Bitterroot state senator Jim Shockley’s citation earlier this year for drinking canned red beer while driving inspired the Republican to step down from his position. (He chaired the legislative committee drafting tougher DUI laws.) But, it didn’t stop him from accepting the endorsement of former Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), whose infamous “I’m ready to go get knee-walking drunk!” foot-in-mouth syndrome led to his Senate demise.
Shockley announced the endorsement on his campaign website.
Perhaps this will become a kind of theme, a stream of endorsements by drinking advocates. Maybe those involved in the infamous and tragic Shane Hedges DUI accident and death of the House Majority Leader (in which Judy Martz barely escaped a prosecution for evidence tampering) will chime in. Rs have kept a steady pace since then so there are lots of endorsement opportunities for the campaign.
Of course, there is Alan Hale, Shockley’s colleague in the state house who is campaigning in favor of drinking and driving.
Brad Johnson, the former Secretary of State, got pulled over for a DUI and went subsequently to treatment, though it didn’t seem to faze him: from a rehab center, he actively continued campaigning in his PSC race and is now running again for Secretary of State, a position voters ousted him from in 2008.
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.
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 recently Brad Molnar, who mowed his car into that of some hapless girl just last year, and fled the scene and was placed under a restraining order from any contact with the victim.
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”.