Last September, Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci said that Misssoula should be targeted for “brownouts”. In a speech calling for Republican elected officials to “flex their political muscle,” Pinocci requested that PSC staff figure out if reductions of power in the grid could be targeted to specific communities. Apparently, Pinocci was responding to citizen protests against NorthWestern Energy.
Last August, Pinocci issued a bogus blackout warning. Pinocci and one other Public Service Commissioner issued a statement which said, “the probable lack of energy leading to ‘rolling blackouts’ in eastern Montana this summer as well as frighteningly real possibilities of hugely inadequate shortages in Montana in winter.” Turned out the whole thing was bogus. The PSC staff was forced to point out that the full Public Service Commission did not support Pinocci’s statement.
In 2020, Pinocci went on the far-right Northwest Liberty News webcast and said he was concerned about fellow Public Service Commissioner Roger Koopman bringing a gun to the office. Koopman denied the allegation.
Also in 2020, Pinocci apparently hacked into a fellow PSC commissioner’s e-mail account and put together a story which he then shopped to media outlets. When The Billings Gazette refused to publish the story, Pinoccci went to Northwest Liberty News which published a story under the headline, “Terror in Helena! ‘I’m afraid that Roger Koopman will bring a gun to work and shoot me. . . .”
At a speech in Havre In March 2022, Pinocci called for regulation of social media to control “anti-conservative” bias. He went on to compare the supposed oppression of conservatives to the oppression of Black Americans under Jim Crow.
In 2016, when he was a legislator, Pinocci called for the jailing of journalists after the Fairfield Sun Times refused to publish an editorial he wrote on gun rights saying, “. . .maybe after we put a few of these idiots in jail we can get better reporting.” https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R1IpUvxSB7Ac08EtiYWSJKk2X-EUVk_j4Q20Je5HUQE/edit
Pinocci has quite a record of expressing extreme views, and there is a lot more than we have listed above. But perhaps the most disconcerting thing about Pinocci and the Cascade County Republicans is their corruption. It is worth noting that two of Pinocci’s family members were recently hired by the new Clerk and Recorder and election denier Sandra Merchant.
Other elected Republicans are also involved in suspect situations. Legislators Steven and Lola Galloway are leasing a big building they own to the state Motor Vehicle Division whose budget they oversee as legislators. (WTF406 filed an information request with the state asking for information on the bidding process for the lease more than two months ago). Speaking of the Galloways, many of Steven Galloway’s bills at the legislature promoted his business interests as a landlord in Great Falls. Then there is the whole saga of Senator Jeremy Trebas’ attempt to change state law to enrich his real estate deals. https://wtf406.com/2023/07/senator-trebas-tax-scam-turns-into-an-albatross-around-his-neck/
And let’s not forget Representative Steve Gist, and the fact that his primary residence and place of business appears to be in Flathead County not Cascade County, where he is supposed to be our representative. https://wtf406.com/2022/10/where-in-the-world-does-steve-gist-really-live/