Denny Rehberg: Representing Who, Exactly?

In an incredibly soft piece about the role of being Montana’s sole representative in the Gazette today, Jennifer McKee did offer one telling statistic about the job:

Rehberg acknowledged the difficulty of representing some 930,000 people all by himself – especially when the average Congress member represents something like 300,000 fewer people.

I think Rehberg might be overstating the case. By my calculations, he is representing far fewer Montanans, making the job quite manageable:

  • The Center for Tax Justice says that the Rehberg/Bush fiscal policies have made things worse for 99% of Montanans. For all but the top 1% wealthiest Montanans, “for every $1.00 in tax cuts the federal government has given you over the past six years, you’re going to get a bill for $3.86.”
  • According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Rehberg crusade to repeal the estate tax will impact  less than the 60 families in Montana it did in 2004, while 33,000 workers would have benefited from a hike in the minimum wage.
  • Rehberg prioritized the interests of major oil companies in his vote for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Number of major oil and gas companies located in Montana: 0

See, it’s easy to represent a state as large as Montana. Just represent the interests of the top 1% of the population, and you are down to a much more manageable number.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • Well said.

    Could you clear up a cloudy memory for me about Rehberg’s position on the DeLay vote? I think that I remember him saying that he didn’t vote on the issue of allowing Tom DeLay to continue in his leadership position despite DeLay’s indictment, but that hw would have voted to keep Tom DeLay in charge indictments be damned.

    I cannot find any verification for this cloudy memory of mine; do you remember who Denny chose to represent that day?

  • Bush’s fiscal’s policy has been wildly sucessful. Not just for the top 1% but for the majority of Montanans. The current ecomonic numbers are now better than when Clinton was president. All because of these policies.

    And so what if repeal of the estate tax would impact less than 60 Montanans. Why should there be another tax on money that has been taxed many times before? I’m sure you beleive in the redistibution of weatlth.

    And I applaud him for his vote supporting the oil companies. Without oil our entire economy would crash. Everything we rely on in our modern economy is based on oil.

    Rehberg has been a fantastic representative for the state of Montana!

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