With his Office of Political Practices case dismissed with prejudice, former Montana State Senator and gubernatorial candidate, Ken Miller is back with a message to those who currently serve in Montana government
Staff Writer Excellence in Voting June 30, 2019
Ken Miller knows Montana politics, as he was elected to serve two consecutive terms as Montana State Senator beginning in 1995.
Ken also knows that in Montana, as in all states, there are elements within the political sphere whose actions are dictated by political partisanship; and he, along with many Republicans, believe that the Commissioner of Political Practices makes decisions based largely upon that criteria.
Ken should know since he has just been freed from “OPP jail” recently, and the case against him dismissed with prejudice.
We reached out to Ken after we received a recent e-mail from him to request an interview, and were delighted when he accepted our invite. I have included a copy of Ken’s e-mail and interview below.
After seven years of injustice, the politically charged campaign finance allegations against Ken Miller from his 2012 run for Governor have been fully dismissed with prejudice. No wrongdoing was found. On May 24th the dismissal was filed by Judge Seeley.
Miller states, “Republicans filed the original false charges in the Montana Governor’s race in 2012 just days before primary voting began.” Miller continues, “Despite our presentation of proof that the COPP charges were false and politically motivated, the media was quick to report the COPP accusations as if they were fact and true, resulting in my not winning the primary election.” Miller continues, “I hope the media will now give this matter the same attention that they did when these false charges were made.”
Miller and his campaign team along with his legal counsel James Brown, provided full documentation based on the COPP’s own data that wrongdoing did not exist, and instead of the Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP) John Motl dismissing the charges quickly, he created new fake allegations that took Miller years of time and effort to disprove. Then COPP changed the charges yet again. After the election was over, the Democrat-controlled COPP office refused to admit their wrongdoing and drop the disproven charges. They continued to hold the cloud of guilt over Miller for years, even filing a district court case three years ago as a “place holder.”
“It is obvious that the Democrat office wanted to continue this charade, imposing defamation to my character and make it more difficult for me to run for public office over the last seven years,” Miller says.
Miller now plans to get commitments from Montana policymakers to agree to do everything they can to change or eliminate the COPP office. Miller believes political opponents and the COPP should not be able to continue to use the office to sway elections or detour good people from running, based on false accusations.
Miller wants policymakers to commit to the elimination of the COPP office and to require the Secretary of State to oversee the financial reporting requirements for political candidates. If a legal dispute exists, then it should go through the court system as other legal disputes do. Under the current system, the COPP is judge, jury, and executioner, and the lack of due process is patently unconstitutional.
Alternatively, the Montana Attorney General should require political campaign violation cases to be processed by the local County Attorney’s office. If the County Attorney decides not to press charges, then the complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
Miller says, “Democrats and Republicans should support this effort on a non-partisan basis because while Democrats are currently in control of the COPP, they will inevitably find themselves on the other side of the fence some day. This kind of injustice should never be allowed.”
Miller also encourages others that want to help with this effort or have questions, to call him at 406-670-8318