September 12, 2016 Voices Of Montana 0 comment

Wisconsin Apparently Knows Montana Better Than Montanans Do!

There has been so many lies and dirty deeds done during this current political season it’s no wonder the voters have to look at everything said by the candidates inside and out and take it all with a grain of salt.

UM Campus

Unfortunately, once again, we have another story out of Helena that has us all shaking our heads. There is word of cronyism in the Governors office and is no big surprise to anyone. And that is truly sad.

The latest word coming from Helena is that the recent granting of a Montana tourism contract to a Wisconsin firm with little or no experience in “destination or tourism marketing” has cronyism written all over it.

Jennifer Pelej, The Department of Commerce Bureau Chief, who is very involved with awarding the tourism contract, just happens to have a cousin who is a VP account supervisor with the Wisconsin firm, Hoffman York, who eventually won the contract.

According to officials, The Montana company, Brickhouse from Great Falls was the points leader in the bidding process early on. However, later in the process they suddenly received all failing scores while Hoffman York soared in the lead with all superior scores.

One of the categories in the bidding process is “Understanding of the Montana Brand.” How is it possible that a Wisconsin company with no presence in Montana knows more about Montana than a Montana company?


How does a out-of-state firm get such a huge contract of $7 to $9 million in Montana tax dollars even though they have no experience in the field? Why weren’t Gov. Steve Bullock and Commerce Secretary Meg O’Leary paying closer attention?

In this day and age of lies and deceit it just goes as “business as usual” in politics. But for sure, someone either was not paying attention or there could be some serious cronyism taking place in our states capital.

As they always say, if it smells like a skunk then it usually is a skunk. It’s just another thing for voters to think about come November.

Jon Arneson