Montana Public Service Commissioner, Randy Pinocci appeared on Montana Gazette Radio recently to discuss Senate Bill 160, a bill that would effectively take the role of electing a pubic service commissioner out of the hands of the public and put them into the hands of the sitting governor to appoint whomever they wish.
As outlined by Commissioner Pinocci during the interview linked below, one of the disadvantages of the Kary bill is that term limits for commissioners would be a thing of the past. Furthermore, the action of appointing someone to the PSC, if history is any guide, will result in an organization that will become more distant from the rate-payers while becoming less accountable to them.
Public servants who are in office because they were voted in all share one thing in common, they can be voted out or impeached if they do not perform the job that their bosses, the voters, chose them to do.
Unlike elections, appointments can be granted or removed at the whim of the executive currently in charge. Put more plainly, appointments favor the establishment while elections favor the people.
As one might expect, Commissioner Randy Pinocci has some solid disagreements with Senator Kary on the direction of the Montana PSC. He joined Jim White from Montana Gazette Radio recently to express those disagreements.