Montana Public Media

Your resource for Montana political news

Montana Public Media is a collaboration between MontanaPBS, Montana Public Radio,
Yellowstone Public Radio, and The University of Montana School of Journalism

It’s not easy to know who is funding the Colorado-based group known as “American Tradition Partnership” – and that’s fine with them. ATP is the group that has been successfully challenging Montana’s longstanding restrictions on campaign financing. Those lawsuits are not only changing Montana’s political landscape, but have national implications as well.

Paul Abowd is an investigative journalist with the  non-partisan, non-profit Center for Public Integrity based in Washington, D.C. He has a new article out about American Tradition Partnership’s donors and affiliations.  In tonight’s feature interview, Abowd talks with News Director Sally Mauk about what he found out when he began investigating ATP soon after they filed their initial suit against Montana last spring:


 


Read Paul Abowd’s full story about American Tradition Partnership, Obscure nonprofit threatens campaign finance limits beyond Montana.

Here’s a taste:

Voters haven’t had a clue who is behind American Tradition Partnership — the Colorado-based group pushing to rewrite Montana’s campaign finance laws — and that’s just the way the secretive nonprofit wants it.

A 2010 fundraising pitch to its donors promised that “no politician, no bureaucrat, and no radical environmentalist will ever know you helped,” and “the only thing we plan on reporting is our success to contributors like you.”

“Montana has very strict limits on contributions to candidates,” reads the document, obtained by The Center for Public Integrity. “but there is no limit to how much you give to this program.”

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