U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Sheehy Caught Telling a Lie

U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Sheehy Caught Telling a Lie

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tim Sheehy has a bullet in his arm. The Washington Post broke a convoluted and confusing news story about how it got there.  The story is convoluted and confusing, because Tim Sheehy has been telling a couple of different stories about how it got there.

Story number 1 according to Tim Sheehy-  In 2015 he was in the parking lot at Logan Pass in Glacier Park.  While putting things in his car, his Colt .45 pistol slipped and fell to the ground, causing it to discharge and hit him in the arm.  He was ticketed by the Park Service and paid a fine.  Now Sheehy says this story was a lie.  

Story number 2 according to Tim Sheehy-  In 2012 while serving in Afghanistan, he was hit by a bullet in the arm.  He says that he doesn’t know where it came from.  He says that he did not report the wound, as is presumably required by the military, because he did not want to  prompt an investigation which could have drug his platoon mates through the mud.  Tim Sheehy says this is the real story.

Jackie Brown over at the Western Word Blog here in Great Falls put it this way when calling on Sheehy to withdraw from the Senate Race: “As I said yesterday, Sheehy should do the honorable thing and drop out of the U.S. Senate race this week. These are not the actions one would expect from a Naval Officer and Navy SEAL. These are not the actions Montanans would expect from a U.S. Senator. To say the least, it’s dishonorable.”

We can’t say it any better than conservative lawyer and Never Trumper, George Conway,  “Let those among you who have not lied about lying about shooting yourselves in the arm in a national park in order to cover up not faking a combat wound—or something like that, I can’t quite figure it out—cast the first stone.”

 

Another Bad Day For Shady Tim Sheehy

Another Bad Day For Shady Tim Sheehy

U.S. Senate candidate, Tim Sheehy, touts his experience as an entrepreneur as one of the major things that qualifies him for a seat in the Senate.  We’ve already pointed out the irony of the fact that his business, Bridger Aerospace, makes the vast majority of its money on government firefighting contracts.  Now The Montana Free Press is reporting that Bridger Aerospace is “deeply in the red” in a thorough story using Security Exchange Commission (SEC) reports.  https://montanafreepress.org/2024/04/09/u-s-senate-hopefuls-company-reported-losses-of-more-than-77-million-in-2023/ 

Sheehy Wearing Rose-Colored  Glasses While Pulling Wool Over Investors’ Eyes

While the filings with the SEC clearly show a company in deep financial trouble, with losses of $77 million last year, Bridger Aerospace Investor Relations issued a glowing report announcing record earnings of $67 million in 2023 (while bemoaning the lack of wildfires last year).  The report went on to say it had received record contract awards in 2023, including a $60 million exclusive contract with the Department of Interior. The report also asserts that the company is poised to grow over 80% in 2024.  

However, the disclaimer in the Investor Relations Report says in pertinent part, “Certain statements included in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements, including for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.”  We’ll save you reading the whole thing because it is quite long containing lots of wiggle words.  Feel free to read it yourself at   https://ir.bridgeraerospace.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/37/bridger-aerospace-announces-record-2023-results-provides

Sheehy’s Filing With the SEC Tells a Different Story

The SEC filing begins with a note from the Bridger Aerospace’s own auditors which states, As discussed in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company has suffered recurring losses from operations, operating cash flow deficits, debt covenant violations, and insufficient liquidity to fund its operations that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”  

Montana Free Press quoted University of Montana  accounting professor Terri Herron who examined the financial reports as saying, “Management concluded that they may not be around in a year.”  

So Who Is On The Hook if Sheehy Goes Under?  You are! 

Well, actually people who live in Gallatin County. Of course stockholders stand to lose their investment but Sheehy is at risk of violating financial agreements resulting from a $160 million municipal bond agreement with Gallatin County which brought Bridger Aerospace’s long-term debt to $204.6 million.  The bond came with covenants that Bridger Aerospace must have the ability to cover debt with cash in the amount of at least $8 million.  If Sheehy defaults on the bond requirements, it appears Gallatin County could be on the hook.  

Bridger Aerospace said in the annual filing that it is out of compliance with the required debt service amount, and that it likely won’t be in compliance in the next 12 months. At the time of the report, the company apparently had the $8 million in cash but the report stated that it probably won’t in the future, because interest payments of $18.4 million are coming due soon. 

So, What Does It All Mean?

Of course all of this is complicated and confusing, so let us just boil it down a little for you.  Sheehy has a business in which 88% of his total income comes from the government in the form of firefighting contracts.  A big part of the way he has financed his operation comes from a Gallatin County bond offering.  We assume that means a lower interest rate, because they are government issued bonds.  Welcome to  “entrepreneurship” Tim Sheehy style. Step right up to the public trough and proclaim your commitment to private enterprise.  

Final Notes 

In the short time the public microscope has been on Tim Sheehy, he has not measured up.  In the last week he has admitted lying to law enforcement about an old bullet wound, and we have been treated to an inside glimpse of his business ethics. Unfortunately Montana voters don’t seem to care much about ethics, electing Ryan Zinke, Greg Gianforte, Matt Rosendale and Steve Daines, all coming from the cesspool the Republican Party has become. 

This post has been written largely with the information uncovered by the Montana Free Press and reporter Arren Kimbel-Sannit.  Though we did go through the SEC reports and Bridger Aerospace Investor Relations Report, the truth is we wouldn’t have understood most of it without Kimbel-Sannit’s reporting.  

What Has Christi Done?

What Has Christi Done?

In an unprecedented move, Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen weighed in on Cascade County’s hiring process to fill an open election administrator position.  The move by Jacobsen casts further doubt on the selection process in the County.  The action provides further evidence of the corruption and incompetence of Republicans in our state and county.

WTF406.com has written extensively on the mess in the Clerk and Recorder’s office after Sandra Merchant was elected.  Due to Merchant’s incompetence, the county commission removed election duties from her office and began the process of hiring a qualified employee to administer elections.  Four finalists were interviewed by the three commissioners, and Terry Thompson was selected.  Two other candidates, Rina Moore and Lynn Deroche, were passed over despite having much more experience and training for the position. Each had approximately 16 years of experience administering elections.  WTF406 and others objected to the process, because Merchant’s crony Commissioner Rea Grulkowski participated in the selection process despite being directed by county resolution not to participate in decisions affecting the election office.

Now, thanks to excellent reporting by The Electric, we find out that Republican Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen weighed in on the hiring decision. Specifically, in an email from a state email account dated February 14th to county commissioners, Jacobsen wrote, “please do not hire Ms. Moore or a member of her administration as Cascade County’s Election Administrator. Doing so would directly undermine the voters of Cascade County, among other reasons.”

The  Electric followed up on the story after observing Merchant and Grulkowski going into the Secretary of State’s office on March 1st.  The Electric requested information from Merchant and Grulkowski about the reason for the meeting and whether public funds were used in their trip to Helena.  They did not respond.

County Commissioners Joe Briggs and Jim Larson both said that they were surprised by Jacobsen’s email but both added that it did not affect their decision, because it was a scored “structured” hiring process.  That may or may not be true, but Grulkowski also scored the applicants and her score alone was likely enough to jimmy the system in favor of Terry Thompson. And if we know anything about Rea Grulkowski, it is that she does whatever she pleases without regard for the rules and law.

So the liability for the county (and us taxpayers) continues to mount thanks to the arrogance of Grulkowski and her far right allies in their effort to control elections in Cascade County.  Both Rina Moore and Lynn DeRoche would have had strong political belief discrimination complaints before the Jacobsen email.  Now those complaints would be even stronger, and the state of Montana can also be brought into any legal action.

 

House of Galloway Continues Empire Building With $410,000 State Lease

House of Galloway Continues Empire Building With $410,000 State Lease

Most people in Great Falls know that the Department of Justice Driver’s License Services office relocated to the old Interstate Bank building at 1401 Market Place Drive last year. But they probably don’t know that the building being leased by the State is owned by TJBBPHASEP LLC. Never heard of it? Neither had we. Turns out that the “registered agent” for this corporation is Steven Galloway and the address is Steven and Lola Sheldon-Galloway’s.

The building in question used to be a bank but has been vacant for a long time. The only use it has seen recently has been to host the local Republican Pachyderm Club. We assume the Pachyderms didn’t pay for use of the building since the Galloways are leaders in the Club. The new lease sent the Pachyderms packing to a new location and Galloways with a significant increase in income.The terms of the new lease provides a five year term at $6,900 per month or $82,000 per year. It also allows a 2% annual increase. The term of the lease is five years. Don’t run for your calculator. The total gross income from the lease, payable to Galloway’s shell corporation, is $410,000. Information WTF406.com obtained from the Department of Justice shows that they only considered one other location, which actually cost less per foot, but was eliminated for other reasons. That information also indicates that the Department began drafting the Galloway lease before the final numbers came in from the other bidder.

We have written before about Steven Galloway’s habit of introducing legislation which benefits his business interests. https://wtf406.com/2023/01/galloway-attacks-renters-rights/. We have also examined the property he and Lola Sheldon-Galloway own around Great Falls. https://wtf406.com/2022/11/cascade-countys-right-wing-royalty-the-house-of-galloway/

To be clear, we have no reason to accuse the Galloways of breaking any laws (we don’t have enough information for that). But being in the legislature sure doesn’t hurt when you are in a competitive bidding process for doing business with the State.

It is common for some legislators to introduce bills that help their bottom line. See our article on Senator Jeremy Trebas https://wtf406.com/2023/04/the-continuing-saga-of-senator-trebas-dirty-real-estate-deal/
But it raises a question. Are they there to represent us or their own pocket books?

The Clown Car at The PSC Rolls On

The Clown Car at The PSC Rolls On

Legislative Auditors have once again examined the Public Service Commission and, once again, they don’t like what they see.  Specifically, the audit found that only 23% of employees at the PSC  believed that commissioners behaved with high ethical standards.  The auditors found that the shenanigans of various commissioners and consistent promotion of fossil fuels over the last few years have undermined public trust in PSC decision making.  Here’s a brief recap of some of the actions of commissioners which led to another bad audit report.

  • Commissioner Randy Pinocci was arrested for witness tampering in a private matter.  He is currently awaiting trial.
  • Commissioners Randy Pinocci and Tony O’Donnell issued a press release saying that there was a frighteningly real possibility of black outs in eastern Montana and called on the legislature to save the coal plants in southeastern Montana.  Montana Dakota Utilities said the release was “completely unfounded.”
  • Commissioner Jennifer Fielder threatened medical providers in Helena with “political consequences” for refusing to administer a nonclinical remedy for COVID-19.  
  • Commissioner Randy Pinocci publicly suggested that the City of Missoula be targeted for black outs because he said they do not support coal development.
  • Commissioners routinely advocate for coal power even though they are responsible to objectively examine various resources and mechanisms for meeting power needs.  

Commission Chairman, James Brown (who just announced he is running for State Auditor https://wtf406.com/2024/01/public-service-commission-chairman-running-for-state-auditor/ ) objected to much of the audit report saying that some steps have been taken to address some of the issues.  But clearly many issues remain unresolved.