“Stapleton did not respond to requests for comment”: Last Week in Review
Helena – Since May, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton has repeatedly and baselessly asserted that there was widespread voter fraud in the May 25 Special Election. And last week, it was clear that he is feeling the consequences of his reckless accusations.
On August 7, the Associated Press reported that Stapleton’s former Deputy Chief of Staff had taken a new job in the state Auditor’s office, just weeks after his Director of Elections mysteriously quit. Days later, Lee Newspapers reported that State Senator Sue Malek sent Stapleton a letter requesting he provide proof of his allegations to legislators at the next State Administration and Veterans Affairs Interim Committee meeting. The Associated Press and Lee Newspapers have both filed similar freedom of information requests, but have not received responses.
Then on Thursday, Stapleton caught some serious heat at the Montana Clerk and Recorder Convention from the same county election officials that are supposed to be his partners.According to Montana Public Radio, during his presentation, one official told him to his face: “All I know is, since February, I think, all of this stuff has just been crammed down my throat.”
To cap off a disastrous week, Stapleton was scorched by editorial boards across Montana over the weekend. The Billings Gazette observed that Stapleton, “has been trying his best to undermine confidence in our state’s election system — without a shred of evidence,” while the Bozeman Daily Chronicle remarked simply, “We deserve more from our secretary of state.”
So how did Stapleton respond to all of these questions and concerns about his baseless voter fraud accusations?
AP: “Stapleton did not respond to requests for comment.”
Lee: “A spokeswoman for Stapleton said Thursday he was at the annual meeting of the state clerks and recorders association and not able to answer questions.”
MTPR: “The secretary of state’s office did not grant MTPR an interview after the presentation Thursday, saying the Secretary was behind schedule after not expecting to speak so long at the [Montana Clerk and Recorder] convention.”
As the turmoil continues to drip drip out of the Secretary of State’s office, it’s clear the pressure on Stapleton is only growing. Sooner or later, Stapleton will have to explain himself and his actions to Montanans.