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As a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, with two deployments, I value the importance of integrity, our first Core Value. Those airmen who failed to uphold their integrity were held accountable. The Navy Core Values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. When Corey Stapleton went to the Naval Academy, he accepted these values. When he announced his candidacy and lists his time in the Navy, the natural assumption is this is a military officer who epitomizes these Core Values.

Stapleton was fined $4,000 for using state resources to announce he was running for governor. He said he wasn’t aware of the requirements and it would never happen again.

Later, we find out he misused a state vehicle and there are 406 days where the reasons for using the vehicle could not be determined. It is now over two months that these allegations were made and I have not seen where he has addressed this issue. Does he expect this to just go away? If Stapleton had misused a vehicle while serving in the Navy, or used Navy letterhead to advance a personal agenda, he would be held accountable. This is a man who uses the taxes of hard working Montanans for his own personal gain.

He now aspires to a position in Congress that has oversight of the military. He appears to have forgotten that he is accountable to the people of Montana and to have forsaken the core values of the organization that paid for his college. We need to know our politicians represent the values we hold dear. We need to respect them and we need to know they put their constituents ahead of their personal agendas.

Peter Gardzina

Helena

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