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Commissioner: 2 candidates broke election laws

By Associated Press
Published On: Jan 23 2014 01:26:07 PM MST
ATP American Tradition Partnership
HELENA, Mont. -

The state commissioner of political practices has found that two more legislative candidates illegally coordinated with corporate groups in the 2010 Montana elections.
    
Commissioner Jonathan Motl has now issued 19 rulings finding illegal coordination by a total of five 2010 legislative candidates, including one sitting legislator.
    
They all involve accepting illegal contributions from a secretive conservative group called Western Tradition Partnership and its affiliates.
    
Thursday's rulings say legislative candidates Joel Boniek of Livingston and Terry Bannan of Belgrade coordinated attack ads with and took unreported in-kind donations from WTP.
    
Neither immediately returned calls for comment Thursday.
    
Motl says more rulings from the 2010 and 2012 campaigns are coming, as well as the first court enforcement actions.  He is warning candidates against coordinating their campaigns with corporate entities in this year's elections.