Remember Corey Stapleton’s Questionable And Costly Record As He Considers U.S. House Run

Club for Growth Action Montana Planning Major Advertising Campaign If Stapleton Announces Candidacy


WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton considers a run for the Republican nomination for the state’s at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, it’s important to remember his questionable and costly record. Should Stapleton choose to run for the House seat, CfG Action Montana (Club for Growth Action Montana) has already prepared a major digital and television advertising campaign to ensure voters get the facts about his time in office.

“From ethics violations to his spending, pay raise, and expensive mistakes, Corey Stapleton has already cost Montana enough, and he would make a poor candidate for the Montana U.S. House Republican nomination,” said David McIntosh, Club for Growth Action Montana’s President. “We will actively oppose Stapleton’s U.S. House candidacy and are prepared to immediately go live with a major advertising campaign highlighting his record.”


Stapleton’s Costly Ethics Violation

“Secretary of State Corey Stapleton was fined $4,000 Monday for violating state ethics laws.

  • “Stapleton misused state resources when sending a press release from the Secretary of State’s Office announcing his bid for governor in 2020, according to a decision signed by
  • “…Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan cited four violations of state ethics laws in his order Monday.” (Montana Public Radio, 2/11/2019)


Stapleton’s Costly Voter Pamphlet Mistake

“The Montana Secretary of State’s office has mailed out an addendum to the voter information pamphlet at a total cost of over $265,000.

  • “Christi Jacobsen, chief of staff for Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, said in an email Friday that the text in the pamphlet is accurate. But in several instances language should be underlined or have a line through the middle of the word. That’s an important distinction, because underlined words are proposed new statutory language, while stricken words are proposed to be removed from the statute.” (Billings Gazette, 10/12/2018)


Stapleton’s Costly Pay Raise  

“Some of Montana’s elected officials will have a little something extra in the paycheck as of July 1, thanks to a biennial survey that looks at what they make as compared to the same officials in surrounding states.

  • “Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney gets a 3.6 percent raise to $90,140, Attorney General Tim Fox’s pay increases 2.9 percent to $141,023, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton gets a 2.5 percent pay raise to $98,104.
  • “The survey notes that elected officials can decide not to accept the raise. State Auditor Matt Rosendale will refuse his, just like he did in 2017, a spokesman said. He is telling staff to keep his salary at $92,236, the same as it was when he was sworn as auditor on Jan. 2, 2017.
  • “[Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Montana Elsie] Arntzen donated her $2,500 raise to her agency’s mental health and suicide prevention programs, a department official said. She plans to donate her raise this time around as well, a department spokesman said Friday.” (Great Falls Tribune, 5/20/2019)


Stapleton’s Costly Spending

“As the state considers the need for budget cuts so severe that even funds for diapers for infants in foster care are on the chopping block, Secretary of State Corey Stapleton is treating his office’s budget like the state is not just on firm financial footing, but as if there is so much cash available [sic] that he can treat the budget as a slush fund for his personal use. From matters picayune to pricey, an examination of the state’s online checkbook system shows Stapleton’s office has made a series of questionable expenditures that demand scrutiny. “Realizing that this is just a cursory look at the information and that a public records request will follow this evening to get more details about these expenditures, it’s certainly worth asking whether or not Secretary Stapleton is, after finally winning the statewide office he so desperately craved, failing to spend his office’s budget in the interest of the people of the state. I have a hard time understanding, for instance, why Stapleton’s office needed to pay $5.99 each for two video rentals from Amazon on 5/21/2017. “I assume the state maintains its own automobiles, so a charge for $748.00 at Kolar Tire on January 23, 2017, just weeks after Stapleton took office, seems odd” “It also appears that the Secretary or someone in his office took some rather expensive trips on the taxpayer dime, with hotel charges of $1,400.03 and $1,245.39 at the Westin Hotel in Nova Scotia on May 22 and June 21, 2017 headlining those expenses. On June 21, the Secretary’s office also spent $2,618.96 at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. Those charges probably go a long way towards explaining the huge amounts Stapleton’s office has spent on air travel, including one charge for $2,153.06 to United on May 22, 2017. Another charge for the Heritage Hotel for $2,066.12 appeared on July 21, 2017 as well”  (The Montana Post, 09/26/2017)


Stapleton’s Questionable Fundraising

“A little over a month ago, Stapleton distributed a fundraising plea via snail mail. For whatever reason, the one-time gubernatorial hopeful plastered the envelopes his mailers came in with a photograph of himself in full Naval uniform. In doing so, Stapleton violated a Department of Defense directive that political candidates have been flouting for years… We can certainly understand the motivation behind Stapleton’s choice to use the photo. He’s proud of his Naval record, and voters have a special affection for servicemen and women. (Email requests for comment to Stapleton’s campaign went unreturned.) But this isn’t an obscure rule, what with the glut of news stories, internet forums and online reminders from the DoD itself about its protocol. You’d think Stapleton’s campaign couldn’t possibly violate such a widely debated directive by accident. You’d also think candidates trained to follow military orders could manage to do so after retirement. (Missoula Independent, 7/18/2013)