Governor Bullock Violates Hatch Act, Montana Ethics Laws in Ads

HELENA, Mont. – In one swoop, Governor Bullock violated both the Hatch Act and Montana ethics laws in two of his newest campaign ads.

The ads, which both feature the photo below, put four members of military at risk for unknowingly violating the Hatch Act. It also implicates the Governor yet again for using official resources to prop up his campaign by repurposing this official photo, taken by official staff, on official time, in his campaign for U.S. Senate.

Bullock violates Hatch Act

According to DOD Directive 1344.10, “Members on active duty may not participate in partisan activities such as soliciting or engaging in partisan fundraiser activities, serving as the sponsor of a partisan club, or speaking before a partisan gathering. In addition, all military members, including National Guard and Reserve forces, are prohibited from wearing military uniforms at political campaign events.”

Steve Bullock’s selfish and repeated use of this photo puts each of these military members at risk by using them as political props without their knowing.

On top of that, Bullock’s use of this photo, which was included in an official press release on May 15, 2020, is in clear violation of Montana ethics laws which states that a “public employee may not use public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, or funds for private business purposes unless authorized by law or incidental to another lawful activity.”

What was Steve Bullock thinking – including this photo in his campaign for U.S. Senate not once, but twice? Bullock is playing fast-and-loose with the rules and hoping no one notices.