HELENA – A dark money political organization that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the 2012 election to support conservative candidates for office has settled a lawsuit accusing it of violating Montana’s campaign finance laws. The Montana Growth Network, headed by former Red Lodge Republican state Sen. Jason Priest, agreed to pay a $30,000 fine to the state Commissioner of Political Practices under the terms of the settlement. The group also admits it violated certain state campaign finance and practice laws by failing to report tens of thousands of dollars of campaign spending during the 2012 election. Priest, who wrote the check for the fine, said he was happy to put the matter behind him. “I think both sides walk away with something and both sides walk away disappointed.