Posted: Oct 26, 2012 8:59 PM by MTN News
Updated: Oct 26, 2012 9:10 PM
GREAT FALLS - Governor Brian Schweitzer says the run for governor could be all for naught, unless Rick Hill gives back excessive money received during a brief period of unlimited donations.
After a morning of stumping for fellow Democrat Steve Bullock in Great Falls, Schweitzer held an afternoon press conference at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls to shed light on the possible problem. He declared if Hill is found in violation of campaign contribution limits and then elected, it could be a constitutional violation and result in Hill's removal from office. Schweitzer points out Hill's removal will result in either a special election or the president of the Senate, assuming the role of governor.
"I don't think anybody in Montana wants to be in the situation where we get to the first week in January and you have the current governor for the state of Montana trying to hand the reins of government to the next governor not knowing where there is going to be a special election, whether it will be the president of the senate, whose not been determined yet. Nobody wants to put ourselves in that position," Schweitzer said.
The governor cited a 1940 case involving excessive donations in the Cascade County sheriff election. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that removed the incumbent from office.