to buy our elected officials.