By Tim Leeds 

Campaign finance information trickling in


Clarification: Added a sentence clarifying that much of the money paid by Stuart's campaign to out-of-state advertising firms was returning to the state through local advertising buys.

hile information for some campaigns still was coming in to and is being entered at the office of the state commissioner of political practices — the deadline was Thursday — the campaign finance reports of candidates for several local elections are in.

The money sources are ranging from self-financing campaigns to a lengthy list of contributors, including political action groups getting involved in some elections.

Kym Trujillo of the commissioner's office said this morning that delays on some candidates' reports had occurred and information still was being entered.

Information for some candidates for Hill County commissioner, the state Senate and the state House was not available by the Havre Daily News deadline this morning.

The Havre Daily will update this report as more information becomes available.

But the reports from several races were in, with high figures in some — four local candidates averaged $9,850.50 in funds raised before the primary election.

The top money raiser was Republican businessman Douglas Stuart of Harlem, running for Senate District 17, northern Blaine and Hill counties. After starting with $100 in the bank, he raised $11,955 from March 12 through May 19, all through loans he made to himself.

Stuart spent $11,955 in that period, including $1,500 for web page design and maintenance to his own information-technology consulting firm, Big Sky Global LLC.

Other than $220 to Helmbrecht Photography Studio in Havre for photographs, the rest was paid to campaign advising and advertising firms out of state. Stuart said Wednesday that much of that money is coming back through purchases of local advertising.

The next top raiser was SD 17 candidate Democrat Greg Jergeson, with $11,395 listed for the reporting period from Sept. 19, 2011, through May 19. Jergeson is unopposed in next week's primary.

His contributions included $160 each from the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association ACRE, and the political action commitees of the United Transportation Union and the Montana Hunters and Anglers.

Jergeson also loaned himself $500.

The rest — $9,120 — came from 120 donations from Montana residents ranging from $35 to the maximum $160, with more than half coming from the Hi-Line and the Golden Triangle.

Jergeson listed $7,749.17 in expenses, all to Montana businesses except a $3.95 in "fundraising fees" to Act Blue MT in Cambridge, Mass., with the majority to businesses in Chinook, Harlem and Havre.

The next highest total also came from a candidate for SD 17. Republican Donald Richman of Harlem reported that, for the period from Nov. 1 through May 23, he raised $8,975.

That included $1,570 Richman contributed himself, and $100 in contributions of less than $35 and $7,305 in contributions from $35 to $160.

The individual contributions all were from Montana, except one from a U. S. Air Force pilot in Texas.

Richman reported spending $8,120.33, all in Montana and primarily at businesses and events from Havre through Turner, and $1,148.40 still outstanding on radio advertising spent in Havre.

The next highest total was from Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, campaiging for re-election in House District 33 in Hill County. Hansen reported raising $7,001 in the period from Jan. 1, 2011, through May 24, 2012.

That included $720 from eight political action committee contributions ranging from $50 to $160. Those were from Cablevision Systems MT PAC in Bethpage, N.Y. ; Exxon Mobile PAC in Irving, Texas; Montana Employees of Qwest PAC in Helena; Montana Medical PAC in Helena; Plum Creek Timber Good Government PAC in Seattle; Citizens for Responsible Government-Employees of NorthWestern Energy in Great Falls, and Denbury Resources Political Committee in Plano, Texas.

The rest came from nine contributions of less than $35 and 47 of $35 to $160. All but four of those contributions were from in-state.

Hansen reported spending $380.59 in the reporting period, all in Havre except for one membership fee to the Montana Republican Legislative Campaign Committee to Helena and one online purchase for checks.

Hansen's Democratic opponent, Brenda Skornogoski, reported raising $2,805 from March 9 through May 19.

Of that, $525 came from her own personal contributions and another $1,300 from a loan to her own campaign.

The remaining $960 came from 14 in-kind or monetary contributions ranging from $12.50 to $160, all from Hi-Line residents.

Skornogoski reported spending $1,829 all for fees or purchases in Montana.

In the race for House District 34, in Blaine and Hill counties, incumbent Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, reported raising $1,365 from Jan. 23 through May 23.

Of that, $1,125 came in contributions, with 10 ranging from $50 to $160 all from Montanans, and another $140 from Citizens for Responsible Government PAC in Great Falls and the Exxon Mobil Corp. PAC in Irving, Texas.

Warburton reported spending $184 in the period, to a Havre bank and a Havre printing company.

Her Democratic opponent, Karen Sloan, reported raising $1,495 from March 30 through May 19.

Of that, $100 was from a personal contribution from Sloan, and $160 from the Hill County Democrats. The rest was from 13 contributions of $25 to $160, all from Montanans except for one from a retiree in Wyoming.

Sloan reported spending $457.94, on checks, a post office box and for printing, all in Havre.


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