What Do You Get When You Cross Bridger Pierce and Taylor Brown?

A sleazy push poll and an awkward lie to cover it up.

Taylor Brown seems uncertain that his career as a commercial hack for used car dealerships might not be enough to convince people to vote for him, or his giant cowboy hat, so the Montana Republican Party decided (entirely without consulting the giant hat of course) to conduct a push poll, alleging that Lane Larson voted to limit property rights and to double the tax on cell phones.

How did Larson ‘limit the rights’ of property owners? By voting to protect the public’s right to access rivers and streams. Remind me which party supports hunters and fishermen again?

That misrepresentation pales in comparison to the cell phone charge. According to the push poll and Denny Rehberg paid liar Bridger Pierce, Lane voted to double the cell phone tax in Montana:

Bridger Pierce, GOP staff member and spokesman for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, insisted Larson did vote to double taxes on cell phones during the 2007 Legislature.

One tiny little problem: Montana has never had a tax on cell phones:

"There’s no tax on cell phones," said Dan Bucks, director of the state Department of Revenue.

Bucks said it has been suggested before that Montana has a tax on cell phones, but it’s not true. He said the Revenue Department for several years under-collected property taxes from cellular phone companies, charging them a lower rate of 3 percent. When it realized the error, Revenue corrected the rate, essentially doubling it. The Legislature was not involved in the adjustment.

All across the state and country, we’re seeing the same thing. The bankrupt ideology and limited vision of Republicans after eight years of anti-intellectual corruption has left them with nothing to offer but misrepresentations and cheap political stunts.

As a postscript, has Bridger Pierce been getting paid for his Congressional work the past few months, given that he functions almost entirely as a spokesman for the Republican Party in Montana?

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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  • Don’t take the word of Dan Bucks on this one. Look at the testimony on this issue from the last session. The Department of Revenue doubled the tax rate on cell phones – yes, they are taxed – by an administrative decision. The legislation would have reduced that, Larson voted against the bill, and the Governor vetoed it when it ultimately passed.

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