Campaign Legal Center Files FEC Complaint Against Super PAC Spending in Montana Senate Race


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the super PAC “Last Best Place PAC” failed to file the required pre-election independent expenditure report despite running an ad expressly opposing Tim Sheehy, a U.S. Senate candidate from Montana. 

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), independent expenditures — communications that expressly advocate for or against a clearly identified candidate — of more than $10,000 made more than 20 days before an election must be reported to the FEC within 48 hours. Despite producing an ad that appears to fit these parameters, Last Best Place PAC never submitted a 48-hour independent-expenditure report to the FEC, and the super PAC’s 2023 end-of-year disclosure report stated that it had made no independent expenditures. 

Voters will be facing an influx of political ads as we get closer to this year’s primaries, and they have a right to know who is spending to influence their vote and our government,said Erin Chlopak, senior director of campaign finance at CLC. Super PACs and other groups that fail to properly disclose information about their funding sources and spending are depriving voters of critical information. As the only agency tasked with enforcing federal campaign finance law, the FEC must ensure that groups like ‘Last Best Place PAC’ are transparent about how they are raising and spending money to influence elections.” 

Last Best Place PAC, which has reportedly spent over $5.8 million on ads attacking Sheehy since its inception on September 5, 2023, recently filed its 2023 year-end report, which revealed its ties to the national Democratic Party: It received all of its funding from Majority Forward — a group that supports the Democratic leadership-aligned super PAC SMP (formerly Senate Majority PAC), and spent virtually all of its money to pay a previously unknown Virginia-based vendor, “Mountain Media,” which shares an address with “Old Town Media,” a media buyer that works exclusively with Democratic candidates and PACs.

By not timely disclosing its independent expenditures, as the law requires, Last Best Place PAC helped obscure who was truly behind obvious efforts to influence the Republican primary election for the U.S. Senate in Montana, undermining voters’ ability to evaluate its ads with a complete understanding of the group’s apparent motives.

Wealthy special interests often run elections ads that are deliberately misleading. That is why super PACs are required to, in a timely manner, disclose information that gives voters insight into who is spending to influence their vote. The FEC must investigate this failure by Last Best Place to disclose this information.

See the Complaint here