Montana Senator Lashes Out After Article Highlights Montana Outsourcing Mental Health to China

Guest post by Joe Hoft at – republished with permission

State Senator Bob Keenan – Montana

Montana Senator Lashes Out After Article Highlights Montana Outsourcing Mental Health to China.

Ten days ago, AbleChild released an article (which was republished at about the State of Montana outsourcing its behavioral health system to a New York consulting firm with ties to China.

Much to AbleChild’s surprise, Montana State Senator Bob Keenan (the Commission Chair and sponsor of the legislation) contacted AbleChild four days later, explaining that there were “so many inaccuracies in your opinion piece!”

AbleChild works hard to provide accurate information to its members and the public. So, naturally, AbleChild contacted Senator Keenan requesting that he provide exactly what he believed was “inaccurate” in the article.

No one could have expected such a derogatory email in response where the Senator literally berates AbleChild and either makes up or, in the least, hides the identity of some nefarious individual who slanders AbleChild without having the courage to show his or her face.


Senator Keenan provided one example of an inaccuracy in relationship to how many times his committee met, and AbleChild corrected it, see updated article. However, the State Senator never addresses the firm’s association with China, and went on to share that someone (he does not say who) provided an “unsolicited reference” about AbleChild. Senator Keenan claims that this unnamed person told him to stay away from AbleChild – slandering AbleChild and claiming that “the gal who runs it is not credible or trustworthy,” saying “she actually said to a Tennessee State Senator – “How much money do I need to pay you…?” The Montana Senator’s response to this slanderous nonsense? “Good grief! “No corrections necessary, please! Just stay away from Montana!” Hmmm…

Senator Keenan should be ashamed of his behavior. Good grief, indeed! Is that how the Montana legislative body handles anyone who questions its legislative actions? “Just stay away from Montana?!” It’s one thing to not like an article. It’s quite another to pass along injurious, slanderous information about an organization without investigating whether there is any truth behind the attack. At a minimum, Senator Keenan should release the name of the person who made such slanderous statements about AbleChild.

And rather than berate an organization for questioning Montana’s choice to oversee its $300 million behavioral health program, perhaps it should find out just how cozy the ties between the chosen consultant (A&M) and China may be. Do the taxpayers of Montana deserve that information? Despite Senator Keenan’s claims that there is ample oversight of the $300 million dollar reorganization of the behavioral health program, it appears that AbleChild was the first to reveal A&M’s China connection.

As far as AbleChild can tell, the only information in the article that was inaccurate was the number of times the Commission had met. AbleChild made that correction immediately. Beyond that, AbleChild spent ten paragraphs discussing decades of abuse within behavioral health programs generally, their historical background and the dangers associated with unchecked power and sporadic oversight.

Perhaps a better use of the Senator’s time would be to refrain from passing on hurtful, slanderous statements about an organization of which he cannot support as factual and, rather, look into whether the state’s mental health system will be adversely affected by any connection between its behavioral health consultant (A&M) and China.


Thanks for sharing!