Since his election in 2016, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton has suffered a number of trials and tribulations as a result of his political asperations. The latest is just another hashmark in his “oh shit” column.
Let’s talk about voter fraud because we all know during the 2016 campaign Stapleton was a bulldog on the subject. Perhaps it helped him win by a landslide, or perhaps it was the lackluster campaign and character of his Democratic opponent Monica Lindeen. The end result was the same. Stapleton, without a shred of evidence, trumpeted voter fraud until he incurred the ire of county clerks and recorders statewide; he backed off the notion of statewide voter fraud and instead focused on Missoula County. And then he walked into the lion’s den that was the clerk and recorder convention at Fairmont, where county clerk’s took exception to his calling into question their ability to conduct fair elections. Perhaps he should have just grabbed a towel and went for a soak because once the clerks finished excoriating him there wasn’t enough of him left to soak.
Then during the 2018 mid-term elections he hit a double boner! No not that kind, the bonehead kind. The Billings Gazette took a scrub brush to our diminutive SOS for the shoddy voter guide his office produced and then attempted to fix by punting a re-print to good buddy and former Montana GOP fixer Jake Eaton at a considerably higher cost than the lowest bid from a printing firm in Phoenix, AZ. In Corey’s defense though give him credit for trying to keep the work in Montana, but maybe he would have faired better if he had used a “union” printer.
Digging deeper into the voter guide story, the Gazette discovered that Stapleton’s office hired attorney Emily Jones – who just happens to be the wife of Jake Eaton – to defend his office in a lawsuit over a ballot issue. Now typically you call the home team attorney, Attorney General Tim Fox and fellow Republican. Instead Stapleton once again kicks money to one of his Republican cronies at the tax payers’ expense and loses the lawsuit. In this case the only one to see “green” was Emily Jones.
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton has once again stepped on his own…. In his rush to announce his 2020 bid for governor of Montana, he pushed out a letter on his SOS letterhead, through his state email, to underlings in his office who then helped push it out to news outlets across the state. Sigh, what do you do with a man-child who just doesn’t seem to learn that public officials, public employees, have to play by a different set of rules to keep the playing field fair. Granted he probably wanted to be first out of the gate because he will have some much bigger competition. Tim Fox has announced and likely we will see Greg Gianforte enter the fray as well. One can only hope Stapleton has some ninja like skills because both men have demonstrated WWE skills. At least Fox wasn’t criminally charged with assault. As for the $4000 check Stapleton had to write for the Commissioner of Political Practices, maybe he can get Jake and Emily to kick a little of that state money back to cover the cost.
They say hindsight is 20/20. This should make it easy for Stapleton to look back and point to exactly where he came up short, so to speak, in his bid for the governor’s chair.
T-Bone Slim “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.”