Steve Daines Hires Campaign Manager Who Lied to the Press About the Gianforte Assault

As I was driving to work today I heard a report on Montana Public Radio that shocked me: it wasn’t that Montana Republicans were already disparaging Governor Bullock and it wasn’t that the President of the United States may have willingly exposed himself to someone who may infect him with the coronavirus.

It was that Senator Steve Daines hired Shane Scanlon to be his campaign manager for his Senate bid.

Scanlon is a shocking hire for someone to lead the campaign and be its voice to the media for one simple reason: he cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

Back in 2017, when Greg Gianforte assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs and then lied to the police about what happened, Scanlon, acting as his spokesperson, amplified the lie to the press.

Despite eyewitness testimony, real-time tweets from another reporter, and an audio recording demonstrating that he was lying, Scanlon issued this statement:

“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

Lie upon lie upon lie.

As Politifact noted after the assault,  Scanlon’s statement was an effort to dishonestly shift the blame from Gianforte, the “sole aggressor,” to Jacobs.

Scanlon’s lies were reported by ABC Fox, CNBC, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and hundreds of media outlets across the country.

While we can all learn from our mistakes, Scanlon seems to have never publicly apologized nor even issued a correction for his lie, which raises a rather important question: why would the members of the media covering the Daines campaign believe anything he says now?

Given that the centerpiece of the GOP campaign against Governor Bullock seems to be that it is somehow dishonest for someone to change his mind about running for an office, it should be astonishing that Daines would hire someone who has demonstrated that he’s willing to lie win a race, but it’s not.

It just more of the same from the gang that just can’t tell the truth.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • Ever smell a snake den? When they rattlesnakes get together in their nest under a rock, tangle up to keep each other warm. You can smell the stink coming out and know you’re in the presence of danger, they don’t need to rattle because I’m already got outta Dodge. Can’t get away from this particular reptile, no matter how disgusting and vile I know him to be. I can tell by looking at his smarmy sneaky face, with those shifty eyes. I had him figured out from the way he stands. Do not turn your back on this strange little guy. He is a Smeagol out looking for his “precious”.

    He can turn on ya if he smells coal, oil, metals! He loves unregulated 6 trillion dollar bailouts. They have all kinds precious treasure for him to root around and “acquire for voters”. Don’t worry, he only steals for his constituents, that’s not you. You do not have what he desires to possess: money, power, influence, and charisma.

    He fights for his homies with Trillions nowadays. He saw Montana unemployed would get 600 extra and that is too much for his poor trash back home. He said that was “perverse” because we need to be fearful and hungry, not secure for a little while. Yep, he thinks you should SUFFER on your scraps and be grateful. Unemployed are bottom feeders living off the system. Get out there and find a job even though the government took the one you had already. And take whatever you can get, a job is job! He’s never worked before but he’s seen work.

    Will that leave enough Trillions for all his friends who already don’t know how much they have? He doesn’t want the unemployed getting a little extra since he wants you begging for a job by the time you get Unemployment. He likes eager slaves who work for their daily rice portion. Don’t be getting uppity and expecting decent wages when CEOs are struggling to buy a second island and need cash now. JG Wentworth calls him when they need cash now.

    Daines’ friends leave Super Fund Site turds everywhere like Billion dollar shits left for us to clean up forever, if we live! Don’t worry, no toxic waste sites allowed by his houses, just out where nobody cares. He won’t ever have be around it so he doesn’t care.

    Now for Exxon Valdeez Nuts Montana Oil Spill 2020!!!! Everyone is on board for our new XXXL PIPELINE, bigger and better than before! The word is work started Monday while you weren’t looking they are sneaking it in! It’s already had a couple of massive oil spills, but they promise to pay attention to environmental bullshit or whatever from here on out. 400,000 gallons is only half an Olympic sized swimming pool.

    The CANADIAN company laying their huge pipe in our bread basket, without our consent, squirting twice now, is here to bring you oil that you will not ever get. Alaskans get a check. Montanans should get a check for natural resources Daines is stealing from us all and selling back to us!

    If you don’t like sporadic uncontrolled oil dumps anywhere ever, too bad. They’re gonna make you lay down and take it. The CANADIANS at TC and The BIG 5 Banks, some Hedge Funds, all those friends of ours needing help right now, are investing in black gold. It’s coming through your yard. If they have your mortgage, they can just take your house back and call in that loan. If not, they are going to take your property anyway, they are going to need a nice big easement that you can’t ever use again. Eminent Domain has already been used a few times and the courts sided with the pipeline! Thanks Steve Daines for ending property right and supporting seizure of property by the government! You’re a hypocrite. Fascism is just as bad Steve.

    Eminent Domain is for public use. Our common good. Not Wall-Street/Bank/Oil/Canadians for private profits. Do we get free gas? No! Montana is subject to the highest prices and for the longest season of heat. We bought a coal mine without consent on NW Energy’s insistence. Just a few billion we are going to have added to our bills forever.

    Is it in the Constitution that the Queen can make you give her easements?, You know, because Canada is her property she sneaks her pipe in? She can finally get her foot in the door again because Americans don’t fight anything anymore!

    Oh and Steve Daines worked in CHINA for 6 years when he was a whore for big pharma, P&G. He built several factories so Chinese can work for a dollar for Trillionaires. Take care of our medicines in your very sanitary and standard-checked sweatshop. Then Daines knew he could sell those pills to stupid Americans for hundreds of dollars and they’d have to pay.

    I’m looking forward to giving him another chance to really screw us good. I know Montanans like pollution and enriching all the banks and foreign countries of the world. We hate being able to afford healthcare so we’d prefer to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security too. Daines hates all Commie perversity. He just lets business use government to take everything from you.

    Don’t worry, he understands you can’t afford anything ever, it’s because you’re poor. That’s really sad for you and your terrible life. He just can’t really help with any of that, so he’s going to cut big government for you, and use big government for bailouts for himself and his best friends. He knows you won’t vote him out because you’re just so sweet and giving. Montanans really come together when it’s time to give away your birthright. You should feel really good about the pipeline destroying a massive amount of farmland. They might hire 100 Canadians temporarily and that is job creation.

    This little cave dweller, Steve Daines, who appears to have had a face lift, or molted recently, is not what I expected from Montana. Where are the men and women with integrity and values? He Is not Montanan! He is not American. He seems to prefer staying loyal to money. He can’t have two masters and we all know money is what he serves. That is a bad thing, not a good thing for people who believe in right and wrong.

    If he cared about people he would never have built several Chinese factories putting God only knows in your expensive medicines ? Did he help get people hooked on Opioids to sell more for pharmaceutical companies? Does he still have stock with P&G? If so he wants expensive drugs for you and cheap Chinese labor for him. American jobs cut into profit margins and have to be regulated for safety. He’s sorry if he started the virus thing with his factories, I’m sure. But it sure has helped him get his fingers on some of that freshly created money that came out of nowhere on demand.

    Unemployment? Paid sick leave? Education? Medicare for all? How we gonna pay for it? Impossible! We don’t have that kind of money to blow on bullshit for everyone! Steve doesn’t want us to do that. He wants it for friends only so they can figure out how to steal it. If the poor people have more money it makes him feel less rich, so he feels bad about himself.

    If you vote for him after really thinking about it and deciding he’s not a serpent, then we know how that story went. You have no excuse about he tricked you. Greedy, cheating, backstabbing, evil people will lie to your face. It happens. Learn how to discern good from bad. Smell the snakes, listen for the rattle. Don’t cry when ya get bit.

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