I put forth the idea that then-Lieutenant Governor Angela McLean had walked in on the governor while he was “in the act.”
I put forth those ideas because people contacted me with them. I in no way sought that information out.
I decided to go with it because it seemed plausible and because I had more than once source telling me this information.
After I put up the story, I got more sources telling me the information was true.
None of these rumors were ever mentioned in the mainstream Montana press, or anywhere else that I can tell.
They died out, Angela McLean was quietly replaced a month later, and life went on.
So here we find ourselves, just over two months now since those rumors started.
Nothing has happened.
Does that mean the story isn’t true? Possibly.
It could also mean the story has been covered up.
I decided to find out, and I did so by going on a little hunt today.
If you’re going to start a good hunt you want a good map, a plan, a strategy.
In this case that involved the phone. A good place to start with that is the Montana State Government Agency Phone Listings.
When you go there you can go off onto smaller agencies. I chose these to call:
- Department of Commerce;
- Governor’s Office;
- Commissioner of Higher Education;
- Attorney General’s Office;
- Commissioner of Political Practices;
- Secretary of State.
I also made a few calls to people in the Capitol that aren’t involved with the “real” work.
So what did I find out…and who did I call?
Well, I thought about making up a big spreadsheet before I even got started, one with the person’s name, phone, and probability that they’d talk.
Instead I just started calling people.
The first person I called today was the Director of American Indian/Minority Achievement.
That would be Angela McLean, and I have to admit, I was quite nervous about this call.
- Would she berate me?
- Would she ridicule me?
- Would she just hang up?
I wondered all those things as I called the 444-number.
The phone rang about 5 times and then gave that half-ring before the answering machine picks up.
I was expecting to hear McLean’s voice, but instead I heard another woman telling me she was head of something or other and to leave my name and phone number.
I did, saying I was surprised that this wasn’t McLean’s number, and that I’d appreciate it if someone could call me back.
After that I called the Department of Commerce’s Communications Director.
On the website, Ronja Abel is still listed in the position. That’s strange, as I reported her moving to the Governor’s office back on January 6.
I was quite surprised to get her answering machine after 5 rings or so.
- First, isn’t anyone in state government working at 9:13 in the morning?
- Next, why is Ronja Abel’s voicemail messaging system still set up with the Department of Commerce?
- Finally, who is the Communications Director at the Department of Commerce these days…anyone?
Those questions would have to remain unanswered…for now.
Two strikes, but I was still swinging.
After that I called up the Policy Advisor/Executive Assistant in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, McCall Flynn.
Again, no one was there.
I left messages with each and everyone of these people, telling them who I was, the name of my website, why I was calling, and I gave them my number to call me back.
The reason I told them I was calling was because I was writing a 2-month follow up story about the incidents around the Lieutenant Governor’s departure.
For my fourth call I headed over to the Governor’s Office directly.
Tim Crowe was still listed as Communications Director so I thought I’d give him a ring.
All I got on this one was a very dejected-sounding “Tim Crowe” and then a beep.
I again left the same message about my 2-month follow-up story. I again doubted I’d get any kind of reply.
Since no one seemed to be working on a Thursday morning at 9:20, I kept calling people.
Next up was Dave Parker, the Senior Advisor to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
I doubted very much that he’d pick up, but what the hell?
Again, there was no answer. Could it be that the state bigwigs had programmed my number into their do-not-call lists?
I dunno – but I kept trying, kept leaving messages. After all, maybe everyone was in some kind of huge meeting somewhere. In that case, I could probably expect a ton of phone calls later in the day.
Until then, back to the phones.
Why not see what’s going on with the Attorney General’s Office? I decided to give Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion a call.
Finally, a person.
It was not Jon Bennion, but it was a woman, a secretary I believe. I told her I was looking to talk to Bennion and that I was Greg Strandberg and have a website called Big Sky Words.
I was transferred…and got voicemail.
So I left the same message…though I did commend Bennion on his office staff’s ability to actually be at their desk.
Well, at this point I was getting darn frustrated.
Doesn’t anyone in state government work?
I decided to call the people I knew would be working, some low-rung folks in the Capitol.
I went ahead and asked if they’d heard about any rumors. Pretty much they'd just heard what had been in the papers.
After that we just bullshitted about the problems of state government, how out of touch the Democrats seem to be, and just how bad the GOP is as well.
For instance, did you know Tim Fox is a major slum lord in Helena?
Yeah, that guy owns tons of low-rent, crappy apartments that feed off of people living in poverty.
I guess you could argue those places help low-income folks. He probably got into renting shortly after he moved to Helena in 1995 “to assist then Governor Marc Racicot in his bid for reelection.”
It could also be that he got into it after becoming Vice-President and Legal Counsel for “a Helena-based national bank, Mountain West Bank.”
At some point he also “served in leadership positions on the board of directors of low income and disabled housing projects in Billings.”
Since no one’s running against Tim Fox as a Democrat in 2016, however, what the hell’s the point in bringing all that up?
What we wanted to do was bring up more information on Bullock’s alleged affair.
It seems there is none, at least none coming to me.
Or was it as the papers say, there was a falling out…for whatever reason.
In two months that question has not been answered. In that time, however:
- Angela McLean left her job;
- Angela McLean got a new, ‘better’ job;
- Dave Parker got transferred out of the Governor’s Office;
- Dave Parker’s girlfriend got transferred into the Governor’s Office.
To me, those things seem strange. Still, as it stands I just have the:
- December 2 morning email;
- December 2 noon email;
- December 2 evening email.
The first confirmed the affair rumors, the second confirmed that Capitol reporters were looking into those rumors, and the third confirmed the rumors again.
There’s a story here – I know it.
If you have anything to say, feel free to email me at:
Or call me at 274-4404.