Commissioner plans talk with governor on his replacement

Montana’s political enforcer said he plans to reach out to Gov. Steve Bullock late next week to discuss his replacement.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jon Motl said he hasn’t spoken to the governor since his appointment in 2013. His term as commissioner expires Dec. 31, according to his letter of appointment.

Motl told the Chronicle that he plans to break the silence to discuss how he should proceed in making a formal recommendation on the next commissioner.

Motl’s recommendation will be public, he said, and will likely also be addressed to leaders in the Montana Legislature. Motl has not said whom he will recommend.

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The commissioner’s office includes a small staff and the appointment bestows investigative and quasi-judicial powers over lobbying, ethics and campaign practices complaints.

State law requires that a four-member commissioner nomination committee be composed of the speaker of the Montana House, the president of the state Senate and the minority leaders from both chambers. They are tasked with submitting to the governor a list of two to five names for consideration.

If the nomination committee can’t agree on the names, the governor can choose anyone who meets the requirements. In either scenario, the governor’s appointee must be confirmed by a majority vote in the state Senate by the end of the 2017 legislative session.

From Bozeman Daily Chronicle