Washington Post Notes Rick Hill’s Poor Leadership

The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog highlighted Rick Hill’s reputation for poor leadership this week.

At issue is an AP article uncovered by Democrats profiling Hill’s lack of leadership abilities.  Apparently, Hill “buzz-sawed through three chiefs of staff, three legislative directors and three schedulers in just two years” and that he “lent new meaning to the term ‘micromanage’ when he went ballistic after an aide ordered the wrong kind of office paper.”

If he can’t even manage a small congressional staff, he’s going to have trouble serving as the head of the executive branch in charge of running the entire state.

On Friday, the Post released a ranked list of the most competitive gubernatorial races across the country. Montana is again one of the top five to watch this cycle.  Here’s how the Washington Post described the race:

“4. Montana (Democratic-controlled): This is by all accounts a Republican-leaning state, but Democrats have a statewide official, in Attorney General Steve Bullock, while Republicans have a pretty uncertain crop of candidates. The leading GOP contender appears to be former congressman Rick Hill, who Democrats noted this week was once rated the second most-difficult boss in Congress. We have yet to see what Hill is made of, but it will go a long way in determining the GOP’s chances here. An automated poll from Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling this week showed Bullock and Hill tied at 39 percent.”

The entire AP article on Rick Hill’s lack of leadership skills can be read below the fold.

Associated Press

June 19, 1999

Magazine finds Hill second most-difficult boss in Congress

HELENA (AP) – Rep. Rick Hill of Montana is the second most-difficult boss among members of the U.S. House and Senate, according to a Washington, D.C., magazine.

In its July issue, the magazine George reports Hill “buzz-sawed through three chiefs of staff, three legislative directors and three schedulers in just two years. A former aide says the Montana representative lent new meaning to the term ‘micromanage’ when he went ballistic after an aide ordered the wrong kind of office paper.”

The magazine listed the 10 toughest bosses on Capitol Hill, based on interviews with current and former congressional staff members.

“Congressional aides work long and thankless hours serving the public,” says the article. “How do their bosses reward them? With tantrums, tongue lashings and flying objects.”

George reports that Hill, “who fills some afternoons playing Free Cell, a computer game, once angrily hurled a letter opener at an aide. In one memorable outburst at staffers who had brought him the wrong sandwich, he shouted, `I don’t eat deli.’ Hill is also know for talking about firing one staff member in front of another.

Hill issued this statement on Friday: “I expect a lot out of myself in this job, and I expect a lot out of my staff. I also expect my staff to spend taxpayers’ dollars prudently. I make no apology for this.”

He referred to the George article indirectly when he spoke at the Montana Republican Party’s convention Saturday in Helena.

Introducing some of the people who work for him, Hill said to a laughing audience, “A few of my staff members were released from the infirmary this morning.”

George ranks Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., as the most difficult boss in Congress. Ranked in slots 3-10 are Sen. Robert Toricelli, D-N.J.; Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.; Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah; Rep. Sheila Jackson, D-Texas; Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; Rep. Lynn Rivers, D-Mich.; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich,; and Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho.



33 Comments on "Washington Post Notes Rick Hill’s Poor Leadership"

  1. Get the popcorn Martha it looks like the Girls in Montana, will have plenty of Republican Reruns to watch in Montana this summer….

    Meanwhile our Illustrious Denny Rehberg is doing what ever he can to vote against Jobs again. This Time Dennis the menace and his lockstep buddies voted last friday against a motion in the National Defense Authorization Act – seeking to protect American jobs by requiring that naval and U.S. flagged vessels providing service to the Federal Government may not be overhauled, repaired, or maintained in a shipyard outside the U.S. or Guam without a waiver from the Secretary of Defense.

    Yep he is not for any jobs anywhere that is American! Stay Class warfare like Denny! The American Public will kick your can out the door come November

  2. In a competition it gets down to a comparison. Just how did Bullock lead on medical marijuana? Pogo has a revealing comment: http://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/another-single-issue-revolt/#comment-87173

    Bullock has tried to be on both sides of this issue when in reality he is in the middle of it as a willing participant. He repeatedly turned down requests from the legislature to offer opinions and recommendations on structuring new and existing laws dealing with the MM industry. He delayed requests from Montana County Attorney’s for opinions on enforcement of MM statutes. He also out right lied to business people entering into MM businesses who asked him direct questions about existing laws and proposed legislation that would impact their businesses.

    Regardless of which side of the MM issue one might take, it is clear that Bullock did nothing to aid in resolving problems and uncertainties in existing MM laws. A lot of this mess rests firmly in his lap.

    Now is that example of pusillanimous political maneuvering the leadership what Montanans want in a governor?

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | May 20, 2012 8:44 PM at 8:44 PM |

        Now, WHICH Pube do you think is gonna agree with this? Which of the Seven Pube Mental Dwarfs?

        Cheesey, or

        Which one will agree with Bullock, Craig?

        And BTW, did you see Baldy and his trained seal in their commercial? Was it supposed to be funny, ’cause it sure as hell is!

        They said that they won’t take a paycheck until they create 1000 jobs. What HORSESHIT! Why don’t them to two losers get some REAL skin in the game?! Let’s see if they have REAL nuts!

        How ’bout they don’t take ANY hated gubmint health care until EVERY Montanan has some health care of some kind?? Methinks I just heard Baldy’s nuts srhivel UP on that one!

    • Again whether you liked it or not it was his job as a state attorney to cooperate with federal Authority and state authority. Nothing in the MM laws stated that he could not, or would not help them, and a lot of state enacted laws against drugs were still on the books, and didn’t speak to that change.

      The Problem with our MM laws is they were not bullet proof, were worded poorly and alot of provisions didn’t help those that truly needed Medical Marijuana’s help. Some of the core personalities on MM’s side didn’t help either. The bill can still be tailored successfully as an Initiative, Yet now we let it enter the court system where it can stay for years tied up in procedure.

      Sorry but Pogos comment doesn’t move me at all. No one wishes to evolve past the finger pointing, to help those at need. I am still very much for MM laws, but right now, I see no one grown up enough to carry the bil,l through the right channels and hack away at old laws that still exist.

      Here again is another example of Political Flim-flamery where again everyone thinks you can just wave a magic bill and everything will go away, or it is one persons fault! It is neither!

      Just over a year ago, the powers that be in Philadelphia effectively decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana by offering offenders the chance to enroll in a three-hour class that would expunge the offense from their records. Not only did this give Philadelphia police more time and energy to focus on more serious crimes, it has also saved the city a pretty sizable Ziploc bag of green stuff.

      “We were spending thousands of dollars for when someone possessed $10 or $15 worth of weed,” District Attorney Seth Williams tells the Philadelphia Daily News. “It just didn’t make any sense.”

      Under the program, being caught with up to 30 grams of marijuana is no longer a misdemeanor but a summary offense. By simply paying $200 to attend the three-hour class on the ills of drug use and abuse, the arrestee’s record is wiped clean of the offense.

      Before this change, offenders faced up to $500 in fines and possible, though unlikely jail time. If the suspect fought the charges, this meant expenses for the city — prosecutors, judges, lab tests, public defenders, etc. By all but decriminalizing pot, Williams estimates that the city has saved $2 million in the last 12 months. By doctors note alone you could wipe the 200 dollar fine and 3 hour class out for users who need it for medical purposes.


      Montana has yet to reconcile those other Marijuana laws as a crime. that is where we should have started first!

    • Nice try Craig, but fail.

      First, Bullock is required to adhere to the law as the Attorney General. Fact is, Federal Law does trump State law. Bullock knew that, the legislature knew that and the MM people knew that. They depended on an assumed protection from procecution that simply did not exist from citizen initiative passed in Montana. Anyone that expected a different outcome was just irrational. The Legislature failing to address the issue for years only made the matter worse.

      Much of Pogo’s comment was opinion without any kind of reference. I am sure many people were unhappy about Bullock’s part in the raids held here in Montana as well as the various litigations that have resulted from it but again, I would remind you that it was HIS DAMN JOB to be involved in those litigations. The Attorney General may be a partisan elected official but he is first, and foremost, an agent of the court. He is required to uphold the law, not the partisan posturing you would rather he do.

      • As a side note, I am really losing any respect for you at all. You seem to have made google skills but you fail to present any valid arguments.. just a string of links you feel might or might not incriminate left leaning politicians. It is sad, really. You used to be someone I could have real discussions with.

        • Moorcat, don’t be such a judgmental, moralizing hypocrite. You cherry pick who you judge and the criteria for your judgments. When you have engaged me, we have had discussions. Seems you choose to end that, so be it. Your choice. But, don’t think every comment I write has the intention of engaging you.

          • No, Craig, I cherry pick who I engage in discussion with. I have zero tolerance anymore for the idiocy, hyperbole and stupidity when it comes to political discussions. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass who you were intending to “engage” with your comment. This is a blog freely available for public consumption and until such time as we can selectively engage any specific commentor, when you post a comment, you post it for all to see.

            As far as “ending it”, Yes, I choose to end dealing with the stupidity and bat shit crazy partisan crap you have started to resort to. I will “engage you in discussion” when you pull your head out of your ass and start actually discussing things.

            • I’m sorry to have called you a hypocrite. I didn’t know you were blind in your left eye over partisan crap.

              • the HYPOcrite who calls someone else a Hypocrite? How precious is that?????

                • Norma, on two separate occasions here at this blog you announced that you wouldn’t engage me anymore. Once more you lie. That makes you quite the hypocrite.

                  And Sexual Assualt continues to be a crime under Montana law. The feds have not supersede this.

                  • Queen City Dem | May 21, 2012 6:04 PM at 6:04 PM |

                    Craig, First, I think you’ll find if you calm down, you’ll be able to type slower and thereby perhaps avoid coming across as incoherent. It was the legislature, and the ballot initiative authors who crafted the language that became Montana law. Attorney Generals don’t make the law, they are in the executive branch and are forced to uphold whatever laws are passed, well crafted or no.

                    • QCD, tell it Eric Holder who stated his concern: “The allegations that the University of Montana, the local police department and the county attorney’s office failed to adequately address sexual assaults are very disturbing”

                      Sexual assault is a crime under Montana law and all other states as well. Anyone who suggest that the feds have pre-empted state law in this regard is either highly misinformed or just plain a liar. The AG should have been all over this if he were doing his job.

                    • Craig show me were it says it was the state’s AG fault. You continue to falsely assert it.

                    • Queen City Dem | May 21, 2012 7:48 PM at 7:48 PM |

                      He can’t. The very quote he uses proves his own statement false. Either that or he doesn’t understand the difference between the Missoula County Attorney and the Attorney General.

      • BTW, no one has ever contradicted what Pogo brought to light.

        And even more egregious failure of Bullock’s leadership is over the rape mess in Missoula. Where has he been to address it, investigate, and protect students attending a state institution? No wonder the feds had to step in with Bullock’s vacuous response.

        • BOy Craig your just full of inconstant BS today arent you! Not only did I just blow Pogo’s commentary out of the water….

          I am going to tell you to stop distorting the facts surrounding the rape mess in Missoula. It was and will continue to lie at the feet of the County AG, Police force, and College Campus…. it is not Bullocks doing whatsoever. By law the County Attorney had a duty to tell the state AG– he didn’t! By Law the Police force had a duty to tell the State AG– they didn’t!

          Violence against women is a Federal crime. The FBI and the US Attorney had every right to come into this problem at any ongoing level of investigation, and they did! Sorry you don’t like it. but in the end, the male assholes that tried to bury the crimes against women in the city of Missoula will either be fired, or sent to the big House.

          I understand the dean of the school might now be involved as well. May all the men found guilty of these cover ups in Missoula get what they deserve!

          You might have a right to sling BS Craig, But we all have a right to ignore your crap for what it is. Just because you fantasize your comments are facts, doesn’t make them real!

          • Norma, Bullock duties are to Montana’s chief legal officer, chief law enforcement officer, director of the Department of Justice, and hold supervisory authority over all county attorneys. The rapes have been in the news on several occasions. There are over 80 rapes in the Missoula area. Unless he lives under a rock, no one had to tell him given the very public knowledge of these crimes.

            As to Pogo, only smoke came out of your barrel. Why hadn’t Bullock provided legal guidance to the legislature, county attorneys, and businesses that asked for it? He has the”…authority to provide legal opinions—which carry the weight of law—to the Legislature; to state officers, boards or commissions; to city attorneys and to county commissioners and county attorneys.” Leadership is out in front, not hiding behind a desk.

            • Craig, as I pointed out before, we only have pogo’s word that the AG was consulted and failed to provide guidence. That has yet to be specifically addressed with facts. You have decided that pogo’s unsubstanciated comments at another blog are factual (mainly because they support your attempt to give Bullock a black eye) and are therefore attempting to get us to accept them as fact. I will not do so. Buck up, man, and present actual facts instead of rumor. The fact is that Bullock was doing his job in working with the Federal Authorities. The AG has to follow the law, regardless of what we would have rather he done.

          • Also, Norma, if you think sexual assault is solely a federal matter, you should consider MCA 45-5-202. Our chief law enforcement officer not only has the authority, but the duty to protect the people.

  3. Margolis for Governor.

  4. Craig read what I wrote and the laws for a change and stop pulling crap out of your Pants!
    “He has the…authority to provide legal opinions—which carry the weight of law—to the Legislature; to state officers, boards or commissions; to city attorneys and to county commissioners and county attorneys.”

    No one asked Steve in the MIssoula rape case to get involved,they just buried the facts. No one in Law enforcement in Missoula bumped this up the chain of command as they are by law supposed to do, and then only if they could not handle it! Thats the way the law works. Local levels are supposed to take out the trash and make arrest themselves they didn’t!

    But Someone ( probably a women) was smart enough to know it was also against federal law and got the FBI and Justice department involved. Something, certain people hiding the rapes in the first place, didn’t think would happen.

    ON the MM laws: The GOP was to busy trying to crush the MM laws to ask either. The AG can decline to give Opinions to private parties it is done all the time. Even though he has the authority, it has always been at his whim by Law.

    Keep waving around that Harry Potter wand and mumbling Craig. Your chances aren’t going to get any better talking to me…. I know How the laws work.

    That still doesn’t make Steve Bullock responsible. Do you have any Idea How many cases the state of Montana was in that Steve and Other lawyers in his office had to write briefs for? DO YOu? Hundreds! Plus cases still in court from 2009 up! You People act like the AG’s Job is some nice civilized 9-5 job. It is probably one of the hardest American Jobs in the country.

    It was the law enforcement in Missoula County that let the rape cases get out of hand.

    Keep Waving the wand Craig!!!!!

    • It is a fiduciary duty Craig to go through the Chain of command when following law. As Long as anyone follows that Duty they are in the right. the Missoula AG and the Police and Sheriff’s Office, and the college campus personal did not follow Fiduciary Duty to pass this up the chain of command.

    • Norma, the DOJ is investigating the handling by the county attorney: http://missoulian.com/doj-letter-about-missoula-county-attorney-s-office-investigation/pdf_0f7d28a8-93d6-11e1-88e5-001a4bcf887a.html

      Re: Investigation of the Missoula County Attorney’s Office

      Dear Commissioners Carey, Curtiss, and Landquist, and County Attorney Van Valkenburg:

      This letter is to inform you that the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights
      Division and United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana are commencing an
      investigation of the Missoula County Attorney’s Office pursuant to the Violent Crime Control
      and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 (“Section 14141”), and the pattern or
      practice provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C.
      § 3789d (“Safe Streets Act”).

      ONE MORE TIME, it’s both within Bullock’s authority and his duty to supervise county attorney’s and protect the people. When the rape count hit 20 in Missoula, why didn’t he come out and form an AG’s Task Force like all the other AG Task Force projects?

  5. Yea so, the college broke federal law. How many times do I have to tell you rape is a federal Crime now. So the US Govrenment is allowed to investigate independent of state law. State law that County officials did not follow, and did not send word up to Steve Bullocks office about being broken. You can keep trying to twist the truth Craig, but you still are not right!

    This conversation with you is getting nowhere, because you do not know state and federal Law AT ALL! Your Wrong Craig! Get over it!

    • Your Magic wand isn’t working!

    • The feds came in because our state’s chief legal enforcement officer, Bullock, was sitting on his hands. This has never happened in the sexual assault arena before for the feds to act because an AG like Bullock was hiding under a rock and oblivious to 80 rapes over 3 years and doing something about it.

    • Is Craig just one of those that believe that players on winning footballs can do what ever they want?

      I think that’s half the beef of people that are upset with the Feds being involved. They are worried that the team won’t do well next year if they lose some “good” players to this mess.

  6. Keep talking, to yourself Craig! What happened at the Campus was a federal crime and someone called the feds. Your fooling only yourself!

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