BULLOCK’S TOP 10 WORST STORIES OF 2015
10. SYRIAN REFUGEES
Bullock will allow un-vetted Syrian refugees to relocate to Montana despite Sen. Daines, Rep. Zinke, and 55 Montana state lawmakers calling on Bullock to put the safety and security of Montanans first.
- Fifty-five of Montana’s Republican state lawmakers have signed a letter asking Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock to “use all legal means” to refuse placement of Syrian refugees in Montana. (KXLH, 11/24/2015)
- [Bullock] said he won’t block any Syrian refugees out-of-hand. (KXLH, 11/24/2015)
- Republicans – and some Democrats – in Congress have called for increased scrutiny of Syrian refugees. Montana’s two GOP members of Congress, Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke, have asked Bullock to resist settling any Syrians in Montana until “a vastly improved background check protocol” is put in place. (KXLH, 11/24/2015)
Bullock’s failed leadership highlighted again when he denied Montanans an infrastructure bill with his “my way or the highway” approach and demanded we go into debt to finance his spending | FLASHBACK: Bullock VETOES critical infrastructure bill for Eastern Montana in 2013.
- Republican leaders said the Bullock administration refused to negotiate any changes in SB416 during the past few days, and wouldn’t budge. (Lee Newspapers, 04/28/2015)
- “The word from the (governor) … was, `This is it, take it or leave it,’” said Sen. Eric Moore, R-Miles City. “That’s been a fairly common theme from the (governor) this session: Take it or leave it. When you take that stance, bills are going to die.” (Lee Newspapers, 04/28/2015)
- Senate Bill 416 needed a super-majority of votes in each house because it authorized the state to go into debt by issuing bonds for some funding. (Lee Newspapers, 05/02/2015)
- Bullock rejected a bill in 2013 that would have provided $45 million over four years for public works projects in oil and gas country … That veto likely remains his most controversial decision as governor. (Lee Newspapers, 05/02/2015)
8. BULLOCK’S VETOES: TAX RELIEF
Bullock VETOED three tax relief and simplification bills that would have returned hard-earned tax dollars to Montana families and small businesses, all so he could increase government spending.
- Three Republican tax relief bills have died at the pen of Montana’s Democratic governor this year. (AP, 05/07/2015)
- The state House and Senate GOP caucuses touted tax cuts as a high priority for the 2015 session, but every major tax initiative that was passed out of the Republican-controlled Legislature has been vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock. (AP, 05/07/2015)
- “I hope that everyone recognizes the governor’s move on SB 171 for what it really is, adherence to an ideology,” Senate President Debby Barrett, R-Dillon, said in a statement. (AP, 05/07/2015)
- Barrett called Montana’s current tax system convoluted and said the final of three Republican tax relief bills would have improved the state’s business climate. (AP, 05/07/2015)
7. BULLOCK’S VETOES: 2ND AMENDMENT
Bullock VETOED two critical Second Amendment bills that would: (1) Prevent Montana from enforcing a future firearm-ban from President Obama, another constitutionally ignorant president, or a Democrat-controlled Congress; and (2) Allow law-abiding Montanans the right to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
- Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on Friday vetoed a pair of Republican-sponsored gun rights bills, including one that would allow almost any adult to carry a concealed weapon in Montana without a permit. (Lee Newspapers, 03/27/2015)
- Bullock also vetoed HB203, which would prohibit any state or local officials in Montana from enforcing any future federal restrictions on gun or weapon magazine ownership. (Lee Newspapers, 03/27/2015)
Under Bullock, Montana has lost– in 2015 alone – over 500 good-paying jobs supported by our timber industry.
- Approximately 500 jobs supported by Montana’s wood products industry have dried up this year alone. (Missoulian, 10/13/2015)
- There are currently no mills in the state running two full shifts, something that was unthinkable two decades ago. (Missoulian, 10/13/2015)
- Timber mills employ approximately 7,000 people in Montana, and 235 mill workers have been laid off this year. Another 280 jobs that were indirectly supported by the timber industry have also been lost. (Missoulian, 10/13/2015)
- “So we are down a good 500 jobs this year alone … That’s a pretty big loss.” (Missoulian, 10/13/2015)
Bullock’s compliance with Obama’s job-killing energy regulations will likely shut down Colstrip and eliminate over 7,000 Montana jobs.
- The Obama administration’s plan to cut carbon emissions likely will lead to closure of all four coal-fired power plants in Colstrip in southeastern Montana, a University of Montana economist said Wednesday – and thus deal a huge blow to Montana’s economy. (KXLH, 11/18/2015)
- Closing the coal-fired plants in Colstrip would reverberate across the state, he said, costing 7,000 jobs, $500 million a year of income and another $190 million in state-and-local tax revenue. (KXLH, 11/18/2015)
4. 49TH IN WAGES, SALARIES
Under Bullock’s leadership, Montana ranks 49th in wages and salaries– forcing many of our kids to leave home to find a good-paying job so they can make a decent living and provide for their family.
- In the group’s most recent report on tax return data by state and county, Montana ranked 49th — just above Mississippi and right below New Mexico — for wages and salaries reported in tax returns, with Montanans earning an average of $33,180 annually. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 04/12/2015)
3. INCOMPETENCE LEADS TO MISMANAGEMENT OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS
Auditors found Bullock’s incompetence led to 125 significant accounting errors, with many errors individually amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars | Mismanagement led to first adverse report ever issued on Montana’s finances
- “We communicated over 125 significant items … Many of those amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in error.” (MTPR, 06/24/2015)
- Lawmakers on the Audit Committee voiced harsh reaction to the many errors auditors found in the state’s financial statement. This is Huntley Republican Senator Taylor Brown. “When I first read this, I thought this was extraordinary, but when I hear you say that this is the first time you’ve ever seen this kind of adverse opinion and this material and pervasive report, I’m quite concerned about that.” (MTPR, 06/24/2015)
- Republican Dee Brown of Hungry Horse agreed. “We haven’t seen a report like this, and it’s very disturbing to we who have been on this committee to see this.” (MTPR, 06/24/2015)
- She pointed to one estimate of the state’s liability for infrastructure needs, the report pegged the amount as $1.2 billion, but auditors revised downward to just over $200 million; a billion dollar mistake. (MTPR, 06/24/2015)
2. DARK MONEY, UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH
Gov. Hypocrite Bullock jet-setted around the country to raise dark money and unlimited corporate cash– while at the same time publicly condemning both types of money | Planned NYC getaway to avoid answering questions about McLean’s departure.
- State Republicans called Bullock a “hypocrite” for criticizing the influence of corporate and “dark money” in campaigns, yet chairing the DGA while it raises both types of funds. (KXLH, 12/07/2015)
- The DGA raised about $17 million during the first six months of this year, including an estimated $3 million for a nonprofit that does not have to report the details on its spending or donors – so-called dark money. (KXLH, 12/07/2015)
- The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported that donors had to give the DGA at least $250,000 to get into the fundraiser at the NFL football game. (KXLH, 12/07/2015)
- DGA officials didn’t confirm Monday which fundraising events Bullock attended while he was in New York for the annual meeting. (KXLH, 12/07/2015)
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock … attended DGA fundraising events in Louisville, Ky., Nantucket, Mass., Aspen, Colo., Washington, D.C., and White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. (KXLH, 09/17/2015)
1. 2ND LT. GOV. RESIGNS | EDITOR BELIEVES BULLOCK’S HIDING SOMETHING
McLean unexpectedly resigned over a falling out with Bullock– details remain sparse | Why won’t Bullock tell Montanans the truth? What’s Bullock hiding?
- Bullock and Parker said the governor did not believe McLean could be happy in her job, according to a message she sent from her private email account to Bullock’s private account on Oct. 2. (AP, 12/15/2015)
- After the Oct. 1 meeting, Parker called McLean and told her to imagine a workplace if she stayed in her post, but Bullock took away her initiatives and her ability to serve the people of Montana, she wrote in the email. (AP, 12/15/2015)
- Three days later, Parker told McLean that the governor wanted her in a “more traditional” lieutenant governor role and that her policy initiatives would be handled by other administration staff, she said in an Oct. 6 email to Bullock’s state email account. (AP, 12/15/2015)
- Subsequent emails describe McLean being excluded from administration meetings, being locked out of her official Twitter account and having her appointments with Bullock canceled. They include reprimands by Chief of Staff Tracy Stone-Manning for tweeting about Denise Juneau’s U.S. House bid and for a lengthy introduction of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez during his Montana visit in October. (AP, 12/15/2015)
Lee Newspaper Editor calls out Bullock for hiding the truth about what led to the falling out with his former Lt. Gov.
- “There’s a gap there. There’s obviously a gap between her account of what took place and the fact that you felt her frustration was disruptive. I mean, there’s something else there.” (YouTube: Independent Record, 12/16/2015)