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Judge finds group violated Montana disclosure laws

   HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A state judge has ruled that American Tradition
artnership violated Montana's state campaign-finance and election laws.
   Lee Newspapers of Montana reports that District Judge Jeff Sherlock of
Helena on Friday ruled the group in 2008 acted as a political committee
and must report its spending and donors.
   Sherlock cited the group's failure to turn over records requested by the
court in making his decision.
   American Tradition Partnership claims tax-exempt status as a nonprofit social
welfare organization that does not advocate for specific candidates and as a
result shouldn't have to reveal its members and spending.
   But Sherlock called that a "subterfuge to avoid compliance" with state laws.
   ATP attorney James Brown says the group's board of directors is considering
its next move.
   AP-WF-01-05-13 2215GMT

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