Montana Politics The Media

Montana Broadcasters Cancel Debate for Rehberg

There isn’t any other explanation than that the Montana Broadcasters Association canceled the scheduled June 24th Senate debate on Dennis Rehberg’s behalf. Despite their acknowledgement that all three candidates had agreed to the debate, the MBA offered this Orwellian justification for canceling the event:

Due to scheduling complications that could not be resolved we are unable to have all three candidates present on Sunday so the Board of Directors of the MBA elected to make this decision.

There were no “scheduling complications.” Rehberg and his campaign were either to afraid to debate or entirely incompetent when it comes to managing a schedule. In either case, Montana voters should have been given the opportunity to see Senator Tester debate the empty seat which perhaps best would have represented Mr. Rehberg.

But why would the MBA, who believes in providing “the opportunity for all citizens, no matter where they live in our state, an opportunity to watch or listen to the candidates for United States Senate discuss the issues” actually hold Mr. Rehberg accountable this time?

Now that would be news.

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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  • Dopey couldn’t attend ’cause he only has one empty suit, and it was at the cleaners! bwhhahahahahahaa!

    As I’ve tried to explain before, the man is a complete idiot consisting ONLY of talking points, which he doesn’t perform very well. But so was Cornbread Buns, but whereas Cornbread was a likeable buffoon, Dopey is not.

    Expect NO debates fromt he king of the “town hall” meeting forum!

  • You got this one totally wrong. They canceled the debate on Tester’s behalf so as not to embarrass him by debating Cox.

    • That is such a pole of crap… it would look great to have Tester, Cox, and an empty stool on the stage. Are you kidding me? “Tester’s behalf” – ha!
      Rehberg’s actions are simply pathetic and sad.

  • I called Rehberg’s office to ask why he couldn’t attend the debate. I was told there was a “scheduling problem” so I asked specifically what that “scheduling problem” was…I was told that he would be working on “the hill”. I said, really? on Sunday? After a little stammering and stuttering by the aid I was told that the real issue was that he wasn’t contacted about the debate. I stated that I just read that he was contacted SEVERAL times by the Montana Broadcasting Association…. the person then said, “well, they announced the debate before they contacted Congressman Rehberg, so he won’t be going”. That’s the most lame excuse I’ve heard for a long time… let’s be real…. he knows there are a lot of Tester supporters in the Flathead AND that people are ticked off at him for sponsoring the bill that essentially allows the Dept of Homeland Security to take over our national parks [so much for less government]. And in addition, I suspect that Tester ran circles around him in the Bozeman debate and he’s knows he’s out of his league. I agree, they should have kept the debate on…. and let the empty Rehberg seat speak for itself.

  • Rehberg’s out of touch with Montana, he is a lieutenant for Romney and all he represents. Sure as hell does not represent Montana…

  • When candidates set the terms under which they agree to debate, it ceases to be a debate. I haven’t seen a real one in decades. I don’t know why Rehberg is sidestepping this one.
    Perhaps MBA didn’t accede to his terms. It could be that Tester is a better performer, and Rehberg has something to lose, nothing to gain. That’s usually the case. 30 second ads are the way to go, you know, with cameras and Kleig lights and people everywhere and Jon wearing an old dirty jacket they just had made for him.

    Rehberg v Baucus! I’d pay to watch.

  • Rehberg is avoiding generating debate sound bites that can be used against him in TV ads. And, mindful of Libertarian Stan Jones’ role in 2006 (remember, Tester only won with a plurality), Rehberg doesn’t want to call attention to Cox.

  • I doubt the Montana broadcasters are going to be too tough on Denny. They’re reaping stacks of Koch Bros. bucks.
    Also, Rehberg’s office said he was attending a fundraiser in Wyoming, so I guess that’s more important than his constituents.
    (How do you spell that chicken noise?)

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, 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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