HELENA – Special Operations for America has spent about $75,000 more in independent expenditures on advertising in support of Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke, reports filed this week show.
In reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Special Operations for America, also known as SOFA, reported making $75,240 in independent spending for media buys in support of Zinke.
It is a super political action committee authorized to make independent expenditures in a race in unlimited amounts for or against federal candidates. Federal law prohibits them from using the money to make direct, in-kind or coordinated communications on behalf of federal candidates
The same group also reported this week making $17,260 more in media buys against another Republican candidates in the race, Matt Rosendale.
Altogether in the campaign, Special Operations for America has spent more than $185,000 in independent expenditures in support of Zinke, a former state senator from Whitefish. The money has gone for media production, media placement and online advertising.
For the campaign, SOFA also has spent a total of $47,260 in independent expenditures against Rosendale, one of Zinke’s chief rivals for the Republican nomination in the five-candidate House primary.
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, founded Special Operations for America in 2012 to help Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Zinke resigned as its chairman in September 2013, shortly before entering the U.S. House race.
In March, two Washington, D.C., groups, Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, filed a complaint with the FEC. They contended Zinke had illegally coordinated with Special Operations for America. The FEC has not yet ruled on the complaint.
At the time, Zinke’s campaign manager, Robert Kearley, criticized the two Washington groups as being part of “the left-wing pressure campaign” that unfairly targets conservatives.