This is the legacy of Montana State Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R-TEA, Columbia Falls) who has been failing to wreak havoc on American democracy and justice for over thirty years through an….eclectic hodge-podge of approaches. O’Neil went on the radio this week to explain what started it all. It is not clear exactly what he is talking about, but it involves a cult and appears to be an attempt to explain his fixation with legalizing fake lawyering. Basically, after his wife left him for a cult called the “Fatima Crusaders” the obsessive O’Neil says he could only address the situation by representing himself in court. He sued the cult for causing his divorce. O’Neil is not an attorney.
The Columbia Falls community deserves better than a crackpot who is obsessed with a single issue related to his own personal life. People want a representative who cares about jobs and quality schools.
O’Neil’s career has been a series of failures to make drastic alterations to the justice system to fix his nutty personal problems. Perhaps it was O’Neil’s inability to sound coherent that precipitated a foiled run for Supreme Court. There was also a failed Constitutional Amendment to end the “discrimination” that prevents those with no education from practicing law. He even got himself into the legislature so he could blunder an attempt to move jurisdiction over the bar from the Court to the legislature. (This would let the bright minds in the legislature decide which Burger King employees could become lawyers–education be darned).
I’m sure O’Neil would say he knows lots and lots about the law. That doesn’t mean he’s succeeded in abiding by it. A mailer last election cycle explained in no uncertain terms that O’Neil’s legal experience includes being:
Held in Contempt of Court (stood trial and was found guilty November, 2004, Lake County court)
Charged with Practicing Law Without a License (cited by Supreme Court commission, 2001)
Abuse of an Elder / Exploitation of an Incapacitated Elder / Trespassing
(issued formal warnings by the State, March 2010; ordered to cease and desist his conduct)
In the infamous Bat Crap Legislative Session of 2011, O’Neil can take credit for a botched go at legalizing fake lawyering, and even a run at getting rid of some elections so that legislators can hand pick our U.S. Senators.
O’Neil lost again. If, instead of launching his first scheme against law and justice, he had sought education instead, his potpourri of attacks on the justice system might have at least been more successful–if not exactly relevant to his consituents. Of course, he may have flubbed getting an education too. TEA Partiers are not known for their love of schooling.
Now that he’s put his actions into better context, I hope you’ll see this TEA Partier’s life’s work for what it was: a great success. We needn’t remember O’Neil as the crackpot who tried to ruin democracy as we know it, but rather as the nutjob who thankfully continued to fail at doing so for thirty years.