Where in the World is Montana’s Governor?
UPDATE 3:49 pm At 1:18 pm Wednesday the Governor's Office sent a release that stated,
Governor Gianforte left the country late last week on a long-scheduled personal trip with the first lady. He is returning early and as quickly as possible.
Original article below
I've hesitated to write this article because I don't really cover politics much. However, it's now been four days since record-breaking floods began devastating numerous communities in South Central Montana and at this point, I have to ask the question that many Montanans are wondering...
Where the hell is our Governor right now?!?
During one of Montana's worst natural disasters in recent history, he's yet to be seen. Lieutenant Governor Juras was the one to actually sign the declaration and she finally showed up in Red Lodge yesterday (6/14) because Gianforte is apparently unable to do so himself.
He said on his official Twitter account that he's been closely monitoring the situation since waters started rising and he's communicating with state and local disaster response officials, but other than Tweets (quite likely written by his official media handlers) he has yet to address the press either in person or via video conference OR meet with residents in communities that have been hit hardest by the flooding. Why not?
Because he's out of the country on vacation.
Tweets from various Montana media types and reporters who have contacted his office in Helena have reportedly been told that our Governor is on vacation somewhere out of the country. I sent an email to his Press Secretary Brooke Stroyke this morning (6/15) asking where Gianforte is, and when he plans to return and have yet to receive a response. I will update this story if/when I do. Twitter has been brutal when responding to Greg's Tweets.
Here are a few more screenshots (below).
The optics are simply bad.
His ardent supporters will say "what exactly do you expect him to do?". Yeah, I get it, but I would be asking the same question if it was Bullock, or Kermit the Frog in office. Where are you, Governor? I understand that elected officials get vacation time, as they rightly should, but why the secrecy? Why can't anyone in Helena tell us why he isn't on the ground, talking to residents, meeting local leadership in person, or at the very least addressing the residents he's supposed to be serving in the Treasure State via video conference?