Politics

Montana County Treasurer Max Lenington Asks for $90,000 Amidst Pressure To Resign Following Racist, Homophobic Email

| by Dominic Kelly

A county treasurer in Montana who got in a lot of trouble for a really terrible email about President Obama that featured a variety of racist and homophobic terms says that he will give into public pressure and resign, but only if the county gives him $90,000.

Yellowstone County Treasurer Max Lenington sent a terrible email back in 2012 saying that because of President Obama, there were, “more lesbians, queers, Indians, Mexicans and n***ers than the rest of us!” After the email was discovered and some investigative journalism uncovered that it was sent from his government email account, Lenington again went on another rampage, accusing “left-wing media” of deception and lying.

Now, after public pressure to resign, Lenington is saying that he will retire “gracefully” if he is paid salary for his last year in office. That salary comes out to just over $90,000.

At a weekly meeting, however, commissioners voted to turn down Lenington’s offer, with Commissioner Bill Kennedy saying, “I would accept Mr. Lenington’s resignation, but I’m not willing to pay out anything on that.”

In a recent survey of Yellowstone County residents, it’s clear that the majority want Lenington out of office. Results found that 80 percent of those polled knew about the controversy, and of those, 54 percent said he should resign from office, and 63 percent said he should be removed. Only 11 percent of respondents said that the county should accept Lenington’s buyout offer.

"We didn't need to do a poll to know that Max Lenington's hatred, and his abuse of his taxpayer-funded job, is not welcome in Yellowstone County,” said Barrett Kaiser, director of western operations at Hilltop Public Solutions, who conducted the survey. “Now we know that this community overwhelmingly supports efforts to show Max Lenington the door — and that's something we will help do if he refuses to step down.”

Lenington has also found himself, more recently, in another controversy involving President Obama. Back in August, Lenington wrote a Sunday letter to the editor titled, “Why I Hate Barack and Michelle Obama” where he spewed his pure disgust and dislike of the President and his wife. The controversy, however, wasn’t his radical views, but that he is now being accused of plagiarism. After the letter was published, many noticed that it was extremely similar to a syndicated editorial by conservative Mychal Massie titled, “Why I Do Not Like The Obamas.” Lenington very clearly cut the piece down from 1,000 to 300 words, and many say it is clear that he plagiarized Massie.

“I do view this as plagiarism. This is totally unacceptable,” said Massie in a statement. “I don’t care if he is Republican, I don’t care if he is as conservative as the day is long...It’s clear that it’s my piece. What he did is dishonest.”