Matt Rosendale Just Can’t Stop Lying, Even About Human Trafficking

Matt Rosendale excels at getting national attention, both from the billionaires and their private Super PACs and from the national press. The perennial candidate gets attention from the former because they interested in buying him and from the latter because he just can’t tell the truth.

PolitiFact reports today that Rosendale claimed in Wednesday’s Republican debate that Senator Tester voted himself a raise, claiming in syntax one can only assume makes more sense in Maryland that Tester ” took an income raise in the omnibus bill.”

And, of course, it’s not true. Congress froze its salary in 2009 and nothing in the omnibus changes the level of compensation received by Senators or Representatives.

Rosendale doesn’t just lie about the salaries received by members of Congress and Jon Tester’s votes; he also lies about his support for victims of human trafficking.

This January, he tweeted his support for Human Trafficking Awareness Day, despite having voted against a critically needed measure to assist victims of human trafficking and prosecute offenders.

In 2015, Rosendale was one of seven members of the Montana Senate who voted against HB 89, a bill designed to protect victims of trafficking by offering them a safe path to come forward to law enforcement and provide funds to help them transition from what often constituted sexual servitude.

The bill did not require a fiscal note (meaning it had no cost to the state) and no one spoke in committee or on the floor against the bill—and still, Matt Rosendale voted no.

Citing the growth of human trafficking in the Bakken oil fields in Rosendale’s backyard, the Independent Record called the measure a “small price to pay to save our state’s most vulnerable citizens from such an unthinkable fate.”

Republican Attorney General Tim Fox lauded the measure, arguing “Combatting modern-day slavery isn’t just about bringing perpetrators to justice, but also taking a victim-centered approach to helping those whose lives have been destroyed by these heinous crimes.”

The measure was part of a national effort to standardize state human trafficking laws supported by law enforcement, attorneys general across the United States, and advocates for those who have been caught up in trafficking as victims.

It’s standard politics for Montana Republicans to lie about what happens in Washington; one need not look any further than the way Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte run around the state taking credit for measures they voted against to see that. It’s another thing altogether, though, to feign support for victims, many of them children, of human trafficking when you’ve voted against a simple, bipartisan measure to designed to assist them and reduce the criminal activity that victimizes them.

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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