Complaint against ‘Vote No’ campaign was dismissed

A complaint filed with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices ended in favor of those displaying “Vote No on school taxes” signs.

The decision comes several weeks after Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison instructed the Glendive Police Department to tell property owners that the signs were to be removed until the group filed the proper paperwork to register as a political committee with the state office.

Several signs were removed at that time but were put back up days later with new attributions.

On April 30, Glendive resident Becky Titus filed complaints against Frank Crisafulli, Kip Braden and Duane Kuntz concerning the “Vote No” signs displayed on properties around Glendive and West Glendive.

The complaint read: “Citizens are concerned about the ‘Vote No’ campaign signs displayed around town. These signs have had their disclosures painted over and rewritten. Even though the signs are all identical the disclosures are constantly changing and the contact information varies depending on which sign you look at in each area of town causing confusion on who to contact regarding these signs.”

Titus’ letter to the state also noted that the signs were lacking information regarding who paid for the signs.

“It’s troubling that anyone can make campaign signs over a ballot issue without having to go through the proper channels of registering as a committee and documenting all information,” Titus continued in her letter to the office.

Her complaint included photos of several of the signs posted around town.

The Commissioner of Political Practices office contacted each of the respondents individually.

According to documents obtained from the Commissioner of Political Practices office, it was determined that there is no evidence that the individuals combined funds or spent more than $250 in an effort to support or oppose a candidate or ballot issue.

“Further, each resident stated they spent their own funds and/or equipment and materials,” according to information from the state.

“Under Montana law there is no specific provision to assess a campaign practice attribution violation against an individual. In this case, the commissioner contacted the individuals involved, discussed adding the appropriate attribution, and in response, the individuals stated they would carry out the attribution correction. The complaint is hereby dismissed,” the commissioner’s decision read.

Reach Jamie Ausk Crisafulli at rreditor@rangerreview.com.

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