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Montana Politics

Rehberg Working with Sleazy GOP Operative Who Tried to Disenfranchise Montana Veterans, College Students and Indians

People like Dennis Rehberg never seem to change. Desperately trying to win aJake-Eaton-headshot Senate race while his “rallies” consist of twenty campaign staffers shouting slogans for the press, he’s turned to calling voters under the supervision of someone who shamefully attempted to disenfranchise thousands of Montana voters back in 2008. Someone who should have been prosecuted for his actions.

Although Rehberg reporter Tom Lutey failed to mention it in his breathless piece about the Rehberg campaign operation, Jake Eaton is the former GOP Executive Director who stepped down after shameful effort to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters:

Jake Eaton, a veteran campaigner for Montana’s GOP, said each volunteer calls about 70 voters an hour. The calls are queued up by the data crunchers in the next room so the volunteers don’t wast time dialing.

So far in October, the Rehberg call center has contacted 500,000 voters, Eaton said, a stark contrast to 2008, when the Montana Republican get-out-the-vote effort was admittedly lacking.

The get out the vote effort was probably lacking because Eaton was focused on the Republican effort to prevent thousands of Montanans from voting by fraudulently claiming they were not eligible to vote. Who did Eaton target? College students, veterans, and Native Americans. He even challenged the right to vote of servicemen in Iraq and World War 2 heroes.

Judge Donald Malloy put Eaton in his place back then, writing:

In his zeal to protect what he sees as Montana’s fragile  democracy from these transient hordes, Eaton ignored the very law that answers his challenges.  How can one so concerned with the integrity of the State’s democratic process be adept at invoking the law to keep people from voting, without realizing that the same law renders his claim meritless if not frivolous?

It’s a small point, but also worth noting, that Eaton is certainly lying when he claims that the Rehberg campaign “has contacted 500,000 voters.” There certainly aren’t that many likely Rehberg voters in Montana and there’s no way that Republicans have a voter file that accurate. For frame of reference, Rehberg received just over 300,000 votes in 2008, and 217,000 in 2010.

If Dennis Rehberg had an ounce of integrity, he’d put Jake Eaton back under the rock he’s been hiding under. Instead, he’s letting someone who doesn’t even believe in the sanctity of the vote lead his get out the vote effort.

It’s shameful. It’s Dennis Rehberg.

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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  • I hope your bitter partisanship doesn’t spill over into your classroom. Hopefully, you teach your students to think for themselves as opposed to think with an uber, hyper-sensitive ‘politically correct’ mindset.

    • If you’re a teacher, and you’re going to correct my grammar, you could at least use a red pen! I would have made an edit, but once I hit submit there was no ability to do so. That being said, I’ve noticed your posts on twitter while following MT politics. In terms of the frequency and pointedness of Twitter posts on the topic of MT politics, you rival political operatives on both sides of the fence. Actually, in terms of political attacks, you’re at the tip of the spear. Meanwhile, the rationale behind your views and your vision for what a better Montana and/or America don’t shine through. At all. (I know, I know poor grammar!) Anyhow, that is the humble opinion of this possibly grammar-challenged reader.

        • No, I never would suggest frequency and pointedness (of posts) are negative traits. I’m not sure how you arrived at that conclusion. I do, though, find political correctness to be intellectually dishonest as I believe political correctness leads people to not express what they think. I’d rather have people express their thoughts rather than say one thing, yet believe another. By all indications, Joe Biden is not a bigot, yet he has made ‘politically incorrect’ comments that have led to accusations that he is. I’m sure the inverse of the VP Biden example is also true (and likely much more dangerous)…A wolf in sheep’s clothing, if you will.

          Maybe an example will help convey the thought behind my previous post. For instance, perhaps raising taxes on the top 1% will help our budget issues and not negatively impact the economy. I’m fairly confident that this is the case. Many politicians (primarily Democrats) seem to indicate that they also believe this to be the case. However, I haven’t seen any empirical data to support this thought. Certainly it is not this blog’s job to provide such data, but it would be helpful to have outlets that do.

      • Given that you opened with an attack on my professionalism, your concern about pointed criticism is somewhat suspect.

        Given your concern about the nature of my commentary rather than the ethical lapses of our elected officials and the people who work for them, I’d say your focus is misplaced.

        Given that you’re posting anonymously from Washington D.C., I’d say your motives are suspect.

        • Given that I said ‘I hope’ and ‘hopefully’ in my initial post, I’d say I didn’t attack your professionalism. Unfortunately, a segment of the population of educators welcome free thought and expression, so long as it dovetails with their own personal beliefs and opinions (whatever they may be).

          You seem to have a keen interest in politics and a comments section, so I thought you might be interested in discussion, regardless of locale. Perhaps I have a better viewpoint for ethical lapses of elected officials than many others? I’m sure that statement may lead you to believe that I have a lot to personally gain or lose on Nov 6th, but I assure you that I won’t gain or lose more or less than any other citizen.

          • “Unfortunately, a segment of the population of educators welcome free thought and expression, so long as it dovetails with their own personal beliefs and opinions (whatever they may be).”


          • An outsider’s perspective finds your use of “hope” and “hopefully” condescending, and it’s interesting that you’d criticize Pogie for an excellent effort to expose the very political incorrectness that you suggest helps to reveal truth in politicians’ characters.

        • But were all missing the point here. The person choose to be an outsider looking in. Washington DC …Ya say????
          We’ve had our fill of them DC folks Spending illegal and Dark cash in our state, feigning concern for our Population,and telling falsehoods all day about some of our Democratic Candidates

          Whose to say this Citizen isn’t one of those zombie tools…. Just saying!

  • We’re going to experience a glut of right wing astroturf comments like Herr Citizen’s in the next few days. The dirtiest of the dirtiest are slinging the foulest mud they can find, hellbent on stinking-up democracy.

  • One of the main reasons we’ve got to defeat Rehberg is to knock his entourage on its ass. W/o Rehberg, were does the MT GOP stand?

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