Staffer for GOP Governor Candidate Alleges Financial Wrongdoings

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — The commissioner of political practices said Tuesday that he hopes to reach quick resolution on allegations that a Republican candidate for governor broke campaign finance rules.

Commissioner Jim Murry said he is gathering the facts in the case against Ken Miller and is aiming to issue a decision before the June primary election, which would ensure that all involved have resolution on the matter before GOP voters pick a candidate.

“I would like to get this done before the primary election, it is a priority,” the commissioner said. “We will just have to see how quickly the information comes forth.”

Last week, Miller’s former fundraiser accused the campaign of breaking state law by not fully reporting donations over the legal limit and by receiving anonymous donations from people using their credit cards.

Kelly Bishop said she quit the Miller campaign after raising the issues. Bishop owns real estate agencies in Polson and Livingston and has helped previous GOP statewide and legislative campaigns.

Her complaint alleges that about $14,000 donated to the campaign wasn’t reported on the campaign finance reports.

Miller said the “frivolous, untruthful” allegations come from an employee who did not succeed in her position. She said Bishop first wanted to be his lieutenant governor candidate, but he instead offered her the fundraising position.

“We’ve run an honest campaign and are confident that the commissioner of political practices will agree,” Miller said.

Miller said money was returned to any donor who inadvertently sent a contribution that exceeded the limit.

Miller is engaged in seven-way GOP primary. He is angling for the support from social conservatives and tea party circles.

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