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Steve Bullock Deserves the Same Scrutiny Roy Moore Received

by Matthew Monforton Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Days after Montana Lt. Gov. Angela McLean announced her mysterious resignation in late 2015, Gov. Steve Bullock explained during a press conference that “it wasn’t that good a fit.”  David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard and the Billings Gazette, wasn’t buying it. “There’s something there,” he told Bullock.

Indeed there was. The details are here.

Montana’s press corps never published any explanation as to why McLean resigned, despite Bullock running for re-election in 2016 and his vanity run for the White House three years later.  Ditto the eunuchs who run the MTGOP and who knew of the story in early 2016 but sat on it rather than take the fight to Bullock the way Donald Trump did to Hillary Clinton.

The national press corps hasn’t followed up, perhaps understandably, given that Bullock’s clown-show run for the presidency never gained traction.  Nobody outside of Montana has had much reason to pay attention to its governor.

All that is about to change.  After months of arm twisting by Democrat heavy hitters – including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Pres. Barack Obama, Bullock will enter Montana’s U.S. Senate race on Monday.  Control of the Senate may well rest on how Bullock does – and the scrutiny he receives.  

The McLean scandal is now one that cries out for a serious investigation by serious out-of-state journalists.   

Something along the lines of the Washington Post’s investigation of the Alabama senate race in 2017. 

A Post journalist was preparing a routine story about Roy Moore’s senate campaign, but then took a different road:

While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls.  Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women.  All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore.

The Post’s efforts included interviews of more than 30 people who knew Moore in the late 1970s and early 1980s when his abuses occurred. The reporters quoted the victims by name and the friends to whom the victims confided.  The paper dug up court records and other evidence corroborating the victims’ statements.  When the Post was finally ready to publish, it had locked down the story so tight that only a positive result from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Israeli pedophile detector could have made it tighter.  Moore was toast once the Post decided to post.

That old-fashioned, shoe-leather journalism unearthed reprehensible secrets from four decades ago, flipped a senate seat in 2017, and won the Post a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize.  

It would be nice to think that that same spirit might spring to life again at the Washington Post or other major news outlets, even though it’s now a Montana Democrat rather than a rightwing Alabaman with skeletons to hide.

Control of the U.S. Senate next year may well depend upon Montana’s race. Bullock’s candidacy could profoundly impact national politics.  It deserves national scrutiny – the kind Roy Moore’s received.

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