Libertarians have been making a bit of a splash here in Cascade County. While Libertarians rarely get elected to public office, their presence in political races often detracts from serious public discourse thanks to their rather odd positions on many issues and philosophical view of extremely limited government. 

The Pseudointellectual, Tony Rosales

The Chair of the local Libertarian Party, Tony Rosales, is running for a “non-partisan” position on the school board.  Rosales attracted attention by accusing a school district employee of having a conflict of interest, because the person served on the board of a local non-profit.  See our post on Rosales’ spurious allegations, and his own conflict of interest as a volunteer on the school debate team. 

Rosales is running an aggressive social media campaign consisting of technical looking columns of numbers to make the case that the school board is somehow violating the public trust.  Not surprising since he shoves his PHD in chemistry in everything he possibly can.  Problem is, a PHD in chemistry doesn’t mean he knows anything about school budgeting, finance or administration.

The Conspiracy Theorist, Randy Pinocci

Randy Pinocci has signed on as the Lieutenant Governor with Tanner Smith of Kalispell at the head of the ticket.  Pinocci has been active in the local Republican Party, getting elected to the state legislature and the Public Service Commission.  From those positions Pinocci has established himself as one of the most far right and intemperate people in public office.  Pinocci has a long history of attracting public attention with his conspiracy theories and promoting far-right events like the Red Pill Festival, an annual gathering of far-right activists. Most recently Pinocci was arrested for felony witness tampering related to a dispute he had with a tenant. He is currently scheduled to go to trial on those charges on April 30th here in Great Falls.  The county is bringing in Judge Jim Manley from Polson to hear the case.  As an aside, the facts of the case are well established since Pinocci threatened the witness via text message.  We can only hope the County Attorney doesn’t plead this one down because Pinocci is a local elected official.


All the King’s Men (And One Woman

If you looked at the candidate filings with the Secretary of State’s office the morning after the filing deadline, it looked like the Cascade County Libertarians were on the move.  But on closer inspection it seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors, all arranged by Tony Rosales.  In addition to Tony Rosales and  Randy Pinocci, four Libertarians filed for local legislative seats.  These included House Dist 21- Joshua Rosales, House District 23- Kevin Leatherbarrow, House District 24- Annie Leatherbarrow and  House District 25- Lui Salina. In addition, Tony Rosales also filed to run in House District 24, but the Commissioner’s office now  shows his legislative campaign as “closed”.

If you look today you will see that all but Kevin Leatherbarrow have been removed from the ballot. They were removed for failing to file the proper paperwork with the Commissioner of Political Practices  The Commissioner’s office informed WTF406 that numerous attempts are made to make sure all candidates know about the filing requirements. It may not be surprising that Libertarian candidates wouldn’t follow the rules since they don’t believe most rules should exist.

The campaign treasurer for all of the Cascade County Libertarian candidates is Tony Rosales. It is highly unusual for numerous candidates to have the same treasurer. Though there is nothing wrong with filing for office then withdrawing, it makes one wonder what is going on to cause such a change of heart. Combined with Tony Rosales’ aggressive, unfounded attacks on Great Falls Public Schools, we are getting a glimpse at how he would perform in public office. . . .poorly.

Correction- Our original post misidentified the Tanner/Pinnocci ticket as Libertarian.  In fact it is Republican.  We have made the correction and we apologize for the error.