Senate Confirms Motl as Political Practices Commissioner

Senate confirmed Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock's appointment on a vote of 29-21 Friday

By Justin Franz

HELENA — Montana senators have confirmed Jonathan Motl as the state’s commissioner of political practices.

The Senate confirmed Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s appointment on a vote of 29-21 Friday. Motl’s term will end Dec. 31, 2016.

The Helena attorney has decided 120 campaign practice cases since he was appointed by Bullock in 2013. Motl has come under fire during those two years for what opponents call a bias against Republican candidates.

Republican Sen. Frederick Moore of Miles City said Motl has ruled against Republicans 11 percent more often than he’s ruled against Democrats. Republican Sen. Jedediah Hinkle of Bozeman said Motl has registered as a lobbyist and emailed Democrats about how to vote this session.

Democratic Sen. Jon Sesso of Butte said the one-person ethics commission appointed by the governor is inherently partisan.

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