Helena – In a lawsuit filed by the Montana Democratic Party and several prominent Democrats, District Court Judge James Reynolds ruled Monday in favor of the Democrats and ordered the Montana Green Party must be removed from the ballot. However, Judge Reynolds failed to disclose his ties to one of the plaintiffs, Donald Judge of Helena and the Democrats’ lawyer in the case Peter M. Meloy of Helena.
According to campaign finance records from the Commission of Political Practices, both Mr. Judge and Mr. Meloy contributed to Reynolds’ campaign for District Court Judge . Mr. Meloy gave the maximum allowable contribution.
Judge Reynolds also failed to disclose his campaign’s financial ties to other high-ranking Democrat officials and donors. Other Prominent Democratic Party leaders and insiders that contributed to Reynolds campaign include: Andrew Huff, Chief Legal Counsel for Democrat Governor Steve Bullock; Jessica Rhoades, Policy Advisor for Governor Bullock; Bill Lombardi, former State Director for Democrat US Senator John Tester; Gene Jarussi, Democrat Donor & activist; Jim Jensen, Executive Director of the Montana Environmental Information Center; Kim Abbott, Democrat State Legislator; Pam Bucy, former Director of the Department of Labor & Democrat Attorney General candidate; Joe Lamson, former Democrat legislator & activist, and Jonathan Motl, Commissioner of Political Practices for Governor Bullock.
In this case, plaintiffs James Larson, Donald Judge, Jean Price and the Montana Democratic Party sued Secretary of State Corey Stapleton to block him from allowing the Green Party on the ballot this fall. The Democrats argued that a Green Party candidate being on the ballot would siphon of votes from Democrat candidates.