Montana Politics

Where in the World is Dennis Rehberg?

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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.

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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  • We know that his Icelandic trips didn’t educate him on how to treat the bankers that send their country’s economy down the toilet.

    We also know he isn’t particularly concerned about the health and welfare of Montanans serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    It amazes me that he has to travel so far to meet with defense contractors. One would assume they have offices in DC.

    Having a hard time to come up with legitimate reasons for his trips. If his staff can’t offer specifics on promoting Montana, I’m inclined to disbelieve that claim….

    Let’s make Denny eligible for Unemployment.

  • Where is Denny ?

    He’s out campaigning, winning an election.

    This campaign is interesting – Denny has had a steady lead in the polls of one, to a few points, and it’s never wavered, and so the Dems are going back to their playbook of smear, smear, smear, and the GOP is countering every ad with one defining Jon Tester, and the voters have tuned them both out.

    They (the Dems) should have changed their playbook, because Denny one election cycle ago won a Statewide race, by huge margins, against Dennis McDonald, and the attack ads didn’t work then either.

    I’ve been looking at the numbers for Denny’s last few races, and Testers race in 2006, county by county, and it’s looking to me like a 56-43-1 victory shaping up for Denny – I believe Tester does a little better than McDonald did, because of the lobbyist money he’s enjoying, but not a lot better.

    I’m only hoping the GOP runs the table with both houses of our legislature, and the Gov. seat, so they can start undoing some of the damage caused by Gov. BS.

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