Montana Politics

Dennis Rehberg: At the Kiddy Table Again

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The recent effort to protect Glacier National Park from the impact of potential nearby mining demonstrates exactly why Montana needs leaders like Governor Schweitzer and Senators Tester and Baucus rather than the childish, unhelpful “efforts” of Dennis Rehberg, who’s so desperate to politicize every issue that he never manages to get anything done.

While there was some disagreement between Montana’s leaders about how to proceed, in the end, they decided to work together to do what’s best for the park and its surrounding areas:

Specifically, Schweitzer complained that Baucus and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., were failing to secure an estimated $17 million needed to buy out exploratory investments already made by Canadian mining companies. The senators, for their part, complained that Schweitzer hadn’t made a proper request for the funds.
On Thursday, all involved acknowledged the accomplishments of the others, and committed to moving toward a shared goal.
“We all support the same end game here,” Tester said.

What did Representative Rehberg, one of the most spendthrift members of Congress the past decade, contribute? A snarky statement issued through one of his PR men:

Rehberg’s office criticized Schweitzer’s request as another Democratic “taxpayer bailout.”

I doubt most Montanans would regard protecting one of our state (and nation’s) real wilderness treasures as an inappropriate “bailout.”  I suspect that the small business owners who depend on Glacier tourists, sportsmen and women and rural Montanans who Rehberg pretends to support understand the importance of preserving Glacier as well.

But, to Rehberg, a small-minded hypocrite who can only say no because he doesn’t have any ideas of his own? Protecting Glacier is less important than scoring political points with his radical base.

That’s the difference between Montana Democrats and Representative Rehberg—it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and fire off tweets that are nothing more than regurgitated talking points to appeal to the Tea Party crowd, but actual governance, actual work that improves the lives of Montanans? That takes effort and maturity that our Representative simply lacks.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • EXTREMELY BOLD for a guy who spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on slick campaign style mailers. Rehberg's using our money to bail himself out. There may be a bigger scumbag currently operating in Montana politics, but I honestly do not know who it is.

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