HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Two billionaire brothers who made a fortune in the fracking industry were the top donors to successful 2012 Montana legislative candidates.
A new report from the Helena-based National Institute on Money in State Politics says that Dan and Farris Wilks and their wives donated about $50,000, a total spread among more than 70 candidates — nearly half of the Legislature.
The Texas-based Wilks brothers are political newcomers to Montana. They have recently starting buying up Montana ranchland and own more than 200,000 acres.
The Wilkses did not respond to a request for comment.
Other top donors are likely much more familiar to Montanans.
Plum Creek Timber was second on the list, followed by the Montana Contractors' Association.