A Far Right Republican and Cascade County’s Loopy Libertarians

A Far Right Republican and Cascade County’s Loopy Libertarians

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.  https://wtf406.com/2024/04/school-board-candidate-attacks-gfps-employee-in-tik-tok-video/. 

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.

ECB Hates…Philanthropy?

ECB Hates…Philanthropy?

Just last Wednesday was Valentines Day’s, but the ghouls over at E City Beat ✅ seem stuck in the first act of The Grinch. Great Falls faces a lot of problems right now, from a housing crisis to a police force without mental health services support. Yet, “ECB Staff” which is typically code for “Commissioner Rick Tryon” decided they needed to release a hard-hitting report on two local philanthropists.

Keeping people angry and ignorant is a key Republican tactic. So, although dystopian, it should be no surprise that Republicans have turned their ire towards libraries. Free information, community space, help with things like taxes and legal paperwork, all of these services infuriate the right. Frankly, the less you read, the more likely you are to vote down ticket Republican. So while libraries are, undoubtedly, a-political entities simply serving the public good, they are now the #1 target for idiots like the staff at E City Beat. 

Enter the “Vote Yes” campaign. This privately-funded initiative worked to promote the library levy which passed last summer. Not a single taxpayer dollar was used for this initiative. The library levy passed, and Commissioner Tryon has been going after the library ever since.  

Most recently, ECB decided to drudge up the records of who donated to the “Vote Yes” initiative. This information is indeed public record, but what confounds this author is that ECB would attempt to shame local citizens for their philanthropy. Charitable giving to institutions like libraries and schools (and the groups that support them) should be the subject of praise and appreciation. In another journalistic faceplant, ECB even revealed that the two families donated to the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation and the United Way  of Cascade County respectively. The horror! The shame! The selfless sharing of wealth!

ECB’s ire towards these donors is particularly funny considering their vocal support of the failed safety levy. The media campaign for that levy was NOT based on private donors. Instead, Tryon spent tens-of-thousands of OUR tax dollars to try to sway the voters. He failed. You still paid the price. 

However, if ECB really wants us to start getting into who is donating to causes, it seems fitting we look at the ANTI-library campaign. You know the one. They had several billboards all around town. They falsely claimed that the library promoted pornography and drag queens. They also used the “No” symbol twice, grammatically negating their claims and reminding us of the importance of literacy. 

The main funders of the anti-library campaign, the group “Liberty and Values MT,” were the Duncans. They donated a total of $3987.00.  The Duncans are also the owners of Happy Tails Lodge. If you either support libraries or simply don’t believe in misinformation and homophobia, then consider NOT boarding your pets at Happy Tails. If you’re pulling your pet from their services, be sure to let them know that E City Beat’s article is the reason you’re taking your business elsewhere.

Also of note, Lola Sheldon Galloway donated $200 to the group. Considering the Galloways are millionaires, it appears they weren’t wholly committed to this project. Perhaps they considered it a bad investment?  Importantly, Beth Cummings ALSO donated to the campaign. Cummings is one of the lead plaintiffs in a failed lawsuit against the library levy.

I anticipate ECB will now claim this information is all “publicly available” and perhaps try to claim their article had no ill-intent. That’s bullshit. ECB wanted to make these donors uncomfortable, and likely wanted to turn public opinion against them. We trust that Great Falls citizens are smart enough to realize that philanthropy towards groups like United Way, the Great Falls Public School Foundation, and the library is a GOOD thing. The only time such donations are shameful is when they’re supporting groups that trying to cause harm and spread hate- groups like Liberty and Values MT. 

Since we can’t count on our actual Commissioners to say this, we will instead.

THANK YOU to the generous donors that supported our library. We appreciate your use of private funds to support this great cause. You saved the city money. In stark contrast to the safety levy, you didn’t rely on taxpayer dollars for your initiative. Our city is better when the library is fully funded. Our city is better when those with the means support fantastic organizations like the United Way. We appreciate that you care enough about others to help support these wonderful institutions. There is NO shame in philanthropy, and we sincerely hope that you won’t be dissuaded from future donations because of ECB’s pathetic attempts to shame you. Great Falls is better when we take care of each other. We appreciate you being part of that. 

Read about our prior interactions with this confederacy of dunces here: https://wtf406.com/2023/04/wtf406-forces-anti-library-group-to-change-its-name/

Read about Tryon and friend’s history of attacking the library here:





Here’s verification of the donors to the anti-library campaign. This, too, is public record.

These screenshots show the donations discussed above.  You can also see the records for yourself by searching Liberty and Values MT here: Campaign Electronic Reporting System (dashboard) (mt.gov)



UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated Beth Cummings was the latest hire at the elections office. This was inaccurate. Our eternal thanks to Jeni Dodd for bringing this mistake to our attention. We value her continued readership.