Joining all but one of this Republican colleagues, Representative Rehberg voted Wednesday night to allow major government contractors to keep campaign contributions secret:
Transparency of campaign financing by government contractors is nothing new. At the federal level, contractors have been disclosing their political action committee contributions for decades, and more than a dozen states impose special campaign finance reporting requirements on state contractors.
But the simple act of making public the amount of money government contractors are throwing at politicians who help award those contracts is apparently still too much for congressional Republicans, many of whom are the primary beneficiaries of secret corporate slush funds and do not want the American public to know that.
As a result, in the dead of night, the House voted to approve the unrelated Cole rider to the defense authorization bill.
Certainly interesting, given how often Representative Rehberg bleats about the need fro transparency when it comes to government action and spending. Look at his own statements:
- “Montanans expect and deserve a new level of government transparency that wasn’t possible when the Antiquities Act was first created more than a century ago”
- “Transparency is an essential part of any government that derives its authority from the consent of the people,” said Rehberg, a member of the House Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.
- “I think Montanans would be outraged to learn that huge national special interest groups with multi-million dollar endowments are bankrolling thousands of lawsuits with tax dollars meant for small businesses, individuals and non-profits,” said Rehberg a member of the House Western Caucus. “It’s one thing to have access to the courts, but it’s another to force taxpayers to pay for it. Since 1995, the federal government has inexplicably stopped tracking how it spends these funds, and it’s time to restore the transparency and accountability.”
The lesson? Representative Rehberg wants “transparency” when it suits his political needs but doesn’t believe it should apply to him or the massive companies funneling campaign contributions to support members of Congress.
The only thing transparent about all of this are his motives. But why should Rehberg care? The Montana media certainly won’t report on this latest hypocritical vote.