Amid fiscal crisis, Stapleton spent $58,000 redecorating office

Amid the state budget crunch, Corey Stapleton, the combative Secretary of State, remodeled his office with $58,000 of furniture and amenities from a local high-end interior design outfit called KR Office Interiors, according to the state transparency website that reveals all expenditures.   I would encourage everyone to go through them in their entirety for the Secretary of State’s office for 2017. The interior remodeling and all other expenses be found in the checkbook accounts payable and the checkbook credit card.    

You might think that $58K in interior upgrades is a grotesque extravagance for a state official to make in his first months in office, until you see the bigger number which is far worse: Stapleton in 2017 is on pace to spend $1 million more than Linda McCulloch spent in 2016 to run the Secretary of State’s office, which would be more than a 100% increase in the operating budget for the Secretary of State’s office.  The expenditures are a litany of sushi restaurants, food for parties, cars, trucks, tires, five star hotels, a foreign trip, coffee stops, and lord knows what else.

Left unsaid in these documents is the exact purpose for some of these expenditures.  Given Stapleton’s refusal to take press calls, I doubt we’ll ever truly get to the bottom of why, for example, he spent $1600 at the Hampton Inn one night or tens of thousands on airline tickets, hotels and innumerable travel related expenses and restaurant feasts, when you add them all up. And refreshment is an important thing to him and his staff.  A tiny example, repeated dozens of times in similar ways, is $78 at Gloria Jeans coffee in Sky City, New Zealand.  Why are taxpayers paying for coffee overseas when a strict per diem reimbursement is supposed to be made to any state employee on travel?  As to the opulent furnishings from not only K R Office Interiors (a vendor that does not appear as a payee for any other state agency) but also tens of thousand more from Home Depot and Staples, I’m sure Stapleton will have a ready reason as to why they were necessary taxpayer expenditures.

Stapleton has spent his time in office accusing Montana voters and election workers of “fraud” but the fraud is entirely in his office.  For he has taken the fees that business owners send his way to register their companies, and he has spent the money like a drunken sailor.  

 

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44 Comments on "Amid fiscal crisis, Stapleton spent $58,000 redecorating office"

  1. Egad. Let’s hope the voters wake up.

  2. Is he going to fly a flag when he is there like Zinke and the Queen of England?

  3. Don’t forget the $5,000 he spent making videos promoting himself.

  4. Stapleton is not a principled conservative.

    • I’m not sure there is such a thing anymore…sure have’t seen any on CSPAN or MtPBS.gov channel, mostly just a bunch of greedy sanctimonious asshats. Bill Buckley was the last principled conservative I recall…

      • Yeah because democrat lawmakers are so principled. I’m still trying to figure out the most principled libtard in recent history. Is it Rod Blagojevich? Al Frankengroper? The list is endless on both sides, but let’s fixate on whether there’s a D or R behind the name.

        • Classic unprincipled conservative deflection. The best you can do is a 10-year old allusion to Rod Blagojevich? And neither politician you mentioned is even from Montana. The list is not endless on “both sides”, that’s just a lie. Your use of the perjorative to indicate a progressive politician only goes to show that your understanding is as limited as your vocabulary.

          • Classic not so principled Libtardos of 2017: Steve Lebsock, Paul Rosenthal, Dan Schoen, Tony Mendoza, Raul Bocanegra, John Conyers. Recent enough for ya, smart guy? The list IS endless on both sides. Sorry about my improper use of perjoratives. I’m sooper stoopid.

        • Your comment was the first in this article that mentioned democrat or republican. This was about misuse of public funds. Period.

        • Bernie Sanders. Thom Hartmann. Principled “Libtards” as you put it. Please name a principled “conservative”. Rush? Trump? Pence? God said The Truth will Set You Free: When you’re ready I’ll write a note for your parole board…

    • Principled conservative? An oxymoron.

  5. You should be able to FOIA the receipts and related forms.

  6. Gosh, why are you maligning sailors by comparing them to Stapleton?

  7. His expenses are the least of what is happening there. All of the IT staff is gone; there used to be seven. The two lawyers have resigned. The archives of the Administrative Rules of Montana have been moved off-site and information requests are referred to the state library. Stapleton pushed through a bill last session making the rules digital only, which is a techie for fraud. State agencies complain that business services files are not being delivered as in the past, slowing down their process.

    In the main room, where processing is done, the office system installed during the Johnson administration has been removed. Employees are not allowed to have any personal items at their desks.

    • Not only is the entire I.T. staff now gone several managers/staff in the Business Services Division decided to take an early ‘retirement’ or leave; some without having jobs lined up. You might even say they were ‘pushed’ out having taken months of abuse in a hostile work environment. These state employees have proven records of exceptional service but unfortunately did’t fit ‘the mold’ Stapleton and his execs are looking for. ‘The mold’ meaning Republican and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Stapleton becomes the next Governor. This office has lost right around 22 total people or roughly 40% of the staff since Jan 2017; when Stapleton took office. The highest turnover rate in such a short period of time ever for the Secretary of State’s office. Additionally, there’s been human rights complaints filed against this office and ongoing intimidation and open discrimination to those who aren’t ‘on board’ with Stapleton’s quest to become the state’s next Governor.

  8. Another crooked little elf!

  9. Oh Montana! We are so rich that we can afford to support these politicians as if they were kings and queens? I sure love the way my state dollars are being misspent by these turds! Get them out of office before they bankrupt us!

  10. Patricia Rosenleaf | December 21, 2017 9:41 AM at 9:41 AM |

    There is no equivalency here between Al Franken and this little troll. Anyone who would try to normalize what’s going on in the Secretary of State’s office by comparing it to others is grasping at the proverbial straws. You might try plucking straw from Corey Stapleton because he is a straw man if there ever was one–no substance, no integrity.

  11. ala Donald Trump, of course

  12. Little Corey , who lost so many desperate election attempts for office , finally gets one that he isn’t even qualified for but now that he’s in ,sure goes overboard when it comes to self gratification. He flailed miserably on the voter fraud claim and still trying to back pedal on that messy lie. Apparently trying to outdo his exorbitant travel expense report that he submitted for his fancy dinners and trips to New Zealand. Must be trying to follow Zinkes illegal claim to fame .

  13. Concerned Taxpayer | December 22, 2017 8:54 AM at 8:54 AM |

    Why does SOS need to be buying anything from Cabelas? Also- who saw the annual report that got published today?

  14. Wow, this report is so damaging.

    Just when all you guys here were going to switch over and vote Republican.

  15. I believe the Chief of Staff for Mr. Stapleton was let go by Linda McCullough when she was SOS for fiscal mismanagement and the same state employee leftca trail of destruction at the Department of Justice when she worked there and now she’s knocking down over $100K working for Stapleton redecorating the Office and buying flatscreen TV’s for all the executive offices. I’m sure she’s measuring for the drapes in the Governor’s Office in her spare time too.

  16. Does Montana have an Inspector General, Legislative Ombudsman or anything of the sort so citizens can file complaints and get answers when elected officials abuse their Office? If not, why not? Obviously we cannot expect another elected official from the same Party to honestly enforce our laws. The GOP seems intent on destroying Americans’ faith in our democratic institutions and law enforcement agencies-why? They seem intent on fulfilling Putin’s plan to destroy democratic rule World-wide. Our “Law & Order” Party all of a sudden mistrusts the FBI? WTF? I would remind them the last time we had a bunch of this rhetoric out of the House the result was Timothy McVeigh. Russia attacked our democracy and it worked for Republicans this time so they seem to ignore it. I wonder how they will react when Putin decides we need a President Micheal Moore next time?

  17. “The President works for free,” says Swede. He’s overpaid.

  18. “President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, “You all just got a lot richer,” referencing the sweeping tax overhaul he signed into law hours earlier. Mr. Trump directed those comments to friends dining nearby at the exclusive club — including to two friends at a table near the president’s who described the remark to CBS…”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-mar-a-lago-christmas-trip/

    If his friends are getting richer, so is tRump, the most self-enriching *president this country has ever had.

  19. It seems as though all the dark secrets of the Stapleton administration are now coming out of the woodwork. Albeit slowly…. but make no mistake about it they’re coming out into public view and ALL will be exposed very soon. I strongly believe this will be the end of the line for this lil politician. Breaks my heart. Truly.

  20. The $1600 charge at the Hampton Inn is Stapleton’s rent. He has not taken up residence in Helena – he still lives in Billings. Instead of renting an apartment with his increased salary, he’s staying in a hotel and making the state pay for it.

  21. Secretary Stapleton needs to familiarize himself with the taxing and spending clause of the United States Constitution.

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