Conrad Burns certainly isn’t subtle, is he? In a response to a question posed by the Billings Gazette, Conrad has this to say:
Butte has made the transition from a town dependent on natural resources to a place where good-paying jobs are being created. Look at companies like Resodyn and MSE that are now doing cutting-edge research and at the same time bringing good-paying jobs to Butte.
When did he send that little love note? The same day as the Resodyn sponsored debate in Butte, described like this by Gwen Florio:
Burns highlighted his history of bringing federal money to Butte; indeed, the debate was co-sponsored by the Resodyn Corp., the beneficiary of some of that federal largesse. When Burns was introduced, those in the roughly 60 seats reserved for Resodyn employees comprised the majority of those who stood and applauded him. Despite Republican appeals for Burns’ supporters within 100 miles to attend the debate, the crowd seemed largely made up of Tester’s backers, many of them wearing yellow “Fire Burns” T-shirts.
Lee Enterprises and the Montana Standard should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Stacking the audience in a debate for the public, to determine the next Senator for Montana is an affront to the entire democratic process. If they fail to cover this story–and explain their actions, we’ll know for certain that they have no honor, and no respect for the role of the press.
It’s time to come clean. Post the agreement between yourselves and Resodyn. Explain the nature of the seating arrangements. Investigate the claims that voters were moved if they refused to wear Burns apparel.
It’s not too late to be journalists.