Rehberg Calls For Honest Debate; Nose Grows

It seems that someone in Representative Rehberg’s office got off Twitter long enough to write an impassioned, if misguided op-ed piece for the Billings Gazette. Rehberg’s so angry that the League of Conservation Voters ran a critical ad that he felt the need to respond with a series of misstatements and lies.

Rehberg’s angry that the League of Conservation Voters is spending money to influence the public:

Since 2000, LCV has spent more than $6.8 million peddling influence among elected officials. They’ve also spent untold millions on “issue ads” like this one, including approximately $150,000 to run these ads in Montana.

To clean up Montana politics, I’m certain Rehberg will soon be giving back the $33,000 he received from Oil and Gas interests in 2006, the $50,000 he received in 2006, not to mention the thousands he’s received from electric utilities over the same period of time.

Rehberg writes:

Second, we need to clarify what legislation we’re talking about. The ad refers to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, but this legislation is more commonly known as the “cap-and-trade bill” or the “cap-and-tax bill.”

Actually, it’s only on Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages that the bill is called that. It may be a first in American politics: Rehberg is claiming that an opponent is being dishonest by giving the real name of the bill.

Finally, Rehberg claims that the bill will cost jobs:

At a time when our economy is hemorrhaging jobs, the nonpartisan Heritage Foundation warns that cap and tax will cost more than 8,600 jobs in Montana alone. In places like Sidney or Colstrip, real Montanans work real jobs that depend on traditional sources of energy.

Calling the Heritage Foundation non-partisan is about as credible as Rehberg’s claims to be a working rancher, and their stats are terrible and misleading.

Once again, Representative Rehberg is showing his true colors: he’s a mouthpiece for conservative business interests, not working Montana families. As he closes his piece with a plaintive “ let’s do it honestly,” one’s tempted to ask why Rehberg would start now.

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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