Nominating Committee for Commissioner of Political Practices Recommendations
The Nominating Committee for the position of Commissioner of Political Practices will meet on Friday, February 24, 2017, at 10:00 A.M. in Room 335 of the Capitol Building in Helena. The meeting is open to the public and will be video-streamed from the Legislative Homepage.
A nomination committee composed of House Speaker Austin Knudsen, Senate President Scott Sales, House Minority Leader Jenny Eck, and Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso will select at least two and not more than five finalists.
The names will be submitted to the Governor, who must appoint a successor within 30 days of a vacancy. A majority of the members of the nomination committee must agree on each nomination. The Governor must appoint the Commissioner from the list of nominees submitted by the nomination committee. However, if the nomination committee fails to submit names agreed to by the majority of the members, the Governor may appoint anyone who meets the qualifications.
The nominating committee for the Commissioner of Political Practices is considering applications for the next Commissioner of Political Practices, the state official who oversees election and campaign finance laws. On February 1, the Montana Supreme Court declined "to change the term end date" specifically set by the Governor in appointing Jonathan Motl, the current Commissioner of Political Practices. This means that the term ended January 1, 2017, creating a vacancy.
The Commissioner of Political Practices is responsible for investigating alleged violations of the election laws and, with the county attorneys, for enforcing election and campaign practice and finance laws. The position is a Band 7 and pays annually between $74,944-$116,974. The individual who is selected will be subject to confirmation by the Senate. The Commissioner's office is subject to a cyclical term of 6 years, which begins in a January every 6 years in odd-numbered years.
Qualifications for the position include:
must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of Montana as provided in 13-1-112;
on the date of appointment, must be registered to vote in Montana;
in the 2 years immediately preceding the date of the appointment, may not have:
served as a fundraiser for a candidate for public office;
served as an officer in a political party or for a politicll committee; or
participated in the management or conduct of a campaign by a candidate for public office;
must possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
a confirmable track record of highly ethical professional behavior;
the demonstrable ability to be firm, fair, and unbiased in carrying out professional responsibilities;
the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing;
the ability to interpret statutes, legal opinions, and regulations;
the ability to supervise, organize, and motivate employees; and
knowledge of the standards of evidence and due process rights that are applicable to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings.
For more information, contact Susan Fox at the Montana Legislative Services Division, at (406) 444-3064.
Link to Statutes Pertaining to Commissioner of Political Practices