Bullock’s former deputy communications director, now listed as “acting communications director” (on a 10/7 press release) announces on the 8th that the communications director has been “reassigned” to the biggest do-nothing project on deck, Main Street Montana, and also announces he is jumping ship himself? There’s got to be a story here.
Hm, interesting. This was my reply:
Yeah, I saw that yesterday somewhere. Lots of staff changes. Main Streets Montana has gone nowhere since I profiled it in the spring of 2014. I don't know what's going on, but I'd expect the newspapers to ignore it in favor of clickbait. MTN might have something, but I think they're viewed poorly in the Capitol now, after Dennison's recent digging into dark money.
Anyways, maybe I'll mention this later. A staff chart and schedule for Bullock are what's needed most, in my opinion.
Yep, the emailer had put my own email address as their own. Sneaky.
Must be some Republicans stirring up shit. I suspect it’s someone from the AG’s office – we know they like to go around on Twitter and sow discord, i.e. make people think.
So what should we think? Not much if you go by our Montana media sources.
NBC Montana has two identical stories on the issue, one that appeared on October 8 at 4:33 PM and another that appeared today at about 9:30 AM.
The Flathead Beacon had the exact same story yesterday as well.
I saw yesterday’s post first. Effectively what’s happening is Bullock is losing staff.
Shakeups are nothing new to the Bullock administration.
You’ll remember that on November 20 of last year Bullock replaced his Chief of Staff. Tim Burton was out and Tracy Stone-Manning was in.
So what’s going on this time?
Mike Wessler was Bullock’s deputy communications director. He’ll now be leaving the state.
That’s a minor change, with Tim Crowe set to take over next Tuesday. The real move was Dave Parker.
Dave Parker was the full-time communications director. Now he’ll be heading over to the Main Street Montana Initiative.
Clearly, Bullock has lost faith in Parker and this move is just a holding pattern, one designed to keep Parker on staff and under thumb until further moves can be made.
So what happened?
I feel that there was some bickering in the governor’s office, and I feel this came about because of 2016 campaign strategy.
Currently Bullock is spending most of his time seeing to the needs of the DGA and his own lackluster fundraising efforts.
Montanans pay for this, both in the $4,500 we give him every two weeks and in the duties he’s neglecting in favor of his jaunts and hops and sallies around the country.
I wonder how Dave Parker lost favor.
- Could have challenged Bullock over the disastrous last days of the session, and how the governor should play that hand going into the ad season?
- Could Parker have advocated going after some of the rural voters that the Montana Democratic Party has all but written off, angering Bullock's metropolitan mind?
- Could it be that there was strife between our historically conservative Democrats who want less pandering to Wall Street and the more corporate-minded that feel handouts to bankers are the best way to curry favor?
I don’t have the answers to these questions.
Dave Parker does, and instead of dismissing him Bullock likely decided to banish him to Siberia, if you will, mainly to keep Parker from talking to the press.
How large are the cracks in the Democrat’s armored façade?
That's a great question, one I don't know the answer to.
Of course, we could all be reading a bit too much into this as well. Maybe Parker came into Bullock’s office one day and said something like:
“Jeez, Steve – I’m damn bored in my job, I don’t have any challenges, and the state is just running so goll-darn smooth that I want to go where the future is. That’s Main Streets Montana, the program that we unveiled last spring and have allowed to collect dust ever since. Well, it’s time, Steve, it’s time to do away with those cobwebs.”
I’m not buying it, I’m just not buying it for some reason.
If you have another theory, I’d love to hear it. Comments are open.