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Billionaire fracking brothers top political donors

By The Associated Press
Published On: Feb 10 2013 09:51:14 PM MST
money stack
HELENA, Mont. -

Two billionaire brothers who made a fortune in the fracking industry were the top donors to successful 2012 Montana legislative candidates.
    
A new report from the Helena-based National Institute on Money in State Politics says that Dan and Farris Wilks and their wives donated about $50,000, a total spread among more than 70 candidates - nearly half of the Legislature.
    
The Texas-based Wilks brothers are political newcomers to Montana. They have recently starting buying up Montana ranchland and own more than 200,000 acres.
    
The Wilkses did not respond to a request for comment.
    
Other top donors are likely much more familiar to Montanans.
    
Plum Creek Timber was second on the list, followed by the Montana Contractors' Association.