“Judge throws book at ATP again; finds that it violated multiple state laws on disclosure”

News from Montana:

The conservative “dark money” political group fighting state efforts to force disclosure of its finances lost another key court decision Friday, as a state judge ruled that it violated multiple state campaign-finance and election laws.

District Judge Jeff Sherlock, of Helena, citing American Tradition Partnership’s continued failure to produce records requested by the state and the court, adopted the state’s proposed findings that ATP acted as political committee in 2008 and therefore must report its spending and donors.

Also: “The director of a secretive conservative group that is being investigated by a federal grand jury and fought Montana’s campaign finance laws has resigned to take a job with a Texas congressman. Donny Ferguson, executive director of the American Tradition Partnership, told Lee Newspapers of Montana on Thursday that he was leaving the group to become a spokesman for Republican Rep. Steve Stockman.”

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