Republicans Support Disgraced Former Pastor

Republicans Support Disgraced Former Pastor

Republican Darling JD Hall’s Fall From Grace Exposes Allegations of Serious Crimes

Great Falls Republicans were quick to embrace far-right extremist Jordan Hall. On February 17, 2022, Hall was the featured speaker for the Republican “Pachyderm Club.”  Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci is a vocal supporter of disgraced pastor Jordan Hall. Pinocci went so far as to be featured in a newspaper advertisement supporting Hall. Yet Republicans throughout Great Falls have been utterly silent amid Hall’s extreme fall from grace. Who the funk is Jordan Hall?

Hall found infamy after defaming a prominent Indigenous, Two-Spirit lobbyist, Adrian Jawort. Jawort sued Hall, and after a scary and prolonged trial, Jawort prevailed. Hall eventually admitted his entire story was a lie. However, before losing the lawsuit against him, Hall went on a statewide tour, spreading hate, homophobia, and transphobia. This included several stops in Great Falls, rubbing shoulders with our own local right-wing extremist politicians.

Hall’s dangerous behavior escalated, and he  threatened to kill Raph Graybill, attorney for Jawort. Hall also made disparaging comments about Great Falls’ own Judge Best who presided over the case. Shortly after losing against Jawort, Hall faced yet another accusation of defamation.

Despite Hall’s clear lack of character and extreme bigotry, there’s been not a peep from the Great Falls’ politicians that welcomed Hall with open arms. Perhaps this is not a surprise, given the pervasive culture of homophobia within the Republican Party. (Remember, Great Falls received a mere 6 out of 100 points in the 2021 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard.) However, Hall’s most recent offenses seem entirely at odds with the “family centered” façade Republicans cling to.

Previous hatemongering notwithstanding, Hall’s downward spiral has only gained momentum since his court losses. Hall’s newest hits include:

– Arrest for suspicion of DUI and weapons charges
– Admission of drug abuse and a felony charge for drug possession
– Investigation into potential bankruptcy fraud
– Investigation into claims Hall embezzled around $10,000 from his church
– Investigation into a serious incident of spouse and child abuse including strangulation and assault with a deadly weapon

Hall has even been removed from his own church according to a statement on its website.

Clearly Hall’s disgusting and hateful rhetoric towards the LGBTQ+ community and his threats towards attorneys didn’t dissuade Pinocci from offering his full support. Nor did it prevent the local Pachyderm Club from inviting this bigot to speak to their group. GF Republicans have clearly been infiltrated by far-right conspiracy nuts…like the rest of the Republican Party across the state.  

Hall tweets a warning to Greybill and transphobic message to Jawort
GF Republicans host Hall as a featured speaker
Pinocci endorses Hall in a newspaper ad
In My Opinion

In My Opinion

Letters from our Readers

Unhoused Great Falls

By Melissa Smith

Many problems take a village to solve. One of the thorniest is the temporary or permanent

loss of one’s home.

Great Falls has experienced controversy over tents that have been set up in the First United

Methodist Church’s parking lot. They were intended as temporary, as the nonprofit

organization “Housed Great Falls” forms to address gaps in the Continuum of Care.

A persistent narrative holds that there are enough services to help everyone who finds

themselves in any kind of crisis in Great Falls, and that the unhoused simply do not want to

accept help. This feeds into the myth that “some people choose to be homeless,”, allowing

us to ignore the incredible, multi-faceted trauma of homelessness, which can impact a

person’s ability to even seek out, much less access, the care they need. 

I first became involved with the unhoused who were gathering at FUMC when I heard about

assaults taking place on unhoused people as they slept outside the church. Since my first

encounter with the unhoused gathering there, various organizations have tried to help to

little avail. 

Let’s face facts: inaction on low-barrier shelters and affordable housing has led to great

suffering. For years, we have ignored those who have fallen through our system’s cracks.

No comprehensive solutions appear to be forthcoming. Into that void, FUMC has allowed

the unhoused to gather in their parking lot. The problem? Tent encampments are illegal in

Great Falls, according to rules devised in 2005 by the Planning Advisory Board and Zoning


No one believes tents in our downtown are ideal substitutes for proper housing. They cause

problems for the downtown business community, and unease for nearby residents.

Homelessness is a solvable problem, but only if we pursue specific, goal-directed policies

that work. Instead of scorning the conduct of homeless people, all levels of government,

working with citizens and the unhoused, should institute policies that work to end


It is especially important that the Great Falls City Government takes a leading role in

addressing this problem and help devise a solution. Opting instead to apply 17-year-old

zoning laws and lawsuits to force the Church’s hand, the City of Great Falls forced the Church

to dismantle their tent encampment on August 1. The bad news here is

that there is no other place for its occupants to go. Without addressing the needs of the

people in the tent encampment, the City has chosen to “kick the can down the road”— it

will resurface almost immediately.

Our choice is now pretty clear.  We can either continue to pay heavily by merely reacting to

people’s homelessness, endlessly chasing them through the expensive rotating doors of the

criminal justice system and hospital emergency rooms, or we can decide that we all need to

step up and invest in finally ending chronic homelessness.

The solutions are out there; all we need to do is find the political will.

Republicans Attack Voting Rights

Republicans Attack Voting Rights

By K.T.

Make no mistake about it, the Republican Party is out to get your right to vote.  Never mind that Republicans swept the 2020 elections across the state. Never mind those allegations of election fraud across the country and here in Montana have proven to be paranoid fantasies.  The Republican Party is forging ahead with its plan to make it significantly harder to vote, particularly for groups of people who have traditionally voted for Democrats. 

At the recent Montana Republican Party convention, changing how voting is conducted was high on their agenda.  Don’t be fooled by their rhetoric about “problems” in the current system of voting.  Their push is about changing the rules so Republican candidates have an advantage in elections.

Speaking in favor of requiring hand counting of ballots, Great Falls Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway said she supported the change, because she wanted something for Republican clerk and recorder candidates to run on.  And she added, “If we’re going to do hand ballots counting, we need the people of this party (Republicans) counting those ballots.” 

In a convention which demonstrated that the Montana Republican Party is firmly in the hands of the most extreme factions of the Party, opposition to the far-right agenda was not tolerated.  Representative David Bedey called out the mythology of election fraud in Montana, saying, “These attacks — unfounded attacks — on Montana’s election system does nothing but degrade the confidence our citizens have in this fundamental process.” Bedey’s comment was greeted with loud boos from the audience.  The measure to require cumbersome hand counting passed. No doubt the Republicans will want to see the final election results written with quill pens dipped in ink.

Rock and Roe Draws Activists to Gibson

Rock and Roe Draws Activists to Gibson

A large group of pro-choice activists gathered at Gibson Park last Saturday. The goal? Fight back against egregious assaults on our bodily autonomy. Activists registered voters, wrote postcards to their representatives and connected with local pro-choice candidates. But all work and no play quickly leads to burnout, so fun was also on the agenda. A free clothing giveaway, yoga, and musical entertainment all added to the spirit of community involvement.

Attendees were also treated to a visit from Congressional House Candidate, Penny Ronning. Ronning is running against Republican Matt Rosendale and Independent Gary Buchanan for Montana’s Eastern district. Ronning candidly shared her reasons for being firmly pro-choice. Rosendale’s anti-choice views are clearly established. Buchanan’s website addresses the right to privacy, but the word “abortion” is not included in that section.** Uncompromising support for reproductive freedom is a non-negotiable for many of us as we approach election season. For me, that includes openly saying the word “abortion.” Avoiding the word promotes continued stigmatization. So, Ronning’s unapologetic support for our medical freedom and willingness to say “abortion” is a welcome departure from the usual “play both sides” politics we’re all used to.

The arts have always been a haven of creativity, free speech, and peaceful protest. Live music was provided by artists Joe Ryan, Red Sky Morning from Lewistown, and Great Falls’ own Dirt Wave. All entertainers donated their time and talents in support of abortion rights. Barb Walden of Yoga! Of Course! also treated guests to a free yoga class, a self-care essential when the current dystopia is getting your down. Check out these awesome talents here:
Joe Ryan: Joe doesn’t have a facebook, but he performs every Sunday at the Black Eagle Country Club from 10am-1pm and every Wednesday at the Halftime Sports Bar from 5:30pm-8:30pm.
Barb Walden Yoga! Of Course!

If you weren’t able to make it Saturday, stay tuned as we’ll have many other Pro-Choice activism opportunities coming your way! Until then, enjoy these snapshots!

***updated for clarity and readability
Candidate Lela Graham speaks with Pro-Choice voters
Congressional candidate, Penny Ronning, shares her Pro-Choice story with the crowd
Musical artist, Joe Ryan, entertains activists while they register to vote
Your intrepid author defies the heat to sport this fashionable contraception ensemble