The Montana Congressman who pleaded guilty to assaulting a news reporter has been sentenced. A judge ordered Greg Gianforte to pay a $385 fine and complete 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management counseling.
The 56-year-old lawmaker drew national attention last month, following the release of an audio tape, where he can be heard “body slamming” a newspaper reporter. Gianforte later publicly apologized for the incident and made a sizeable donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
This is a classic example of the punishment not fitting the crime. First, Gianforte is a billionaire. Money falls out of his pockets when he stands up. A measly $385 fine means absolutely nothing to him.
Next, spinning required community service is so easy, a child could do it. His office will tout what a “community-minded” person he is, and how he’s “dedicated to giving back to the community.”
But perhaps most troubling of all is the very fact that his punishment was so light. While I suspect none of us really thought Gianforte would see any kind of real punishment, I think many of us did expect more than a slap on the wrist.
So he apologized? Try not flying off the handle in the first place!
So if I rob a convenience store and assault the owner, then later ‘apologize,’ will I get off Scot free? Of course not. I’m not a Montana Republican in this new “Wild West mentality” political climate.
The only ray of light in this entire debacle is that I have absolutely zero doubt that ol’ Greg will lose it again. Hopefully the legal system won’t go so easy on him the next time.
by Frank Calling