Bozeman state Senator Art Wittich and Congressman Dennis Rehberg, who tried to wheedle their way into news stories touting a local Gallatin Gateway school’s success with federal nutrition programs–programs they oppose. Wittich acts one way at home in his district, and quite another when he’s in Helena. The Senator crashed an award ceremony at a local school, but is on the record pontificating about the need to crack down on poor kids who abuse federal nutrition programs in a legislative interim committee. Wittich went so far as directing legislative staff to look into whether we could have needy kids “glean” for food instead. Gleaning is the practice of picking through fields that have already been harvested to attempt to find food that was undesirable or accidentally missed by harvesters. Wittich also asked for an investigation into what poor people were purchasing so that the legislature could attempt to set up a new food police bureaucracy to keep the poor from buying food he deemed unacceptable. Rehberg was caught pretending to support the federal programs in a letter he sent to the school (and the media). However, the Billings Gazette already reported Rehberg has insinuated that poor kids dupe the free and reduced-price meal system. “I’d like to punish those systems that rip the taxpayers off,” Rehberg said during the visit, according to the Gazette. For these reasons, and so many others, Rehberg and Wittich are well deserving of this weeks award. We hope this recognition finds them well as they continue on their lifelong journeys to Planet Irrelevancy.
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