Who’s the reformer here?

Looks like Montana is following a Federal Lead in taking another look at contribution limits. On Monday, the House approved a bill to increase contributions to candidates.

The House, on a mostly party line vote Monday, approved a major Republican bill to overhaul Montana campaign-finance laws by increasing the amount of allowable contributions made directly to candidates.

House Bill 229, by Rep. Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork, passed 58-42. All but three House Republicans voted for it, while all Democrats opposed it. The bill faces a final vote this week before heading to the Senate for consideration there.

Reichner said campaign finance reform is needed because outside, special-interest groups are attracting most of the campaign money — which isn’t traceable — instead of the actual candidates, who must report where their money comes from.

Reichner’s bill also would allow political parties to give unlimited funds to candidates and remove the limit on the aggregate total of what political-action committees, or PACs, can give to candidates for state office.

In light of the Supreme Court deciding to tackle McCutcheon v. FEC and David Axlerod calling for direct contributions to candidates, the rhetoric of campaign finance is shifting to a degree that it’s hard to tell who’s reforming, who’s protecting incumbents, and who’s pulling for voters to have a larger voice in elections. One thing’s for certain however — the push for direct contributions to candidates, and what that means for super PACs, is heating up and likely to change the debate before the next Presidential election.

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