Judge Tells ATP to Pay State’s Attorney Fees

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — A judge says a secretive group known for bucking campaign finance laws has to pay the state’s attorney fees in one ongoing case.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock said in an order issued last week that American Tradition Partnership must pay roughly $10,000.

Sherlock says he suspects the attorney general’s office could have asked for much more given the amount of time spent on the case.

Sherlock ruled last year in that case that ATP acted as a political committee in the elections, and not as the educational organization it claimed.

The judge is still considering a request from the state to fine the group $321,365 for “blatant and pervasive violations” of state campaign finance law.

The group has garnered headlines for its part in lawsuits against Montana campaign-finance laws.

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