As previously reported by the Montana Daily Gazette, Governor Steve Bullock and Pioneer Technical Services have been feverishly trying to censor Republican advertisements by threatening the media outlets who’ve published them. The scandal revolves around financial nepotism in Bullock’s administration, and move than 14 million dollars of public tax dollars given to his brother’s firm between 2013 and 2017, and over two million dollars just this year.
As the Gazette reported at the time, “The accusations, made since at least 2012, is that Governor Bullock steered millions of dollars in state contractor grants to donors, his former law and lobbying firm and the firm run by his brother, William – Pioneer Technical Services. The accusations seem to have merit in 2020’s unique political climate, as Montana citizens are watching Governor Bullock dispense a massive amount of federal coronavirus relief funds based upon what many believe is best for his campaign for U.S. Senate. The politicization of COVID-19 relief in regards to how Bullock is spending public money has gone thusfar unconsidered in most of Montana’s media.”
Well, the attempt to censor Republican ads has not gone unchallenged, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee has fired off a defensive volley by their legal counsel, deriding Bullock and his brother’s company for their inappropriate and allegedly corrupt actions.
Attorney Ryan Dollar warned the Bullock-Pioneer allegiance, “We write today to demand that you immediately cease and desist from any attempts to interfere in our business relationships with Montana television stations and to use corporate resources to infringe on the NRSC’s protected speech.”
Their response focused at one point on their objection to the Republican accusation Bullock had steered funds to William Bullock’s company. They write…
To be clear, “steering” is defined by Merriam-Webster as meaning: “to control or direct4 the course
of.” According to the Montana government, “[t]he Governor makes all final decisions on all
restoration plans and associated funding.”Indeed, 2-15-103, MCA provides that “the governor has
full powers of supervision, approval, direction, and appointment” over state agencies, which include
the nine agencies that contracted with your company (emphasis added). In practice, there are
numerous press accounts of Bullock personally exercising this obligation, including in the context of
projects that involved your company.”
The attorney’s statement solidifies the Republican accusation that William Bullock was still in control of the compnay while it was receiving state funds, something denied by Bullock’s campaign and denied by Pioneer Technological Resources.
They write, “Secondly, you object to the implication that Bill Bullock remained involved with your firm after he
‘sold his interest’ in the company in 2009. Bill Bullock’s involvement with Pioneer Technical
Services after 2009 is remarkably easy to demonstrate. Your company’s corporate filings submitted
to the Secretaries of State for Montana, Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, and Washington establish
beyond any doubt that Bill Bullock served on your company’s Board of Directors for the entirety of
Steve Bullock’s tenure as governor. Moreover, these legal filings indicate that Bullock’s brother is
currently serving as Chairman of its Board of Directors and classified by the state of Alaska as a
“shareholder” with an ownership stake. Lastly, a simple google search for “William J Bullock
Montana” provides a link to a profile that identifies Bullock’s brother as serving on Pioneer
Technical Services’ Board of Directors.