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A Clarification on Rehberg

Don’t worry– he’s still dishonest.

As you might recall, earlier in the week, Dennis Rehberg breathlessly told the Montana electorate that he had become a champion of open government:

And when it comes to spending tax dollars, sunlight is the best weapon against waste. That’s why I’m taking government transparency to a new level by posting on my website every documented request for funding received by my office.

What Rehberg failed to mention, when taking credit for his initiative, was that he had to:

In January 2009, Rep. David Obey, D-WI, and Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI – respectively, chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees – required members of Congress, for the first time, to publish all their requests for earmarks on their official Web sites.

Incidentally, when Rehberg continually bashes the ‘old way’ of doing business in Washington, am I to assume that he means the way the House ran under Republicans?

Stick to writing resolutions about the Carroll football team, Dennis.

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.

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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  • Is there a distinction without a difference as to how Tester is revealing his transparency?

    Senator Tester's support for the best Montana projects runs parallel to his commitment to a transparent and open federal appropriations process. Conducting this process in the light of day ensures that taxpayer dollars are spent on worthwhile projects with community support. Use this website to request, review and comment on federal support for Montana related projects.

    And I can't find a single Tester appropriation posted as of yet. So Pogie are you OK with a Montana Dem senator not revealing the reason for his not yet demonstrated transparency?

  • Pogie, one thing more. Aren't the politicos only required to disclose those earmarks that they submit for appropriation? Isn't Rehberg taking it one step further by committing to disclose, "…every documented request for funding received by my office. " For example if Rehberg receives 5 request and only submts 3, he is committed to disclosing all 5. Why does that level of transparency upset you? What will Tester do?

    • Remember, Dennis decided to submit every request to the Appropriations Committee, so that he could tell everyone who lined up at the federal trough that he supported their requests.

      That's not transparency; that's pandering.

  • Perhaps, perhaps not.

    Rehberg: "I’m also forwarding all of those requests to the House Appropriations Committee so they can be closely scrutinized."

    What he may be doing is merely transmitting all of the requests to his office for scrutiny, while indicating which ones he is really submitting for serious consideration. I don't think we know yet, but he is committed to disclosing all 5 on his website.

  • I'm trying to parse what you are saying. It sounds a lot like what I am claiming.

    1) Rehberg, as he said, is forwarding everything to Appropriations. This allows him to pretend to be transparent (even though he never did it before House rules required it) and to appease the people who made requests.

    2) At some point, he's going to privately decide which earmarks to fight for. That process certainly won't be transparent or open.

    3) When he needs a press release to go out, he will announce some of the funding he has 'secured.'

    4) When asked to vote, he will against the budget, claiming it does little to control spending.

    5) He will campaign on the money 'he brought back home.'

    Same ol' Dennis Rehberg. New pony (goat?) show.

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