There are so many reasons to reject Randy Pinocci’s bid for Public Service Commission District 1, among them:
- he complained about the pay legislators received despite being caught playing video games on the House floor during his one term.
- he had such violent confrontations with fellow Republicans that the Cascade County Republicans had to talk about increasing security at their meetings.
- he believes that one of the most pressing issues facing the PSC is the scourge of “people walking on the tracks with headphones and a train runs them over.”
- he wrongly believes that the PSC has the power to overturn the CSKT Compact between the State of Montana and has run a bigoted campaign promising he’ll block the compact.
- he literally has no idea what the CSKT Compact does.
- he violated campaign finance laws while running for the Legislature and was apparently so overmatched by the task that the Commissioner of Political Practices gave him a free pass in one race and ruled against him in the next.
- while in the Legislature he pushed a net metering bill (something the PSC will have jurisdiction over) that was “so self-serving he should have faced ethics charges.”
- he also, in that undistinguished session claimed that the United Nations Agenda 21 had made it impossible for him to build on his land.
In short, Pinocci is, in the words of former Republican legislator Rob Cook a “buffoon… a bloviating buffoon who just spews nonsense and lies.”
Even all of that didn’t prepare me for what I learned about Mr. Pinocci late this summer: he is one unbelievably litigious dude, having been involved in 21 lawsuits just in Cascade County just in the past nine years.
While most Republicans endlessly argue that we need to limit damages in lawsuits and tamp down on frivolous suits (it’s even in their party platform), Pinocci seems to feel differently, with 13 suits in Justice Court and 8 in District Court over the nine-year span, featuring Pinocci as the plaintiff in all but one case.
He’s sued for every reason imaginable, ranging from a claim that he was fired from his job because the Montana Contractors Association leaned on his employer for his votes in the Legislature, to lawsuits claiming one million dollars in damage because he claimed a toaster caused his house to burn down.
In one open case, he’s suing A Jay Concrete Pumping because he claims the company didn’t properly mix the cement for a garage to house his collection of expensive classic cars.
He’s sued individuals and Home Depot.
He’s sued Montana small business and large corporations.
He just sues all the time.
Every American has the right to seek her date in court, but one has to wonder about how Randy Pinocci has found himself in court more times in a decade than most Montanans would in five lifetimes. At the most charitable, his litigious record suggests that either Mr. Pinocci is the least lucky person who has ever lived in Cascade County or he has terrible judgment about the people he does business with.
Less charitably and more likely? Pinocci has used the court system just as Republicans claim in their party platform that some people do, personally benefiting from “litigious legal climate” that decreases the predictability of doing business in Montana.
Perhaps that explains why Pinocci voted against a bipartisan-supported Republican measure during his one term in the Legislature that would have limited the damages plaintiffs could seek in certain accidents.
It almost certainly helps explain why the typically very conservative Montana Chamber of Commerce endorsed Democrat Doug Kaercher over Pinocci, noting that Kaercher’s “vast prior experience underscores the balanced approach he will bring to the Public Service Commission.”
Even while he’s a candidate, Pinocci can’t stop thinking about suing. On his personal Facebook page, in the middle of a campaign, he’s permitted a post on his Facebook page soliciting the aid of any “legal eagles” who can help him pursue yet another case, this time against the Montana Democratic Party.
The PSC needs a champion for ratepayers, not someone looking another government paycheck for a job he clearly lacks the ability and character to perform. And we certainly don’t need to have Pinocci in Helena often enough to clog the Lewis and Clark County courts with his lawsuits.
The choice is clear: Doug Kaercher should represent the people of District 1 on the PSC.
I’ll let you all know when Pinocci sues me for writing mean things about him. I assume it will happen any day now.