What I heard has to do with the McLean Lt. Governor fiasco that we went through last month.
What really happened there?
No one really knows, though it’s been chalked-up to a bad working relationship with the governor.
Alright, that’s the official storyline – fine.
But is it the truth?
A Recap of Events in Early October
I do know from our Bullock-Mclean Dispute Timeline that Dave Parker was the Communications Director for Bullock.
This meant he had to ferry messages between various staff members in the governor’s office and cabinet. One of those people would have been McLean.
You’ll remember that McLean, Bullock and Parker all had a meeting on September 27 where it was revealed they “did not believe McLean could be happy in her job.”
We know that after this meeting “tension seemed to come to a head.”
Then on October 1 McLean and Bullock have their own, private meeting.
Something happened in that meeting, for that day or the next Dave Parker calls McLean up and tells her “to imagine a workplace if she stayed in her post, but Bullock took away her initiatives and her ability to serve the people of Montana.”
So…what the hell happened?
The official story, unofficially of course, is that McLean had voiced the idea of challenging Bullock for the nomination in 2016.
Things cool off after that, or at least a détente or stalemate is reached.
This pretty much comes about because McLean says she won’t leave her job.
A few days pass and Parker comes back and tells McLean that Bullock wants her in a “more traditional” role as Lt. Gov.
A day or two later McLean emails Bullock what Parker had told her about having her duties taken away.
The next day Parker is reassigned to Main Streets Montana. Whether he’s still in the governor’s office or at Commerce, I’m not sure.
The way I see it, this is punishment for Parker.
After this we have a period of silence as McLean tries to contact Bullock.
Sometime over the next few days or week Bullock brings in Tracy Stone-Manning to handle his staff communications with McLean. This causes the McLean-Bullock relationship to sour further.
New Developments in January
We still get to the question of what caused the rift between Bullock and McLean.
Many are not satisfied with the official story. That’s why the rumors of an affair continue to swirl.
You’ll remember that we discussed these rumors a month ago, rumors that claimed Bullock and Meg O’Leary were having an affair.
Those rumor are still swirling, though quietly and in back hallways.
And people are beginning to search on the internet, as I'm registering the keywords in my analytics reports.
Maybe that's why Bullock has done some more staff shuffling.
That’s where Ronja Abel comes into play.
Who’s that, you say?
It’s Meg O’Leary’s Communications Director.
Well, I should say was Meg O’Leary’s Communications Director.
You see, as of this week, Abel has quietly been moved from the Commerce Department to the Governor’s Office.
As you saw on her LinkedIn page, she’s now the Governor’s Deputy Director of Communications.
You can find additional evidence of this move on Abel’s Twitter account.
I’m not sure how David Parker feels about this. He used to be Bullock’s Communications Director, after all.
I guess it’d be easy for Abel to find out – she’s his live-in-girlfriend.
I have to give props – a 50-something state worker getting a 20-something girlfriend is pretty impressive.
Abel was at the Commerce Department, which just so happens to be the same place that Main Street Montana is primarily run out of.
Could be...could be.
It could also be that Bullock is still cleaning house after whatever really happened that caused the rift with McLean.
But remember, these are just rumors.