Often times I’ve served up criticism of the Montana press, for being apathetic, lazy, stupid, incompetent, corrupt, and, in some cases, conservative leaning due to right-wing corporate ownership. Well, here is another serving from that platter.
In late March, you might recall, Denny Rehberg announced in the press that he was “swearing off earmarks.” AP Reporter Matt Gouras presented the matter quite fairly. It was major news. Rehberg then set out on a campaign to remind voters that he does not believe in earmarks, or wasteful pork barrel spending generally.
It turns that two weeks after Rehberg got on the wagon and gave up earmarks, another news item quietly broke (or, at least, it was quiet in Montana). It was that the conservative group Citizens Against Government Waste had come out with its annual “Pig Book”, which ranks members of Congress based on how wasteful they are with taxpayer money, based on the number of earmarks they write.
And who do you think the Pig Book ranked as Number One Pig in Congress? You got it, Denny Rehberg, with the most earmarks (88) for fiscal year 2010 in the entire House of Representatives.
It went unreported by the Montana press and, I might add, unnoticed by all of Rehberg’s Democratic opponents and the entire universe of Democratic staffers, operatives and politicians in Montana who all should be seeing to it that Rehberg is held responsible for the incredible amount of bullshit that he delivers.
When the Pig Book news came and went without a single blip in Montana, it must have delighted the Congressman. Had the Press followed up, they’d have figured out that when the Congressman made his declaration about earmarks, he was not only a pig, but a cat, who had swallowed a canary, and had a few bits of yellow feathers stuck in that greasy mustache of his.
UPDATE: Dan Testa is the first Montana reporter to have the story. Like Mr. Gouras on the earmark story, Mr. Testa presents the information fairly. Go check it out, he’s got Rehberg’s take on whether his temporary earmark ban will even do anything.