Corey Stapleton cannot be trusted to oversee Montana’s elections.
Two weeks ago, we learned that Stapleton cost the people of Montana $265,000 when his office sent out official misinformation in the Voter Information Pamphlet that explains the initiatives on the November ballot.
Yesterday, we learned that Stapleton, rather than taking the cheapest bid to solve the problem he created, sent the quarter million dollars of business to a company owned by a personal friend, shady Republican political operator, and donor Jake Eaton.
And today in an interview with Montana Public Radio, Stapleton admitted that he had previously hired Eaton’s wife for almost $60,000 as an attorney in his quixotic bid to keep the Green Party on the ballot because he thought the case was “more of a political fight than a legal one.” Further, Stapleton said he
had the Secretary of State’s office hire his old political attorney Emily Jones, who he’d worked with before. Stapleton says he could have gone the route of hiring one of the attorney’s in the Attorney General’s office, but he says he wouldn’t have known anything about them, including their political leanings.
Stapleton, who could not hide his bias when he announced that he had certified the Green Party for the ballot and who had to be reprimanded by the judge in the case for his childish antics at trial, just admitted that he used state resources to push a personal, political agenda against the Democratic Party.
Even fellow Republican Attorney General Tim Fox seemed disgusted by Stapleton’s antics:
In an email, he said he didn’t appreciate the Secretary of State questioning the professionalism and expertise of his staff. And he questioned why the Secretary of State didn’t use the state attorneys for this case when they do for others. Fox, in an email, wrote, “Ultimately, Stapleton made a political decision to needlessly spend $60,000 on outside counsel and lost the case.”
Great reporting by MTPR about the thoroughly inept, thoroughly partisan, thoroughly corrupt Secretary Stapleton.