One thing I learned from Randy Pinocci’s Facebook timeline is that his wife is about take away his phone. The rest we must gather from the news. The man from Sun River made headlines last week, when someone gave the Fairfield Sun-Times a copy of an email in which he proposed “a law that says impersonating a reporter is against the law maybe after we put a few of these idiots in jail we can get better reporting.” Bro, you must use punctuation when calling people idiots. It seems like Pinocci was pretty worked up when he wrote that, and he subsequently told the Sun-Times he had no intention to propose such a law. He was just sayin’ stuff.
One of Pinocci’s fellow Republicans from Cascade County, JC Kantorowicz, has been engaging in a little stuff-just-saying of his own. At a meeting of the county Republican Central Committee regarding delegates to the state convention, he became frustrated by the schedule and seemed to threaten a rival’s life. A transcript:
JC Kantorowicz, primary candidate in SD 10: “So does this mean I have to come back on the 21st to keep [former Rep.] Roger Hagan and [rival SD 10 candidate] Steve Fitzpatrick from going?
Chairman George Paul: Well, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to come back.
Sec. Judy Tankink: Unless you have a proxy. Would a proxy work in a situation like that?
Kantorowicz: A bullet would.
That’s not cool, but Kantorowicz has assured the Great Falls Tribune that he intended no threat, “implied or implicit,” to harm anyone. “If I make a remark because I’m tired as hell, I’m hungry, I want to go home and I sure as hell don’t want to come to the next meeting, it’s a flippant remark,” he said.
When I get tired, I talk about shooting people on-record at political party functions, too. Kantorowicz and Pinocci are on one side of a rift in the Cascade County Republicans that mirrors the larger split in the Montana GOP. Hagan and Fitzpatrick are moderates. Pinocci and Kantorowicz are hard-right conservatives.1 Their faction has largely been kept from the levers of power, partly because the schism has weakened the Republican majority in the legislature and partly because moderates have shut the right-wingers out. That’s probably a good thing, but it has accustomed them to operating in the realm of pure rhetoric.
Loose talk has become the modus operandi of Montana’s conservatives. They stand so little chance of making laws that their careers have become performances. Their speech, like their politics, is mostly theoretical. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.