FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 18, 2020
ENDORSEMENT ALERT: Scandal-Plagued Public Service Commissioner Endorses Downing, Then Deletes Tweet
Helena, MT – Reporting from the Billings Gazette details a toxic culture of bullying, spying, and harassment at the Montana Public Service Commission, with Commissioner Randy Pinocci at the center. The Gazette reports, among other things:
“Randy Pinocci began reading through [fellow Commissioner] Koopman’s emails without Koopman’s knowledge. Several of the emails were then leaked to a right-wing website, NorthWest Liberty News, where they were read aloud and posted for public reading. The headline on the website read “Roger Koopman’s work email laid bare,” and included private conversations between Koopman and family members.
In the face of these revelations, Pinocci saw fit to weigh in on the 2020 race for State Auditor, announcing his endorsement of Troy Downing, before deleting it shortly after.
Downing has his own history of misconduct. In 2017, he was charged with nine hunting violations on instances ranging from 2011 to 2016, and pled guilty in July of 2018 to having obtained resident hunting licenses as a non-resident and unlawfully procuring a license or permit. Just weeks ago, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices found Troy Downing violated Montana campaign finance law on seven separate counts. Downing’s campaign described the violations as “administrative at best,” demonstrating a clear disregard for Montana’s campaign fairness and transparency laws.
“Does Troy Downing stand by Randy Pinocci’s disturbing conduct? Montanans have a right to know,” said MDP Communications Director Nathan Stein.