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Montana Politics The Media

Representative Rehberg and Big Tobacco: BFFs

In more news you apparently won’t read in a Montana newspaper, ThinkProgress is reporting that Representative Rehberg and his cronies in the House Appropriations Committee have taken a great deal of cash from tobacco companies just as they voted for regulations that will reduce the ability of the FDA to regulate tobacco and keep it from kids:

The amendment, whose supporters in the Appropriations Committee accepted almost $290,000 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry, may fall due to a turf war among Republican committee chairs. House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) is expected to succeed in an attempt to kill the amendment because it attempts to “legislate on an appropriations bill” in violation of the House rules. Such a procedural objection, however, does little to prevent Rehberg’s gift to the tobacco industry from being repackaged in another bill.
If past is prologue,  such a rebirth of Rehberg’s misguided amendment is likely.

Through 2010, in his illustrious career, Representative Rehberg has taken $51,500 from tobacco companies. While it’s been some years since my family was involved in farming, I’m reasonably sure that Montana farmers don’t grow a lot of tobacco.

There must be another explanation for those donations.

I realize I am harping on this issue—but I honestly can’t wrap my brain around how this isn’t being covered by Montana journalists.

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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