Shouldn’t a Congressman Be Smart Enough to File a Public Records Request?

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The more the story about Dennis Rehberg’s lawsuit against the City of Billings and itsrehberg firefighters gets developed, the more clear it becomes that the Prince of the Rimrocks and his wife are incredibly dishonest and/or profoundly stupid.

From the outset of the story, Rehberg has been claiming that he filed his non-lawsuit because the City of Billings refused to give him information. It turns out that the Rehbergs actually got better treatment than I suspect most taxpayers would have received:

Fire Chief Paul Dextras, however, said Wednesday that city officials met at least twice with the Rehbergs and homeowners in the aftermath of the fire. The Fire Department released incident reports to The Billings Gazette in just a few hours Wednesday.
Dextras said that he and other top fire officials met with Jan Rehberg in February 2009 in City Administrator Tina Volek’s office, and firefighters made a presentation to subdivision homeowners a few months later on how to protect their homes from another wildfire.

I’m not the expert on prevarication that our esteemed representative has shown[pullquote]Because it exposes Rehberg for what he is: an entitled, spoiled hypocrite who, despite wanting to stop truly suffering people from being able to use the court system to stop real abuse, thinks there’s nothing wrong with suing taxpayers and volunteer firefighters to line his pockets.[/pullquote] himself to be, but two meetings with firefighters doesn’t sound like what he told Montana’s firemen yesterday:

“We were surprised. We thought somebody would actually like to share that information with us, (but) no,” Rehberg said.

How many more meetings do the Rehbergs feel they are entitled to, exactly?

Not satisfied with repeatedly lying, the Rehbergs have also demonstrated incredible stupidity, repeated claiming that they could not get a  report on the fire. Of course, because it was a public record, all they had to do was fill out a form and request it, as the Billings Gazette found out:

The reports by state law are public documents, and The Gazette was able to get copies of them on Wednesday by filling out a one-page form and paying 25 cents per page for copying. The reports include narratives, summaries of 911 calls and the names of firefighters and commanders on the scene.

I’m not sure that Montana’s sole representative to the Congress should be incapable of performing a basic civic function. Maybe one of this staffers (who seem familiar with the workings of courtrooms) could have demonstrated how to do it.

Why does this story matter? Because it exposes Rehberg for what he is: an entitled, spoiled hypocrite who, despite wanting to stop truly suffering people from being able to use the court system to stop real abuse, thinks there’s nothing wrong with suing taxpayers and volunteer firefighters to line his pockets.

It’s far past time we threw this bum out of office.

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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