It was a big week in the Republican world of the Great Falls region. First came news that a Republican state Senator, Steve Fitzpatrick, has announced that he will no longer attend any further Republican Party meetings because, he says, he is tired of the racist chatter at these meetings. He says the racism is usually directed toward American Indians. An article in the Great Falls Tribune detailed the kinds of things, racist and other, that one will hear if one attends the GOP meetings. Not only are racist things said, but gun violence is also threatened against dissenters.
Next we heard from GOP legislator Randy Pinocci, from Sun Ruiver (pictured). A newspaper article in the Fairfield Sun Times contained a minor factual error (later corrected), which greatly upset Pinocci. He called the writer and demanded not only that the newspaper correct the error, but also that it make restitution by writing an article that would both praise Pinnocci’s support of gun rights while criticizing his GOP primary opponent (Rep. Wendy McKamey) for opposing them. The newspaper informed Pinnoci that it would not take orders from him, while also noting that McKamey’s 2nd amendment voting record is the same as Pinnocci’s. This incensed Pinocci, and he decided to take legislative action. He came up with a new idea for a statute, which would would set a penalty of imprisonment for anyone “impersonating a journalist.” And he blasted it out in an email.
Not missing a beat, the publisher at the Sun Times then printed Pinocci’s email (in which he refers to himself in the third person) in the next edition of the newspaper, although with a few expletives blacked out.
The publisher had more than a few choice words for Pinocci, including:
A sitting Montana Representative is so convinced of his importance that he considered putting a reporter in jail. If I had not grown up in the Cold War era, I would probably think it was a joke to be ignored. But what Mr. Pinocci proposes is directly out of the Stalin handbook. Worse, it smacks of the “shield” laws proposed by the current administration under the lie that those laws would “protect” the media. The devil is in the details, and the details are that the government would decide who the “real” media is. Pinocci, Stalin and Obama. Who woulda thunk it, right?
Pinocci, who passed no bills, and is most known for complaining about his pay–even though he was later busted for playing video games all day (his Facebook page was posting the scores, unbeknownst to him.) He introduced legislation to require drug testing before seniors could get food, and a conspiracy-steeped bill against “Agenda 21.”