Missoula Attorney Quentin Rhoades will be representing Montana State Representative Art Wittich in a dispute both men say revolves around free speech and the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

Rhoades says Wittich's fight against Montana Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl is chronicled in a Wall Street Journal editorial.

"The article comments on the political prosecution of Art Wittich here in Montana based on the political difference he has had with Governor Steve Bullock and his agenda in the Montana legislature," Rhoades said. "Wittich is sort of an arch-conservative as he votes for the libertarian, limited government and low tax point of view. His opponents in big government have been using the appointment of Democrat Jonathan Motl as the State Political Practices Commissioner to tarnish Wittich's name as an honest representative of his constituents."

Rhoades said Wittich dared to stand up against the political status quo, and is taking the heat for doing so.

"Mr. Wittich is sort of an example that if you oppose the powers that be, and you stand up against the political establishment, then they're going to make an example out of you," he said. "The U.S. Supreme Court slapped aside the Montana Supreme Court when they tried to say that the Citizens United ruling didn't apply in Montana. It was a terse sort of reprimand given to the Montana Supreme Court, and that was the genesis of how the Montana campaign finance law was illegal."

Rhoades said the matter will be settled in court soon.

"We have a jury trial scheduled for March in Helena over violating the state’s political campaign laws during the 2010 primary election, and that should take a couple of weeks," he said. "There are a number of procedural issues that need to be resolved between now and then, but we expect a judgement will be entered between now and June."

If Wittich is found guilty, Motl plans to ask District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock to have him removed from office.



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