Bullock Pays Women Less Than Men Even As He Celebrates 'Women's Equality Day'

Steve Bullock speaks during The Iowa Democratic Party Liberty Justice Celebration /Getty Images
August 26, 2020

Montana Democratic governor Steve Bullock repeatedly celebrated "Women's Equality Day" without addressing the equal pay shortcomings in his own office.

Bullock took to Twitter on Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary, saying that "We've come a long way in narrowing the wage gap" in Montana. Bullock did not, however, mention his history of paying female staffers less than their male counterparts.

Women working in Bullock's office have earned, on average, just 84 cents for every dollar paid to men since 2013, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found. Bullock has never achieved pay equity over his eight-year tenure, and women were paid just 78 cents on the dollar in 2018.

Wednesday marked the first time Bullock has acknowledged Women's Equality Day since 2015, when he called the day "a time to … recommit ourselves to full equality for women in society." The tweet came from his official governor's account—Bullock had never commemorated Women's Equality Day from his personal account prior to 2020.

Bullock's pay equity deficiencies come despite his launching of an equal pay task force in 2013. The Democrat used Women's Equality Day to tout the task force, saying he's "worked to ensure that the Montana my kids inherit is more accessible, more independent, and more equal." Bullock has previously called the gender wage gap "absolutely unacceptable," labeling himself an ally in the "fight for fair pay."

Bullock is now running to unseat Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.). He launched his campaign on March 9—the last day to file for public office in Montana—just months after calling the bid "an absolute no." Public health advocate Cora Neumann quickly dropped out of the race and endorsed Bullock, calling him the "best chance" to flip the seat in November.

"We could've had a woman running for #MTSen, but a mediocre white guy lied about not running and ran her out of the race," Raw Story senior editor Bob Brigham tweeted in response to Bullock.