Denny Rehberg and Derek Brown Quit Early

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Quitting early is popular among this year’s Republican elected officials.

Representative Denny Rehberg, who still represents Montana until his term ends on Jan. 2, has been mysteriously silent.  As Montana Street Fighter reported, he has stopped making public appearances, did not call Tester on Election Night, and won’t comment on legislative goals for his remaining term. He deleted his official Twitter and Facebook accounts, cutting off contact with the people he represents. Even if Rehberg did little legislative work, the next month is particularly important as Congress must act on the “fiscal cliff,” the combination of expiring tax and spending provisions that could change the federal budget by over $5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Lewis & Clark County Commissioner Derek Brown has followed a similar pattern. He set the date of his resignation for Jan 1, but has stopped coming to work, prompting a legal question at the County whether he should still be paid. According to the Independent Record, “he has already cleaned out his office and does not intend to participate in any commission activities in his remaining time on board, barring a crisis or exceptional situation.”

The two officials are obligated to fulfill their contract to the people who elected them. As long as they are getting paid, Rehberg and Brown should do their jobs.

Brown’s salary for his “six-week vacation” is approximately $9,000. As a member of Congress without a leadership position, Rehberg gets paid an annual salary of $174,000, so the taxpayers are paying him $29,000 for November and December, when he’s not working. Similarly, Rehberg’s staff are paid slightly less than $1 million, or approximately $153,000 during these two months.

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About the author

Tyler Evilsizer

Raised in Helena, Tyler's particularly passionate about the environment, transparency, and wonky budget policy. The views expressed are his own.

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Mark Tokarski
Guest

Are you the Montana Cowboy?

Craig Moore
Guest
Craig Moore

Your cupboard is a bit bare to drag Rehberg through this. I swear if he didn’t exist you guys would have to invent him to have something to unify your hate, not unlike the Soviets who fought WWII for 50 years after it’s end to keep it’s people focused on the “enemy.” As to Tester’s Sportsmens bill, looks awfully similar to Rehberg’s Sportsmens Heritage Act which already passed the House. Perhaps you should be asking Tester to support it and move on to the fiscal cliff. As to contacting Rehberg’s office, just pick up the phone. Sheesh.

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

Hyperbole much, Craig? Rehberg did nothing for 12 years save name post offices, get in drunken accidents involving horse and boat, and defend a statue. And now you think the people who worked hard to defeat him should be ashamed for pointing out that he does exactly what he always did, NOTHING?

Ben Lamb
Guest
Ben Lamb

There’s a lot of difference’s between Tester’s Sportsman’s Act of 2012 and Rob Bishop’s Sportsmen’s Heritage Act. Tester rightly opposes the Bishop act because it would cause some severe problems due to it’s inartful drafting, and the ridiculous amendment regarding the Antiquities Act. Tester’s bill wraps up 20 individual bills and packages them together in a very non-controversial way, unless you think the EPA should be in charge of wildlife management, which the Obama and Bush Administrations both agreed was inappropriate. The Bishop bill (which Rehberg only co-sponsored) would eliminate basic protections on wilderness, erode Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy and decrease… Read more »

James Conner
Guest

We need to tweak the Constitution so that newly elected members of Congress take office immediately after being elected. No lame ducks, no lame duck sessions.

And Rehberg? I suspect he believed his tracking polls, realized he was going to lose, and threw in the towel a few days before the election. Unless he’s ill, his behavior after the election is described best as pouting.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

Since both got less than 50%, Tester having pushed the passenger eject button on progressives and environmentalists and then having his sorry ass rescued by a $million injection of Citizens United money, I ask with all sincerity that all of you go ahead and celebrate your victory, as Democrats do, without regard to any substantial matters, as Democrats do. Your partisan fellows have gone back to sleep now, and all’s well. Yeah, Tester’s a Democrat, yeah, he won, so yeah, be happy. But please, out of human kindness, do not hold yourself out as people who care about our forests,… Read more »

NamelessRange
Guest
NamelessRange

There’s no difference..blah blah..fallacious reasoning..blah blah…lack of evidence..blah ..conspiracy..blah…indoctrination..blah..oligarchy…snore…..

Mark Tokarski
Guest

Did I not say you guys fall asleep after elections? See?

Talk about the $million in CU money, or forever stay asleep at the wheel.

NamelessRange
Guest
NamelessRange

That’snot the position you argue from though is it? Let’s not move the goalposts and forget that you add a second premise. You consistently argue that it doesn’t matter where the money comes from. In an earlier post, PW pointed out to you that money going to Tester came from groups with opposing viewpoints and competing endgoals as those groups that gave money to Rehberg. To which you responded with babble about oligarchy, ignoring real differences and placing an unjustified weight upon similarities. What you need to defend is probabilities. I’ve said it before. You confuse logical possibility with probability.… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

“You consistently argue that it doesn’t matter where the money comes from. In an earlier post, PW pointed out to you that money going to Tester came from groups with opposing viewpoints and competing endgoals as those groups that gave money to Rehberg.” PW does not know where that money came from any more than you do. And it doesn’t matter where the money came from if the problem is money. But you are shifting as we speak as you … there’s a bill on the horizon – no one to protect us now from FJRA, as Bingaman is gone,… Read more »

NamelessRange
Guest
NamelessRange

Mark, your are irrational, arguing against yourself in the same post. Again. “If you don’t know the donors, how do you know them to be pragmatic?” So your position is that people will just throw money at a candidate regardless of their interests? Like I said. Probabilities. You seem oblivious. “Worse than that, in saying “pragmatic,” you really saying “apolitical,” which is nonsense” No. I’m not. I said pragmatic. It’s not complicated. Hello straw man. “Large political donors have always wanted subsidy, tax breaks, free access to the commons, protection from competition and regulation” So your position is that all… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

But you blah blah blahed right through the best part! I said “Democrats are now the party of aggressive war, torture, secret prisons, drone attacks, civilian deaths, assassination, indefinite detention for Americans and tax cuts for the wealthy, austerity and bondage to the insurance cartel.” You said “blah blah blah!” You cannot force yourself to take ownership of your own party platform. Interesting. “So your position is that people will just throw money at a candidate regardless of their interests?” No – my position is that people will throw money at a candidate depending on his willingness to address their… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Member

Hmmm…So Democrats end an aggressive war responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths, refrain from starting any new ones, and somehow THEY are the party of aggressive war? It’s not blah blah blah because its a trivial charge, but rather because it’s a trumped up one, to be polite (absurd, to be frank).

Mark Tokarski
Guest

The Democrats did nothing more than follow through on the plans in place under agreements made under Bush in Iraq and only reluctantly. You know this. Your repeated claim that Obama got us out of Iraq is a cheap talking point, demonstrably false. He tried to keep us in that country, but the war effort failed in many ways and he had to move troops to neighboring countries. “He” amped up the attack on Afghanistan/Pakistan. They shunted Libya off to NATO. Syria/Lebanon is seemingly being done covertly, and this is an interesting pattern – with each new war there is… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

BTW, a respectable British polling outfit, ORB, placed Iraqi war casualties at 1.2 million. That’s more in line with my outlook on real war objectives, which were depopulation, demoralization, the total terror experience and control of resources. Most of US troop activity centered around nighttime Gestapo raids, dehumanizing and terrifying and done to everyone. It is a continuing fascist effort and a moveable feast. State boundaries are happenstance.

Your continual refrain, that elections affect US foreign policy, is unfounded. Elections are pressure release valves, nothing more.

NamelessRange
Guest
NamelessRange

“The whole point of this debate is how to determine which one is real or fake, usually both, and when finding that both are corrupt, trying to find ways to work in a democratic system for public good and justice. No, that’s not the point, as I have been quite clear. Never have I said I am a Democrat. Always I have said that an individual could vote for Tester and be perfectly rational, identifying genuine differences between him and Rehberg that effect real people in positive ways. You fail in demonstrating they are all the same. Instead, working from… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

You’re not a Democrat. Good grief. And you’ve yet to show me one of those differences between the two – I’ll admit I make it difficult, demanding substantive claims rather than reverse-engineered voting records, and real action instead of talking points.

But I want to take you seriously, Mr. non-Democrat Saying something meaningful.

The Polish Wolf
Member

Mark! Good to see you’ve changed your tune. At one time, it was ‘follow the money’. Now it is merely ‘recognize the existence of money, and condemn it.’ So far, I’ve seen no evidence that the source of LCVs money, or the intentions behind it, are anything other than ‘as advertised’. However, following your now outdated advice, and I asked myself, cui bono? Certainly not the same people funding Rehberg. After all, if there’s hundreds of thousands of dollars that says that Rehberg is the candidate that makes sense for the oil, gas, and mining industries. So, who benefits from… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

I’ve not changed my tune, and you’ve yet to follow the money. I’ve been at this for many years, and have consistently claimed that money in politics is a corrupting influence and that private funding of campaigns is corrupt, per se. Now that CU has removed the pretense that corporations were not funding campaigns, we are at least more open about our corruption. The LCV money is dirty. Know how I know? One, that group fronted for Baucus even though he’s the anti-environment guy, and two, they won’t tell you where they got it. I’m deep, I tell you. Deep.… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Member

Your evidence is weak, in that it consists of “The LCV is corrupt because they supported a candidate I don’t like.” Ever stop to think that unlike you, the LCV pays attention to what State they are in, and what the alternatives are, when they decide which candidate to support. I like how when I do follow the money, and you don’t like where it leads, you tell me to drop the point. One industry overwhelmingly backs Rehberg. I’m not, and have never said, that it makes Rehberg more corrupt. I’m saying that it shows that there is a difference… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

LCV is a front group, called ‘Astroturf’ when the “other party” uses the device. They could as easily be called “Exxon” and achieve the same purpose, but naming matters in politics. It’s part of the illusion. There are not significant differences between candidates in a privately financed system, as the candidates are funded by less than 1% of the population. 99% of us have no influence over candidates. That’s why our interests are not served unless we are informed, organized and energized. Americans are none of those things. Democrats take all of that energy and waste it. You’re supposed to… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest

See below for more troll feeding.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

A million here, a million there. Of course, you were incensed when Hill got a mere $500K from similar sources. You guys are corrupt! I think I’m gonna puke.

HelenaInsider
Guest
HelenaInsider

“our forests, our commons, our environment, preservation of hunting space.” Jon cares about all of these. Stop being such a self righteous ass. I’m so tired of people like you (I mean, don’t get me wrong.. I was just like you in.. high school and freshmen year of college). In your world there is no progress because no progress is perfect and thus, it’s not perfect.

HelenaInsider
Guest
HelenaInsider

Also, you’re really just a troll at this point.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

Actual evidence would be useful to support your case, but you are not expressing a political opinion. “John cares blah blah blah” is an expression of faith. I get so tired of people like you who vote on faith, fall asleep, and come back and vote again, on faith. Politicians are not figures to be worshiped or trusted. They are to be monitored and disciplined. Tester screwed environmentalists, so they did not support him this year. That is proper behavior. He had to take a $million in CU money to get his sorry ass reelected. You make me sick. It’s… Read more »

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

It is “Jon”, idiot. And you are again starting with belief and then attempting to club people with your religion. No. Just no. Politicians are not figures to be worshiped, nor are they figures to be “monitored and disciplined”. They are people, real live thinking and acting people, who you have no control over. ‘Scares you, doesn’t it?

You are a hypocrite, Tokarski. And that kinda makes me sick.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

I deliberately adopted Helenainsider’s tone. That’s why I responded that way. And politicians can be controlled if 1) we remove private money, and 2) if you Democrats f****** pay attention between election cycles. It would also help if you valued deeds over words.

Being called a hypocrite by Rod Kailey, aka Monty, is kinda funny.

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

Of course it’s someone else’s fault. Tokarski can never be wrong.

I’ve no interest in controlling someone else, jackass. That isn’t my job or my life. Apparently, that’s all you have to do.

And you’d best be careful, Mark. I might do the impossible and steal your IP address again and make you look stupid. I’m just that nefarious …

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

Rehberg is just biding time until he officially steps down and can legally join his son’s lobbying firm. That’s a noble effort for a ‘rancher’.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

Tester too would be headed into lobbying. Good grief! We just got done with months of nonsense coming from the mouths of two hacks. Your hack is not better than their hack!

Who said … “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

My “hack” won, is better than yours, and you have no evidence whatsoever for your fantasy predictions. You keep trying to chide Dave Budge for never having to prove his ideas, especially in areas where you never have to prove yours. You, Tokarski, are the hack in play here.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

I chide Budge because he takes refuge in notions that cannot be disproven. He always gets to be right. There’s quite a difference between that and this. On the other hand, look above to where NR said “blah blah blah”. I offered a serious litany of evidence to support my contention that the two parties pursue the same goals. Evidence, nothing more. A serious litany of evidence. And I am not a black/white thinker, as you are, and so rely not on “proof,” an annoying word, and use “evidence” instead.It’s a thought-inhibiting concept. Evidence leads one way or the other,… Read more »

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

If you post “litany” then you should genuflect. Your “belief” lacks substance.

I’ll use the word “proof” any time I care to, and you won’t have any refutation against it. You are that lame.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

Litany, lame ass, is used here in place of the word “list” because it has a nice ring to it. I did not list beliefs. There is objective reality, though it is hard to uncover, and each item on the list is backed by hard evidence.

Your use of words reveals your thought processes, such as they are. Black/white thinking is a defect in reasoning ability, nothing more. Kind of like wanting to walk but being lame.

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

Oppositional thinking, what you wrongly call “black/white”, is a critical tool in skeptical analysis. I’ve explained that to you before with many more words but you just don’t seem to get it. Nor will you, because you hypocritically cling to ‘black/white’ thinking. You are right, and others are manipulated, duped, unaware, asleep, wrong. For the record, the use of colorful words that don’t mean what you think they mean doesn’t help your case. You “believe” that others will act as you see them acting. It is a religion to you, the starting point of all your circular arguments. So you… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest

My god you are full of crap.

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

And you can’t counter anything I wrote, can you?

I fart in your general direction! Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries!

You have nothing, Tokarski. Nothing, save worship of your fallacies. Genuflect, asshole. Your belief deserves it.

captbob
Guest
captbob

Yes, he is. He won.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

OK, I’ve been called a “troll” now, the general reflex when a thread goes on and on. It’s time to quit. I do suggest you read my blog post today, linked by ping back below. It is not wise to play politics unless you understand politics. Or as Nader says, if you don’t do politics, politicians will do you. Tester has indeed done you, done you good.

Rob Kailey
Guest
Rob Kailey

You’ve fled back to a space where I can’t comment without your control. You are a coward, Mark Tokarski.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

I did not think humor was your game. Touche’.

Mark Tokarski
Guest

i meant “self-deprecating” humor.

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