Shameless Matt Rosendale Attends Little Shell Celebration Despite Voting Against Federal Recognition for the Tribe

I just don’t know that Montana has ever had a more dishonest politician than Matt Rosendale, a trait that was on display once again yesterday as the perpetual candidate not only posted his support for the Little Shell Tribe’s federal recognition but attended their event—despite being one of only 13 Montana State Senators who voted against the resolution calling for it.

From Facebook last night:

While it’s a lovely photo opportunity for Mr. Rosendale in his latest bid to return to Washington, the caption about a “wonderful day” doesn’t reflect the reality of Rosendale’s work while he was able to actually help the Little Shell people.

In 2015, the Montana Legislature debated a joint resolution calling on the federal government to “restore federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.” The bipartisan measure was a single issue, with nothing attached to the bill. There were no costs associated with the bill.

And Rosendale voted against it. Twice.

The need for the state to support the measure was so obvious that it passed the deeply-divided House on a 92-7 vote, while it passed Rosendale’s Senate 37-13. And let’s just say the list of names who voted against the measure share some troubling ideas about Montana’s native people and the federal government.

But this is classic Rosendale: he posts on social media that he admires firefighters, but he voted against them repeatedly in the Legislature. He claims to support survivors of human trafficking, but he voted (joined by only six other members) against a measure that gave them a safe path to escape. He claims that he will protect people with pre-existing conditions, but has supported every Republican measure to end the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that they keep their insurance.

He lies about hunting on public lands, he lies about being a rancher, and he lies about where he lives.

Perhaps Republicans have an increased appetite for dishonesty, given a President who has lied over 16,000 times while in office, but I’d like to believe that Montana can do better than to elect someone who is either entirely incapable—or entirely unwilling—to simply tell us the truth.

Maybe the idea that politicians should stand for the truth is a quaint anachronism these days, but it’s rare to see one who is as shamelessly dishonest as Matt Rosendale has been. Montana—hell, the Republicans—can do better than this guy.

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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  • No disagreement here! In observation over the past couple of decades, it would seem that dishonesty and hypocrisy are two of the most visible planks of the Republican party platform – especially since 2016.

    If the reader has any doubts about the truth of that statement, look up their voting records!

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