The Billings Gazette reported today that embattled PSC Commissioner Republican Brad Molnar couldn’t be bothered to show up in court but didn’t contest his involvement in a hit-and-run on a high school student in a fast-food drive through.
Molnar had at first tried to deny that he had mowed his car into that of some hapless girl a few months ago, and fled the scene and was placed under a restraining order from any contact with the victim.
Something about Republicans and traffic ordinances simply doesn’t mix.
First it was the infamous and tragic Shane Hedges DUI accident and death of the House Speaker, and felony charges all around, with Judy Martz barely escaping a prosecution for evidence tampering. Rs have kept a steady pace since then. Greg Barkus got a few DUIs on the road over the last decade; Scott Boggio, a GOP legislator from Red Lodge, ran up on a curb while driving around with another repub, Elsie Arntzen, and got pulled over, and turned out to be massively drunk, though of course Arntzen, a DUI Task Force member, expressed the usual right-wing-passenger-shock, and said she “had no idea” driver Boggio was impaired.
Then Brad Johnson, the Secretary of State, got pulled over for a DUI and went subsequently to treatment, though it didn’t seem to phase him: from a rehab center, he actively continued campaigning in his PSC race.
And of course then Barkus went for the hat-trick, a third DUI, this time in style by running a boat up into the rocky shore of Flathead Lake, causing injuries all around, with passenger Rehberg, drunk himself, taking a page out of Arntzen’s script and saying he was shocked to hear that the driver was impaired.
Then there was Senator Jim Shockley, who got busted driving around with a red beer and was forced to step down as Chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Montana Senate.
Drinking, Driving, Boating, Hit and Runs. What is most important is that Republicans will often fight publicly for stiffer sentencing for criminals, and against the evil smoking of marijuana, and in favor of “values”.