While announcing a conference call he organized to trash Jon Tester’s bipartisan Forest Jobs and Recreation bill this week, Dennis Rehberg tried to cobble together a laundry list of people and organizations that apparently oppose the bill (read Dennis’ list for yourself – and the screen shots here in case he tries to renege). The only leadership Dennis Rehberg has ever shown on this entire issue has been to hold a few conference calls with his base supporters to dump on Tester’s bill. Why? Well, according to Republican Sherm Anderson of Deer Lodge, simply because it’s Jon Tester’s bill.
Here’s what Anderson, an even-keeled former state senator and owner of Sun Mountain Lumber, told the Helena IR:
“Representative Rehberg has had the opportunity to get on board with this jobs bill and to be a part of it… I’m saddened by the fact that Representative Rehberg is making this a political issue.”
Ouch. While Dennis Rehberg scrambles to kiss-and-make-up with his fellow Republicans, his press release listing the “opponents” of Tester’s bill deserves a closer look. Because looking at it closely, there are more questions than answers…
1. Where exactly did Rehberg’s list come from? It’s a misspelled mishmash of organizations and batshit crazy ex-legislators cobbled together by Rehberg and… Matthew Koehler? (The guy who single handedly tried to damage one of my favorite blogs Left in the West all on his own a few weeks ago.) In 2009, Koehler testified against Tester’s forest bill before a Senate committee. Page 47 of Koehler’s testimony lists several organizations that Rehberg borrowed for his press release this week. Did Rehberg verify on his own that these organizations opposed the bill? Or did he really just take Koehler’s word for it?
2. Does Rehberg know he forgot to strike from his list all the out-of-state organizations that oppose Tester’s bill? Among the far-left out-of-state leftwing groups on Rehberg’s list:
-RESTORE the North Woods (Um, based in Maine)
-Big Wildlife (Yeah, that’s in California)
-Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (Wyoming, Dennis, Wyoming)
-Cascadia Wildlands (Washington State)
-Friends of the Breitenbush Cascades (that would be based in Oregon)
-WildEarth Guardians (Arizona!)
3. Do some of these organizations even exist? Seriously, you can’t even find “Empire Snowmobile,” the “Freemont County Advisory Board,” and “Montana Rivers” on google. Try it!
4. I’ve been told no one from the Montana Stockgrowers Association took part in Dennis Rehberg’s call, despite the mention in Reherg’s release. I’ve also been told there was a specific reason behind that (yoo hoo, reporters, that’s a hint!)
5. The Buffalo Field Campaign? Really? If the Buffalo Field Campaign (hippie skirt-wearing white dudes with dreadlocks who cut down barbwire fences) is good enough for Rehberg’s list, then why weren’t they invited to be on his call?
Dennis Rehberg has to be pretty sore this week. After all, the witness Senate Republicans invited to testify against Tester’s bill actually testified in support of it, telling Tester he “couldn’t have done a better job.” That’s what you call sloppy homework on their part. Our Congressman knows a thing or two about that.