Whenever I see Rep. Developer Denny strutting around in a cowboy hat and matching boots, I get somewhat ill. It’s like watching that guy that comes up from California for a couple of weeks, hangs out on a Dude Ranch, and spends a few thousand dollars to look like a “real ol’ authentic-like cowboy.”
Rehberg mimics the “cowboy” and it would be funny, if it weren’t so painful to watch.
For ten-plus years, Rep. Rehberg has successfully gotten away with “gee whiz, I’m a real life rancher.” However, since announcing his bid to unseat Sen. Tester, the blinders are coming off. First, you have the gaffe from last year where Rehberg claimed to be “cash poor” and “struggling like everyone else.” He’s “struggling,” but also claims to own the Rims surrounding Billings.
What’s on the Rims? A ranch full of cattle? Goats? Sheep?
Nope. Rehberg Ranch is full of subdivisions and mini-mansions. Check it out yourself: RehbergRanch.com
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with development. There is nothing wrong with making money. There is nothing wrong doing what you want with your land (as long as it doesn’t harm others).
What’s wrong is when you do this – you pretend to be something you’re not in order to do what you think will earn you votes.:
Rehberg’s trying desperately to make himself out to be a real rancher, when what he really is is a successful developer. Rehberg’s housing developments are so important to Rehberg that he even sued the Billings Fire Department over a brush fire on his property.
Is Rehberg a rancher? Maybe the lack of cattle in the corral behind Rehberg in this political ad says it all:
Tester’s campaign has wasted little time pointing out that Denny isn’t much of a rancher. For example,
Rehberg, Tester pointed out during a debate today in Big Sky, isn’t a rancher.
“Building houses, and mansion ranchin’ ain’t ranchin,” Tester said.
In fact, according to public records, Rehberg hasn’t bought, sold or registered any livestock for at least 12 years. [Department of Livestock, inspection and sale records, accessed 7/27/11]
Rehberg, it turns out, gave up cattle ranching and goat ranching because—according to his own campaign manager—Rehberg “couldn’t manage the herd and going back and forth between Montana and D.C.” [Esquire, 11/4/2011]
Tester’s campaign extensively debunks the notion that Rehberg is some kind of authentic rancher versus a land developer.
Again, there is nothing wrong with building houses or developing land. Both are respectable ways to make a living and if that’s what you do, then just say it.
Don’t be phony. Don’t be something you’re not. We Montanans are smarter than you think, Mr. Rehberg.