While I can occasionally be a bit of a critic of the local political media, it’s hard not to love today’s AP story by Matt Gouras, in which he dissects Congressman Rehberg’s abuse of taxpayer dollars to give himself a little taste of world travel.
The Rehberg defense is the best part:
The Rehberg campaign said the travel came as part of the foreign operations appropriations subcommittee that funds and oversees embassies. It said the congressman also promoted Montana trade, but did not offer specific examples.
There are probably two reasons for their inability to provide specific examples: one, that any specifics would involve Rehberg single-handedly boosting the Kazakh economy through his alcohol consumption, or two, that there simply are no specifics to report.
While Senator Tester has taken trips to survey American progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rehberg’s trips are more suggestive of a cosmopolitan world traveler. He’s braved the wilds of Denmark, Iceland, and Spain, and ventured boldly to tourist destinations like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In almost every destination, he met with lobbyists and those trying to get federal contracts.
Once again, the real Dennis Rehberg reveals himself. The same person who believes Pell Grants are welfare and in cutting veteran benefits doesn’t think twice about expensive personal travel or excessive vehicle reimbursement for himself.
There is a stark choice in the 2012 Senate race, between a man who still has his Montana values and one who has lost touch with the people and values of this state. Mr. Rehberg would be better served following his first love and becoming a lobbyist. The life of travel, expense accounts, and a total lack of accountability would suit him well.