Posted: Oct 24, 2012 5:19 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Oct 25, 2012 10:16 AM
HELENA- A district court judge has ordered gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill to stop spending the $500,000 he accepted from the Montana Republican Party until a judge has more time to review the legality of the donation.
The decision came down late Wednesday after Democratic candidate Steve Bullock sued Hill last week.
Bullock's campaign alleges that Hill illegally took donations above Montana's campaign contribution limits.
But Hill's campaign claims they were following the law because they accepted the donation in the brief period after the contribution limits had been thrown out by a federal judge and before an appeals judge restored them.
Helena Judge Kathy Seeley ordered Hill to stop any media buyers from purchasing ad time while the case is reviewed. She will hear oral arguments from both sides on Monday.
Hill's campaign issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
"This is an unprecedented action taken by a partisan judge. There was no hearing, no briefs, no arguments, no notice, just an abusive order that will benefit Steve Bullock's campaign. This is the kind of abuse that Rick has been describing to Montanans that is damaging our reputation and our economy. It is this kind of abuse that Montanans need to challenge. We are taking steps this evening to comply with this order until we are able to present our case before the courts." - Brock Lowrance, spokesman Rick Hill for Governor.
Bullock and Hill will square of in a live televised debate Saturday at 9 p.m. on the Montana Television Network, which will be moderated by our own Jill Valley. We will also be providing a live stream of the debate on our websites.