Do Unto Others…

So Denny Rehberg gets a camera thrust in his face by some lowly democratic campaign worker, who asks the Congressman what the minimum wage is. Rehberg lays a giant egg.  He lowers his head, speeds up his gait, and mutters, “I don’t know.  Do you know?”  Rehberg just keeps walking, picking up his gait a little because he clearly doesn’t know the answer and just wants to get to his car so he can duck in and avoid any more questions. The minimum wage is $7.35 an hour in Montana.

Video ambush is a tactic that Rehberg is very familiar with, because he sent several of his goons out to do exactly the same thing to Dennis McDonald in 2008.  (Mop Brigade Video).  McDonald was caught flatfooted when a Rehberg campaign worker put a camera in McDonald’s face while a second campaign worker, in reporter style, peppered him with questions about his relationship with a mobster in California in the 1980s.  In fact, Rehberg’s gang did it twice to McDonald, and on one of these occasions State Senator Ken Peterson pitched in, accosting the hapless McDonald and conducting an on-camera cross examination of him (Billings Mop Brigade video).

Though Rehberg was already the odds on favorite in that race, if there had ever been a sliver of a chance for McDonald to win that election, the video ambush put an end to it.  It was good campaign work on the part of Rehberg’s operatives. It was well-staged, decisive, hard-hitting and produced a deadly result (juicy footage that could have been used in ads against McDonald in the unlikely even that the race had tightened), but it didn’t cross the line.

And that’s why you gotta love the Montana GOP’s effort at damage control today.  As soon as the Denny-doesn’t-know-what-a-dishwasher-at-Denny’s-makes video went viral, the Republicans put out a laugher of a press release, the title of which is

TESTER CAMPAIGN WORKER DOESN’T KNOW WHAT MINIMUM WAGE RATE IS

and quotes Bowen Greenwood as saying

“Hiring thugs to do your bidding is cowardice, if Tester truly were in touch with Montanans he would be talking about the issues, not hiding behind political operatives.”

Let’s see if the Montana press bites on that one. Somehow I doubt they will. Seems kind of strange to equate a lackey cameraman’s knowledge of labor law to that of a Congressman.

I would predict that this video will be harmful to Rehberg, very much so. You might even see it on the national news.  In Montana, his callousness to the needs of wage earners, given his personal wealth (a hundred million or so, one of the richest Congressmen), will be front and center in the campaign as a contrast to Tester, who is a dirt farmer of very modest means, perhaps the least wealthy of any US Senator.

And not only has Rehberg opposed the minimum wage, he has voted against health-care for the poor and disadvantaged while accepting taxpayer-funded health benefits of his own. Certainly he has never seemed interested in using his position as Congressmen to help alleviate, or even understand, the struggle that a single mother with children must endure to make ends meat.

This was good work by the Tester campaign, and Rehberg should be made to explain, promptly, why he didn’t know what the minimum wage was.  (I can’t wait to hear his explanation. I’m putting my money on “I knew what it was, I just didn’t feel like I should have to answer to some jerk harassing me” or something like that).

Also, a bonus feature of the video is the presence of elk-hunter extraordinaire Randy Vogel, Chief of Staff, trying to run interference for Denny.  In the video, Vogel doesn’t seem to know what the minimum wage is either.

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16 Comments on "Do Unto Others…"

  1. Of course, the key is getting the single mom who would benefit from bills Tester will vote for out to vote!

  2. Does Denny really have Cattle on his Ranch or is he like Tom Cruise?

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17553507

  3. Lt. Col (Ret, Army) Richard Liebert | March 8, 2011 8:17 PM at 8:17 PM |

    Voter apathy contributed to what we have now for ‘representatives’ as we’ve seen across the Nation, from Madison to Helena………..Citizens have a MORAL obligation to vote, and although not mandatory, ,volunteers MUST engage, as our Nation depends on a volunteer military, so I Nation, states and local communities DEPEND on an engaged, active CITIZENRY that
    Votes, speaks out, serve the communities in many ways, and it’s
    more than money, it’s sweat, heart and passion.

  4. There is the problem of the 55+ age group, that still trusts the papers and the TV Media to report fairly, honestly and completely on canidates. A few of these TP Types got recomindations from newspapers.

  5. Matthew Koehler | March 9, 2011 6:35 AM at 6:35 AM |

    I don’t support Rep Rehberg or any of his policy positions, and he certainly won’t get my vote in the 2012 Senate race, but Cowgirl’s account of the video clip isn’t really entirely accurate.

    Cowgirl wrote: “So Denny Rehberg gets a camera thrust in his face by some lowly democratic campaign worker, who asks the Congressman what the minimum wage is. Rehberg lays a giant egg. He lowers his head, speeds up his gait, and mutters, ‘I don’t know. Do you know?'”

    That’s really not the course of events as they unfolded on camera. In my opinion, the camera guy blew it based on the way he asked his questions. If he really wanted to get Rep Rehberg on the min wage question, he should have just asked him right away and straight up, “What’s the minimum wage in Montana?” That question was finally asked by the camera guy, but not until this opening exchange, which was more something you might hear during 2nd grade recess.

    Camera guy: Are you guys willing to pay minimum wage?

    Rehberg: What’s that? (didn’t hear question)

    Camera guy: Are you guys willing to pay minimum wage?

    Rehberg: Are you?

    Camera guy: I don’t know? What is it?

    Rehberg: I don’t know? What is it?

    • It’s pretty clear that the opening exchange was just to get Rehberg to say something so it would be all the more apparent when he stopped saying anything. Instead, Rehberg played the “stop copying me”, “stop copying me” game so popular among nine year old children.

    • It looks like a convenient “gotcha” to me, but you have to admit ol’ Blinky comes off as a cowardly, ignorant mama’s boy. One more reason to write him off and send him home to his “ranch.”

  6. I’ve written to Rehberg’s office a number of times over the years accusing him of doing nothing for his salary and benefits. They always send me a lame list of “accomplishments.” The truth is, to me, that the man just takes up air and does very little for his compensation. I fervently hopes that Tester blows him out of the water and maybe we’ll see the end of the public Rehberg.

    Anyone know how his suit against the Billings fire dept. came out?

  7. Cowgirl, while double-talkin’ Denny may be able to dance away from not knowing the minimum wage by saying he didn’t want to engage a detractor, what he can’t avoid are his words at the beginning of the video.

    Randy: He’s still not gonna get a donation. (referring to cameraman)

    Denny, after about 5 seconds: Or healthcare from us!

    I haven’t read anything, anywhere, addressing Denny’s callous words.

    To me, this is THE big issue raised by the recording. He’s a 6 term congressman, caught on tape, saying what he thinks. And Denny thinks its funny that his constituent is not going to get healthcare because Denny is trying to defund Health Care Reform.

    Who the hell represents a state, enjoys lavish healthcare because of that elected status, and then laughs at his constituent?

    Dump Denny Rehberg!

  8. The Peoples Party

    Hopefully it will work

    http://robertreich.org/post/3713604784?7e3ff240

  9. Nocturnal Romneymission lubricates Rehberg’s Dennydiocy.

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