Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer may have to pay a fine for an ethics violation, as the Associated Press reports:
HELENA - The official overseeing an ethics complaint against Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Thursday that the governor appears to have violated state law by distributing a public service announcement after filing for re-election.
University of Montana law professor William Corbett, appointed hearings examiner in the case, said state law bans the use of state funds to produce PSAs featuring an officeholder who has stated his candidacy. He recommended that Schweitzer be found guilty of violating the law and fined $750.
"The narrow issue is, am I allowed as governor to record messages for radio stations while I'm running for governor?" Schweitzer said. "This law professor says the law is ambiguous and the intent of the Legislature cannot be known. On that basis, I agree with him.
"It's hard to see how there can be a fine of $750 for a law that's ambiguous."
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