ATP Responds to Frontline’s False Claims

American Tradition Partnership Responds to Frontline Story’s False Claims of Campaign Finance Violations
Coordinated smear campaign by political opponents revealed

October 30, 2012 –American Tradition Partnership (ATP) responded late Tuesday evening to the false claims of improper political activity alleged in this evening’s broadcast of “Big Sky, Big Money” on PBS’s Frontline.

“This is simply the latest unsubstantiated, well-coordinated attack on American Tradition Partnership, brought on by opponents of the work we do to educate grassroots citizens about important issues related to the environment, energy, and economic growth,” said Donald Ferguson, Executive Director of ATP. “Aside from wild conspiracy theories and willful misreadings of applicable campaign finance and nonprofit laws, tonight’s Frontline story simply revealed what most Montanans and Americans already knew: that radical anti-growth environmentalists aren’t the only ones who are free to organize, raise money, and communicate with the public on important policy topics.”

The Frontline story, as well as coordinated articles appearing online at the web sites of leftist groups ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity, relies heavily on stolen documents . The documents apparently made their way from a car thief to a ‘meth house’ in Colorado, into the hands of Democratic Party operatives, and from there to the Montana Commission on Political Practices (COPP). ATP has not been allowed to see the documents to verify their authenticity, but has been able to confirm that many of the documents are not ATP-related but instead are connected with other clients of the consultant as well as an independent campaign consulting business owned by the consultant’s wife.

“It would be very interesting to know just how several media outlets were able to view stolen documents in the custody of the Montana Commission on Political Practices but no attempt was made to return them to their owners”, said Ferguson. “This looks to be just another example of corruption at the Commission and by the political establishment, who are enraged that the public are being told the truth.”

The head of Montana’s COPP is a direct appointee of the governor, unique among all states. The past three Commissioners have all been political allies of the current governor, including his campaign attorney and treasurer. One of the three was forced to resign this summer after engaging in illegal activities as Commissioner. Current Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Bullock has been repeatedly embarrassed in recent months by numerous losses to ATP and other citizens and groups as Montana’s unconstitutional campaign finance laws have been successfully challenged.

“Our success in challenging radical environmentalists and the grossly unconstitutional campaign finance system they and their allies rely on to stifle debate has won us some very powerful enemies,” Ferguson said. “While we’d prefer to see recognition for our hard work come in some form other than baseless smears and hysterical innuendo on national television, we’re proud of our efforts to educate grassroots citizens.”

Earlier today a judge blocked further release of the stolen documents. ATP has also notified state and federal law enforcement authorities about the illegal transfer and possession of stolen goods that was apparently undertaken by Democratic Party officials as well as the staff of Frontline, ProPublica, and the Center for Public Integrity.

"The COPP has held these documents for over a year and a half.  If there was any evidence of wrongdoing, why have they not acted on anything or made any accusations? The fact they reviewed the documents and refused to do or say anything proves, once again, ATP always obeys the law," said Ferguson.

"Additionally, if they've held these for over a year and a half the only reason to release them now is too coordinate with Attorney General Bullock's campaign for governor.  That is a crime," said Ferguson.


* ABC News: Politico: CPI's Reporting Involved Possible Misdemeanor,
Paid Source
(Source of false ATP attacks committed crime, violated journalistic

* Washington Post: Center for Public Integrity changes its story
(Source of false ATP attacks takes payoffs in exchange for reporting)

* POLITICO: Tuna and turmoil at CPI (Source of false
ATP attacks committed crime)

* PBS Defends Use of Convicted Felon as Expert on Documentary (Source of false ATP attacks has history
of relying on convicted felons for reporting)

UPDATE: Bullock failed to track child predators, little progress seen after audit

Under Bullock, more than one in four convicted sex offenders have eluded the sex offender registry.
1,289 convicted sexual or violent offenders are currently living in Montana communities, with parents and law enforcement unaware of their current location.

Bullock admitted his failure to the Audit Committee. “The buck stops here for running the registry,” Bullock confessed.

Bullock is legally responsible for notifying local law enforcement when an offender fails to update their address.

A follow up audit is scheduled to be released at the end of October.

Bullock took cash from corporations under investigation for fraud, bribery

Attorney General Steve Bullock is under investigation for taking a contribution to his campaign for governor from a New York corporation under investigation in 34 states for fraud.

Publishers Clearing House came under investigation in 2009 when it violated a 2001 settlement on charges of defrauding consumers.  When attorneys general in 34 states began investigating and seeking charges, PCH cut an illegal corporate check to Bullock, the documents states.

Bullock did not investigate his donor.  PCH eventually admitted they committed fraud and paid out $34 million.

Likewise, GSK also faced investigations in multiple states and cut checks to officials, including Arkansas.

“In 2006, Arkansas Medicaid restricted its coverage in off-label use of Advair by requiring that patients try another medication first.” the Arkansas Times reports.’

“‘Arkansas Medicaid determined that this restriction increased appropriate use of Advair and decreased Advair utilization by 25% without adverse impact on patient care,’ the US complaint reads. GSK then allegedly gave an untold sum of campaign donation dollars to an Arkansas lawmaker who introduced legislation to get rid of the restriction.”

"God save political donations," wrote one GSK employee to senior VP Stan Hull in an internal email.
GSK also sent checks to Bullock, which were illegal according to documents filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices.  At the time Bullock was negotiating with drug companies on charges of price-fixing.

Bullock also corporate PAC cash from GlaxoSmithKline on Dec. 15, 2009, Aug. 1, 2011 and June 4, 2012 at twice the legal limit, according to Commission documents.

Bullock Hired Tax Evading Friend To Run Justice Department

Attorney General Steve Bullock gave a top Justice Department job to a friend on legal probation for failing to pay thousands of dollars in state and federal income taxes over a period of years, the Helena Independent Record and other Montana newspapers report.

Bullock hired James P. Molloy to run the Consumer Protection Division despite the fact the Montana Supreme Court placed him on five years legal probation for “professional misconduct.”
Molloy repeatedly failed to pay state and federal income taxes between 1995 and 2005, the Independent Record reports.  He is now one of the state’s highest-paid employees.
“Steve Bullock hired someone who’s basically a felon to protect Montana consumers.  Why is the Attorney General associating with felons, much less giving them plush state jobs?” said ATP Executive Director Donald Ferguson.

Bullock also named Molloy Assistant Attorney General despite the fact Molloy is still on probation by the Montana Supreme Court.

Bullock later put Molloy in charge of arguing a campaign finance case against American Tradition Partnership in front of the same state Supreme Court that put him on probation.

In that case Bullock and Molloy made numerous demonstrably false charges against ATP.  The U.S. Supreme Court handed Bullock another embarrassing loss in that case.

“Bullock paid his felonious friend to tell lies about American Tradition Partnership in front of the same Supreme Court that put him on probation for lying to officials,” said Ferguson.

Bullock and Molloy have been long-time friends, sharing an office in Helena before Bullock’s narrow election as attorney general.  Bullock kept all questions about repeated tax evasions and probation out of the interview process for the job.

According to the Montana Supreme Court’s “Public Discipline List,” Molloy was publicly reprimanded and placed on five years probation effective March 11, 2009.  The case is “PR 08-0438.”
Bullock hired his friend just a few months after the probation for tax evasion was issued.

“As part of his probation, Molloy must provide the court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel copies of his state and federal taxes returns after he filed them,” the Missoulian newspaper reports.