Just got a press release stating that legislative leaders are seeking applicants to serve as the next Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, the state official who oversees election and campaign finance laws.
The successful applicant will fill the remainder of outgoing commissioner Jim Murry’s term, which expires December 31, 2016. Murry, who Gov. Brian Schweitzer appointed last year, did not seek confirmation from the Republican-controlled Senate. According to statute, Murry’s appointment is effective until the end of the session.
The selection committee includes Republican House Speaker Mark Blasdel, Republican Senate President Jeff Essmann, Democratic House Minority Leader Chuck Hunter, and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso.
The committee select a pool of applicants to interview at a May 3 meeting. The selection committee will select at least two, and not more than five, finalist's names to forward to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
Bullock must appoint a successor within 30 days of the vacancy. The governor is not required by law to appoint someone from from the list lawmakers submit to him.
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. Qualifications for the job include being a citizen of the United States and a resident of Montana and, on the date of appointment, a registered voter in Montana. The appointment is for the completion of the 6-year term ending December 31, 2016, and the candidate will be ineligible for reappointment. The position pays $57,699 annually. The selection committee has scheduled a meeting May 3, 2013, in Helena which will be open to the public.
Who do you think should be the next COPP? Tell us in the comments.
Interested parties should submit letters of interest and application materials by 5 p.m. April 23, 2013. Candidates should also submit a resume and answer the following questions:
1. Are you familiar with restrictions Montana law imposes upon the activities of an individual holding the office of COPP? How did you acquire your familiarity?
2. What is your legal writing experience? Have you had any mediation or arbitration experience?
3. Have you ever been party to a complaint filed with the COPP?
4. What is your current or past involvement with either the campaign of a candidate or a ballot initiative?
5. Have you been affiliated with a political party or political action committee? If yes, how will this affiliation affect your ability to render impartial decisions on complaints filed against candidates, PACs, and ballot initiatives?
6. Have you or a family member been involved in the legislative process as a lobbyist?
Interested applicants should send their applications to
Candidate Selection Committee
c/o Legislative Services Division
PO Box 201706
Helena MT 59620-1706
Link to Commissioner of Political Practices website: http://politicalpractices.mt.gov/default.mcpx
Link to Statutes Pertaining to Commissioner of Political Practices: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/13_37.htm