FACT CHECK: Bullock Misleads Montanans Over Departure of Former Lt. Gov. McLean

Governor Bullock is having a hard time telling Montanans the truth about Lt. Gov. Angela McLean’s sudden departure. Bullock said he never talked about McLean leaving the ticket when recent emails reveal that they did discuss her place on the ticket. Bullock also claimed he was surprised by McLean’s departure but is now changing his story. Bullock is having a hard-time keeping his story straight. His actions highlight a pattern of hiding the truth from Montanans.

Why won’t Bullock tell Montanans the truth? What started the dispute between the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor almost a year ago?

The Billings Gazette in a brutal editorial this morning asked: “What’s really going on in Montana governor’s office?” They note the complete lack of trust and transparency from Governor Bullock over the series of events that led to the resignation of his former Lt. Gov. The Billings Gazette stated that Bullock’s failure to be forthcoming with Montanans “suggest there’s plenty of rumors, speculation and discord. In other words, where there’s smoke, there’s almost always fire.

The Billings Gazette asked the important questions that Montanans deserve to know from Governor Bullock: “How can we trust the Bullock administration to appoint good leaders, and how can we have faith that the answers given aren’t just spin?”

They concluded with, “We have to trust our governor, and this most recent episode should leave Montanans yearning to rebuild credibility, trust and transparency.

CLAIM #1: Bullock ‘NEVER’ Spoke with McLean about Leaving Ticket

  • The governor said he never spoke with McLean about leaving the ticket next year. (KXLH, 12/02/2015)
  • I didn’t have any conversations with her saying that she wouldn’t be on the ticket next time.” (Bullock Press Interview, 5:00)

FACT: Emails CONFIRM Bullock Spoke with McLean about Leaving Ticket

McLean Email to Bullock on May 28, 2015:

  • In a May 28 email from McLean to the governor, she said she remained “100 percent committed to going forward together,” but that she knew there had been talk “since early this year” about finding a new running mate. (KXLH, 12/11/2015)

McLean Email to Bullock on Oct. 2, 2015:

  • On Sunday we met and both you and Dave Parker indicated you did not believe I could be happy in my job. I indicated that the best path forward was for a ticket with you and me going forward.  (KXLH, 12/11/2015)
  • Yesterday we met again and I again indicated the best path forward was a Bullock McLean ticket. (KXLH, 12/11/2015)

McLean Email on Oct. 11, 2015:

  • I asked the Governor two Sundays ago to indicate to me personally whether I would be on the ticket or not. (KXLH, 12/11/2015)

 

CLAIM #2: Bullock REFUSED to Answer if Staff Spoke about McLean Departure

  • The governor said he never spoke with McLean about leaving the ticket next year, but didn’t answer whether his staff had talked about it. (KXLH, 12/02/2015)

FACT: Emails CONFIRM Bullock’s Staff Spoke about McLean Departure

  • Bullock staffers confirmed they had discussed early this year whether McLean would remain on the ticket, because of numerous disputes over how she did her job as lieutenant governor. (KXLH, 12/11/2015)
  • “Following our meeting, I received a call from (staffer) Dave Parker whereby he asked me to imagine a workplace if I stayed in my post, but the governor took away my initiatives and my ability to serve the citizens of Montana,” McLean wrote to the governor in an Oct. 2 email. (KXLH, 12/11/2015)

 

CLAIM #3: Bullock SURPRISED by McLean Announcement

  • Crowe says Bullock found out when McLean called him Monday morning. (AP, 11/30/2015)
  • Bullock: “I more or less learned about today.” (Bullock Press Interview, 6:40)

FACT: Bullock Backtracks: “NOT NECESSARILY A SURPRISE” 

  • It was not necessarily a surprise, just a surprise that morning” when McLean called Bullock to tell him she had been offered, and accepted, the job. (Missoulian, 12/11/2015)
  • McLean foreshadowed her departure with a Facebook post on Nov. 24, 2016: “Yesterday was the last public event on my calendar for a long time.” (Facebook, 11/24/2016)



ICYMI: Editorial Boards Blast Bullock’s Handling of Lt. Gov.’s Departure; Call for Transparency

The Montana Editorial Boards yesterday blasted Governor Bullock’s secrecy over the reason behind his former Lt. Gov.’s sudden and unexpected resignation, and called on Bullock to show more transparency then when he selected– behind closed-doors and out of public view– John Walsh to the Senate in 2014. The Editorial Boards noted that Bullock would be wise to learn from his past mistake– shutting Montanans out of the selection process– and bring transparency when choosing his third Lt. Gov.

An IR View: Public deserves transparency in Lt. Gov. search

This is not the first time Bullock has had to look for a new lieutenant governor, as he has already had two people fill the office since he took over as governor in 2013. He has also had the responsibility of filling other prominent political offices, including the U.S. Senate seat Max Baucus left in 2014.

With John Walsh’s appointment to the U.S. Senate, Bullock declined multiple attempts by several media outlets to discuss the process he would undertake in looking for a replacement for Baucus.

By going through the appointment process behind closed doors, Bullock effectively shut the public out from what should have been an open process. What would be the harm in discussing qualifications that make a good appointee or opening up the search to all Montanans who felt they had the ability and desire to serve? Bullock has been widely criticized for putting a veil of secrecy over that hiring process, and we’re hoping he has learned from that experience.

We believe the public has a right to know the process Bullock is using in making this important decision, and he needs to be honest with us about what he’s looking for in a lieutenant governor and how he is vetting candidates.

GAZETTE OPINION: Montana’s next lieutenant governor should have a real job

The Montana lieutenant governor is elected for a term of four years, same as the governor. But the tenure of our state’s lieutenant governors has been much shorter since Steve Bullock became governor.

After the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education announced that it had hired Angela McLean, Bullock made the incredible statement that he didn’t know she was taking that new job. Either Bullock is out of touch or he doesn’t want to talk about why his second lieutenant governor jumped (or was pushed) from the ship of state.

Considering his three-year track record, Bullock would do well to vet his next candidate in public before making the final selection. If the glare of publicity and politics is more than the candidate wants to bear before being appointed, he or she may not last till the end of Bullock’s term a year from now.




After week-long absence is Bullock finally ready to do his job?

Governor Bullock returned to Montana yesterday from his dark money fundraisers after a nearly week-long absence that included getaways to Texas, Las Vegas, and NYC.

Bullock’s absence for most of last week was quite unusual given the news that his own former Lt. Gov. suddenly resigned over a “falling out”- raising questions if Bullock was dodging reporters …

Bullock camped out in Texas for the beginning of last week before returning to Montana for a day or so.

When Bullock was briefly in Montana, he decided it wasn’t worth showing up at the Montana Grain Growers Association Conference in Great Falls despite being in Great Falls on that very same day.  Apparently, Bullock didn’t think attending this agricultural event was that important.

Bullock then hopped on a plane to Las Vegas for a retreat at the Four Seasons resort, where he decided to wade into the national security debate over the best way to protect Montanans. Yet, Bullock had nothing to say about his support for Obama’s plan to relocate un-vetted refugees here. Remember, Bullock “won’t block any Syrian refugees” that want to re-settle in Montana.

To cap off the week, Bullock jet-setted to the Big Apple to attend one of the Democratic Governors Association’s (DGA) biggest dark money fundraisers of the year.

While reports confirmed Bullock’s attendance, he masked his dark money travels as “DGA officials didn’t confirm Monday which fundraising events Bullock attended while he was in New York for the annual meeting.”

Bullock put quite the price tag on the cost of attending his dark money events.

One event–  attending the New York Jets-Giants game on Sunday– required donors to fork over to the “DGA at least $250,000 to get into the fundraiser.”

Not to worry, if you couldn’t afford Bullock’s $250,000 price tag there were other dark money events you could attend- ranging from a mere $10,000 to $100,000. These dark money events included a “Late Night with the DGA” at the Diamond Horseshoe Club in the Times Square area and a VIP Reception & Holiday Party at the Gotham Hall on Broadway.

One can only image how much dark money Bullock brought in for his re-election next year with this NYC trip …

From what reports have confirmed, Bullock has amassed over a $3 million dark money war-chest during the first 6 months of the year and likely raised millions more in dark money during the remainder of the year.

Now that Bullock has finally returned to Montana, we hope he can set aside his need for dark money and do his job as Governor, and also find a new Lt. Gov. …

P.S. – We hope Bullock didn’t forget his duffel bags full of dark money at the Helena airport like he did last year. Yikes!




Bullocks Talks National Security, Still Backs Obama’s Un-Vetted Refugee Policy

Governor Bullock decided to wade into the national security screening debate but still refuses to call on President Obama to protect Montanans with an enhanced background check system for un-vetted refugees.

In fact, “[Governor Bullock] said he won’t block any Syrian refugees” from being relocated here.

If Bullock truly wants to enhance our national security then why isn’t he demanding all refugees that come into this country go under proper background checks?

Why is Bullock not resisting efforts by Obama to relocate un-vetted refugees here?

55 Montana Legislators wrote a letter to Governor Bullock calling on him to block or resist any efforts by Obama to relocate un-vetted Syrian refugees to Montana.

Senator Daines and Congressman Zinke wrote a letter to Governor Bullock asking him to block Syrian refugees– who aren’t properly vetted– from being relocated to Montana.

Over 30 Governors have taken steps to protect their residents from Obama’s dangerous decision to allow un-vetted refugees to relocate to their home state without proper background checks.

You can take action by signing this petition today so we can send a united message to Governor Bullock and President Obama that we don’t want un-vetted refugees– who may be potential terrorists– coming into the U.S. and being relocated to Montana.

If Bullock wants to take action to protect our safety then he should listen to Montanans and our elected leaders and fight back against Obama’s belief that un-vetted refugees should be relocated here.

It’s time for Bullock to put the safety and security of Montanans first.

P.S. Please ask your friends to sign this petition to tell Governor Bullock and President Obama they must not let un-vetted refugees into this country.




Las Vegas. New York City. What a Weekend for Bullock!

Governor Bullock is traveling to Las Vegas today to attend a 2-day retreat at the posh Four Seasons resort, and then heads to New York City later this weekend for the Democratic Governors Association’s “Holiday Party and Annual Meeting” to celebrate the millions of dark money he’s raised to influence elections and to tap into even more dark money for his re-election battle next year.

There’s no getting around that Bullock had a very bad week with the stunning revelation that his own Lt. Gov. resigned, but it’s quite telling after being absent from Montana for most of the week that he would then jet-set off to Las Vegas and New York City.

Bullock must be so desperate to raise even more dark money to boost his re-election campaign after his former Lt. Gov. resigned over a “falling out.”

There’s just no limit to the amount of dark money Bullock is willing to raise. A recent report discovered Bullock has amassed over a $3 million dark money war-chest, with his dark money travels taking him to Louisville, KY; Nantucket, MA; Aspen, CO; Washington DC; White Sulphur Springs, WV; and Whitefish, MT.

Bullock continues to mislead Montanans, touting himself as an outspoken critic of dark money while at the very same time raising and spending millions of dark money.

In fact, Bullock has spent over $1 million in dark money in Pennsylvania attacking Republicans and promoting their Democrat governor– despite promising Montanans: Dark money won’t be spent to influence elections.”

Bullock is also traveling the country calling for full disclosure of all dark money checks yet refuses to disclose where his $3 million dark money checks came from. It’s truly the height of hypocrisy for Bullock to demand full disclosure from everyone but himself.

Bullock’s continued absence from Montana this week shows a Governor with misplaced priorities. It’s quite concerning Bullock would prioritize his need for more dark money at a time like this. Does Bullock really think the solution to his problems is to raise even more dark money?




Bullock Shrugs Off Loss of 7,000 Montana Jobs as Congress Blocks Obama’s Job-Killing Energy Regs

The Republican-led Congress passed two bills to block implementation of Obama’s job-killing energy regulations on existing and new coal power plants– protecting Montana jobs and the livelihoods of our workers and families.

It’s absolutely critical we stop Obama’s regulations that will cripple our economy and eliminate thousands of Montana jobs. A recent report from the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research found these regulations will shut down the Colstrip power plant and eliminate over 7,000 good-paying Montana jobs.

The report described these regulations as, “The most significant economic event to occur in Montana in more than 30 years.”

The report also concluded that Montana will lose $1.5 billion in economy activity and we will see nearly a $200 million reduction in state and local tax revenue.

Governor Bullock outright dismissed this report sayinghe did not agree” with these findings and commented that it’s “(not) the only window.”

For Bullock to shrug off this report shows a complete lack of will to fight back against Obama’s job-killing energy regulations, and highlights the need for a Republican Governor who will actually stand up and fight for our workers and families.

Bullock has surrendered to Obama as he refuses to join the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Tim Fox to protect our good-paying Montana jobs, and remains silent on the recent legislation passed by Congress to permanently stop Obama’s regulations.

When Bullock is done complying with Obama’s job-killing energy regulations, what will he say to the 7,000 Montana workers who lose their jobs? How are they going to survive and provide for their families? How will our communities survive without critical funding from our clean coal?

You should also know, Senator Tester voted against both bills in Congress that protect our workers– confirming once again, that he will prioritize Obama’s extreme liberal agenda even when Montana stands to lose thousands of good-paying jobs.

I’m proud of our Montana Republican leaders who are standing up and fighting back against Obama’s assault on our way of life. Senator Daines and Congressman Zinke both voted in support of the two bills to protect our good-paying jobs, affordable electricity prices, and the livelihoods of our workers, families, and communities. Attorney General Tim Fox is taking the fight to Obama and the EPA by filing a lawsuit to stop these job-killing energy regulations from being implemented in Montana.

We can still stop President Obama and Governor Bullock from crippling our economy and eliminating thousands of jobs. If we elect a Republican Governor and a Republican President next year– alongside our Republican elected officials– we can undue Obama’s job-killing energy regulations and protect all these good-paying Montana jobs. All hope is not lost.




Bullock No Longer Standing by Juneau?

Governor Bullock appears to no longer be standing by Congressional candidate Denise Juneau’s failed education record as he conceded yesterday that “challenges” exist on our “education front.”

Under Juneau’s failed leadership, our test scores have “decreased significantly,” but Juneau dismissed these concerns as a “one year of a decline in fourth-grade math.”

However, the Billings Gazette reported this was hardly a one year decline in fourth-grade math:

  • “In mathematics, fourth-grade scores decreased significantly compared to 2013 scores.
  • Scores for eighth-graders dropped for the second year in a row, a significant decrease compared to 2011 scores.”
  • “In Montana, scores in reading for eighth-graders dipped slightly from those in 2013 … but the eighth-grade drop was significant compared to scores in 2011.”

Unfortunately, you can’t convince a liberal ideologue like Juneau that Common Core has been a disaster for our kids …

Juneau is described as “one of the Common Core’s biggest supporters,” and praised herself for bringing Common Core to Montana as the “right thing to do.”

Juneau believes so wholeheartedly in Common Core that she can’t explain its opposition: “I don’t really know how to explain it … There is nothing to be fearful about the Common Core.”

Montana students’ education is suffering because of career politicians like Denise Juneau who are so blinded by their rigid, liberal Obama ideology that they can’t put our kid’s education before their own political ambition. Juneau believes central planners in D.C. should determine our kid’s education– not our parents and local communities who actually know what’s best for their kids. Juneau has failed us for bringing Common Core to Montana, and she will follow in lock-step with Obama’s liberal ideology if elected to Congress. Montanans deserve so much better.




What Plan? Bullock Offers No Details on Syrian Refugee Review Request

Governor Bullock is currently reviewing Montana’s refugee acceptance policy after last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris but even his own administration is unable to clarify who is leading the review process or how Montana could deny a Syrian refugee request. Bullock is giving false assurances to Montanans about this review process and the safety protocols in place given the complete lack of details and contradictory statements from his own administration. Under Bullock’s leadership, Montana’s boarders will remain open to Syrian refugees despite more than a dozen Governors from across the nation taking action to block Syrian refugees from entering their state given the safety and security concerns they may pose to residents and our country.

Governor Bullock offers false assurances to Montanans that he has a plan in place to review a Syrian refugee request:

  • Montana has a process in place for considering refugee settlement requests; we are reviewing those protocols to ensure that if a request comes, we take all appropriate steps to ensure that the safety of Montanans will not be jeopardized by their placement. (KXLH, 11/16/2015)

Bullock’s administration is unable to clarify who is leading the review process or how Montana could deny a Syrian refugee request:

  • Mike Wessler, the governor’s spokesman, said the state is reviewing the federal process for screening refugees to ensure it is adequate. He did not return a request for clarification on who is leading the state’s review or how the state would decide to deny a request, which is not something the state currently considers. (Missoulian, 11/17/2015)

Bullock’s own refugee coordinator admits she doesn’t know how Montana could deny a Syrian refugee request and current policy states refugees are allowed to stay right here in Montana:

  • Montana’s state refugee coordinator said she wasn’t sure how denying a resettlement could be done. (Missoulian, 11/17/2015)
  • We’ve never done it,” Katherine Quittenton said. “Anybody who has wanted to stay here, we’ve assisted them.” (Missoulian, 11/17/2015)



Bullock Abandons Workers, Surrenders to Obama’s Job-Killing Energy Regulations

Governor Bullock has surrendered to Obama’s job-killing energy regulations that threaten to eliminate thousands of Montana jobs and cut off tens of millions of dollars in critical funding for our communities. Bullock believes implementing Obama’s job-killing energy regulations “has to be done”– despite the great harm and devastation it will bring to our workers, their families, and our communities.

Worst of all, Bullock is more concerned about saving his own job than saving the jobs of thousands of Montana workers. Bullock has created an advisory council whose main goal is to delay Obama’s job-killing energy regulations until after his re-election campaign. 

  • The Clean Power Plan may be the single biggest threat to Bullock’s chances for re-election,” Carroll College political scientist Jeremy Johnson said Friday. (AP, 11/13/2015)
  • A close look at Bullock’s executive order shows that one of the council’s main duties is to justify requesting the two-year extension, which would allow Bullock to avoid releasing a plan at the peak of his re-election campaign. (AP, 11/13/2015)

This is politics at its worst. Bullock ducks for political cover instead of standing up and leading. Bullock should be ashamed that he won’t fight for every good-paying Montana job that exists because of our clean coal.

Obama’s job-killing energy regulations will impact nine Montana coal plants– including Colstrip- and the results will be devastating: Thousands of Montana workers will lose their jobs, electricity prices will rise for our families, and tens of millions of dollars that our communities depend on every year will dry up.

Don’t be fooled by Bullock’s talk of these job-killing energy regulations being a Montana solution– it’s an Obama solution that will wreak havoc on our livelihoods. Bullock has abandoned our workers, families, and communities to appease Obama.

Montanans deserve a Governor who will lead and fight every day to protect their jobs and livelihoods.




Chairman Essmann Statement on Bullock’s Loss to ‘The Year of the Outsider’

Helena, MT – Chairman Jeff Essmann of the Montana Republican Party released the following statement on Governor Bullock’s record as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), which now includes losing two Governor’s races in addition to raising at least $3 million in dark money:

As Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), Governor Bullock had one job: Win the competitive Governor’s races in the 2015 election. But, he suffered a staggering defeat last night.

I believe Bullock foreshadowed his own loss next year when he blamed the Democrats’ defeat on ‘the year of the outsider,’ because voters are tired of an agenda that only seeks to empower and grow government– not help better the lives of our families and children. People are looking for outsiders, and insider politicians like Bullock have failed them.

Bullock’s so-called leadership here in Montana has allowed incompetence to run rampant in his administration and he has failed to improve our salaries and wages, which rank near the bottom of the nation.

Republicans will have great momentum going into 2016 because Montanans are looking for proven leaders who can deliver results and provide greater opportunities for our families. We need a Republican Governor who will create high-paying jobs so our kids can stay and raise their families’ right here in Montana. I believe Montana Republicans will continue to expand on our victories in 2016.