You really have to admire Representative Randy Pinocci. When he’s not running around the Montana Legislature battling the imaginary threat of Agenda 21 or working to pass a wasteful, hateful, and unconstitutional bill to require drug tests for welfare recipients, he’s demonstrating a real penchant for whining and creative accounting in the press.
You really all ought to read this profile of the freshman Representative in the Great Falls Tribune. When he wasn’t justifying votes against the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind and other schools, Pinocci bitterly wept about his inadequate salary as a member of the Legislature, telling the Tribune that he makes $5 an hour for his work:
And as for a state employee wage increase, “I don’t know any state employee who makes the wages I make, $5 an hour for 16-hour days,” he said.
Having lived in Helena for the past twenty years and having seen many legislators generally and Mr. Pinocci specifically out on the town, I’d say that it’s pretty brazen to suggest that he’s putting in 16 hour days, unless he’s counting free drinks and meals in that tally. As the delightful Twitter account Bourbon and Frost notes:
— Bourbon & Frost (@BourbonAndFrost) March 23, 2015
But that’s not at all. It seems some of the work being done by Representative Pinocci is a bit more virtual than real. It appears he likes to play soldier on a Facebook video game, presumably on his state-provided laptop, sometimes while the session is active–and certainly during those 16 hour days:
Between February 9th and March 3rd, Pinocci posted at least 25 times. Do those count among the 16 hour work days, I wonder?
A tipster sent me this image (and dozens more) as (s)he caught the Representative paying less attention to the needs of the people of Montana than the needs of his virtual soldier persona. At the time, I didn’t plan to use the images, but given Pinocci’s penchant for pusillanimous posturing in the press, it seems more relevant today.
In the end, you chose to run, Representative Pinocci, just as you choose to play virtual solider and virtual legislator. Just try to remember that, unlike in your video games, the decisions you make in the House affect real people with serious needs, needs even more profound than your need to develop a sense of empathy and perspective.