Rehberg the Censor

In a debate with Jon Tester this summer, Congressman Rehberg said “There should be nothing more free than political free speech,” the Missoulian reported.

Today, Dennis Rehberg is using Congressional staff to delete Facebook comments that are critical of him. Selectively censoring constituent critics is a fantastic use of taxpayer money.

Here is a screenshot before the censors leapt into action:

 

And here’s the after screenshot:

 

The Congressman’s press staffer had just posted their comment policy a couple of posts down, prior to immediately violating it.

 

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40 Comments on "Rehberg the Censor"

  1. Epic. Fail. Rehberg is such a hypocrite he can’t even keep track of his own contradictory behaviors on the same day.

  2. Hey this looks fun. Must drive the Rehberg thugs nuts.

  3. I wonder where all those “FREE SPEECH” fanatics for Chick-fil-A are here. You’d think they’d be out writing letter to Rehberg in droves. Hmmm.

  4. Ely from Culbertson | August 17, 2012 8:01 AM at 8:01 AM |

    I’ve had my comments deleted off of Rehberg’s Facebook page too when I asked him about why he voted for a pay raise for himself for 5 times. Since I”m paying for those raises, I thought I had the right to ask.

  5. Heck I have hardly if ever seen my posts to Denny stay, before they are taken off on Facebook. The man is a depot.

    And the groups that are TV ads for him as super packs…. what lying sacks of poop! An coal and oil super pac that has some women talking about credit card fees being higher in the US then anywhere in the world because of Jon Tester?
    Definitely bull! And the GPS crossroads ads are just plain false.

    Rehberg’s own ads, like the Keystone pipeline creating 1200 Montana jobs, were already proven false last year by the job-creators themselves.

    Yep, Rehberg is full of anti American, Untruthful BS! and so is is surrogates!

    • Sorry left out an “s”…. Despot sound better to Drunk Denny?

    • You should see the mailer my mom got yesterday from Denny promising that he will personally ensure that Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security would not be touched – even though he personally voted for the Ryan budget.

      • Rehberg was one of 4 R’s who voted NO on the Ryan budget: http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/04/rehberg-explain.php

        Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), running for the Senate against Sen. Jon Tester (D), was one of four House Republicans who voted against Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget compromise on Friday, saying the measure was “rushed through” as he cautioned against changes to Medicare without further inquiry and input.

        “Regardless of which party wants to change Medicare, either Democrats with Obamacare or Republicans through this budget proposal, it’s always been my approach to listen directly to Montanans prior to any vote,” Rehberg said in a statement. “It’s being rushed through with little to no public input. That’s just plain wrong.”

        The Ryan budget plan was released on April 5 and includes significant changes to Medicare, including converting the program into a voucher-based system for people younger than 55.

        “This budget — the first one we have even considered in two years — has a lot of good things in it that I fully support. But there are still too many unanswered questions with regard to Medicare reform, and I simply won’t support any plan until I know for a fact that Montana’s seniors will be protected,” Rehberg said.

  6. Drunks for Denny | August 17, 2012 8:47 AM at 8:47 AM |

    ” The man is a depot.”

    Is that kind of like the old Country & Western song, “My Baby Thinks He’s a Train”?

  7. This is why candidates should never allow comments on their websites.

    • I disagree. The whole point of a Facebook page, or any social media Web 2.0 is to have a conversation.

      • If candidates are not willing to have a conversation with their constituents, then they shouldn’t have a Facebook page or allow comments. Of course, that will send the message that they don’t want to have a conversation with their constituents.

      • Allowing comments simply invites mischief from the opposition. Candidates should leave the commenting to third-party websites.

        • I agree with you, James, in theory. However, the expectation of ever more modernizing voters is exactly the kind of engagement that Hi-Liner writes of. A compromise position is this: Candidates should leave commenting to third-party websites, and not their staffers or themselves to respond to. Jon Tester’s Facebook page frequently gets harsh oppo-comments. They are generally ignored, to the benefit of reader and candidate.

          • I think Hi-Liner is mistaken. A conversation with a candidate requires that the candidate be a member of the conversation. An online Q&A with the candidate (not with a staffer posing as the candidate) is a conversation. A string of comments by and between people posting online is not a conversation with the candidate. It’s a distraction and can lead to a dust-up over censorship when a comment is deleted for any reason. You’re probably right that a lot of voters now expect candidates to have Facebook pages, which to me is further proof that intelligent discourse is an increasingly endangered species.

            Another drawback to comments is that they serve as a counter. Political website should never have counters. If the count is high, well that’s what’s expected; no gain. If the count is low, that’s an embarrassment that could have been avoided.

            And don’t even get me started on twits and Twitter and tweety birds.

  8. First, claims as to what Facebook is or isn’t is somewhat arrogant. It’s up to the Facebook page maker to decided the particular purpose. There are commercial pages.

    Second, when it comes to censoring or crafting propaganda, the Dems take 2nd place to no one: http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/oops-democrats-call-obamacare-provision-a-tax-pe

  9. Yet in the mean time Rehberg is sending out emails on his congressional email account by the tons, along with surveys and loaded questions. I get atleast three emails per month from Congressman Denny Rehberg and most of it is his political advertising on taxpayer dollars.
    Second thing, Ive heard a rumor that Denny is in the process of leaving his wife, for one of his interns, heard the divorce will happen after the election, is this true? And why dont the Montana voters know this information? If the shoe was on the other foot and it was Jon Tester leaving Sharla trust me it would be in the papers everyday. But instead we have a Montana farmer who is a Democrat that is a dedicated husband and father, and we have a Republican who has gotten rich off of subdividing and is a drunk. Love the moral majority.

    • Farmboy here is some feedback on one of Tester’s letters: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/20/1093167/-So-Jon-Tester-wants-a-campaign-contribution-from-me

      I got a letter from Tester today telling me I need to send him a campaign contribution because otherwise, the millionaires and billionaires who run the GOP will buy Montana’s Senate seat for Rehberg.

      Now, I realize that Tester is a much better choice than another Stepford Republican, despite the fact that he incurred the Wrath of Kos by voting against the Dream Act.

      And it was flattering to think that my $20 or $50 contribution might have the power to save Tester from the clutches of the evil Koch Brothers (is ‘evil’ and ‘Koch’ redundant?) But as I was reading the letter, I noticed something missing.

      Tester did not mention the fact that he is a Democrat until close to the end of page 2. And when he did, he said this:

      “And while I’m proud to be a Democrat, I don’t always vote the party line. I vote the Montana line — whatever is good for Montana is what I’m fighting for every single day in the U.S. Senate.”

      Memo to the Tester campaign: I live in Alabama. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the “Montana line.” I care whether you are a loyal Democrat who doesn’t sell out his fellow Democrats and his president to the Borg Collective — aka the GOP.

      The way I see it, if Sen. Tester was really proud to be a Democrat, he would have said so up front.

      • Really?! Studies show that people are most likely to read the first, last, and P.S. of letters over any other section. So those areas are likely to contain the most important stuff. I’m not seeing the problem, just a person who got the letter who wasn’t familiar with this fact.

        • Can’t see the problem? It’s perception, in this case NEGATIVE perception. Turning off potential contributors, or worse, is not what the letters are for. So, why wasn’t Tester a “proud Democrat” revealed in the beginning of his letter? Why did he take the time to clarify that he votes Montanan, not Democrat?

          • Having received many a candidate fundraising appeal, I can assure you that the most important information in any letter is placed where it is
            most likely to be read. Hence, the conclusion, as in a great speech. Perhaps you havnt heard many of those-there is an iTunes great speeches podcast which you should seek out.

            • I wont argue with you all on campaign literature, or if a candidate should identify his or her party or not, my issue is that Rehberg is using his congressional email account, aka the one that is issued to members of congress and mantained with taxpayer dollars to campaign on. To the best of my knowledge Jon Tester is not, and all the Jon Tester emails Ive gotten are from his campaign funded by private campaign contributions. This I dont have a problem with. Its all in who the hell is paying for it.

  10. Obviously I would not want to ask about Denny and Jan’s divorce on his facebook page, after all my comments would probley get deleted, probley by the same intern he is having sex with.

  11. For what it’s worth, when I use Facebook I see all these ads about the election. One of the ads was for “Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Tester.” I went to the page yesterday, looked around and saw some discussion about Senator Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. So I offered up some substantive comments related to the actual bill language, what it would mean for some of the released Wilderness Study Areas, what the bill would mean for Forest Service budgets in the region, what provisions in Tester’s bill (such as allowing sheep ranchers motorized access into Wilderness areas) would mean for the future of America’s Wilderness management. Overnight my substantive comments related to Tester’s FJRA were censored and removed from the site and I’m now banned from commenting over at “Sportsmen and Sportwomen for Tester.” So to think that it’s only the GOP’ers censoring and removing on-line comments is just not true. Both sides do it, so better at least admit that. Hell, Tester’s staffers even went so far as to crop me out of pictures when I was invited by Senator Bingamen to testify before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee regarding our substantive concerns with Tester’s FJRA. See here for proof of that: http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/what_testers_outburst_tells_us/C41/L41/

  12. Aren’t you that big anti-Tester fanatic? And since you are, does any of this surprise you? It was your behavior that got you banned methinks.

  13. Nope, I’m that big public lands/Wilderness/wildlife protection supporter who donated to Tester’s campaign in 2006 and had a yard sign in my yard and even convinced some local Missoula labor leader to support Tester over Morrison…but thanks for asking.

    Besides, providing very specific, substantive comments regarding pending pieces of legislation that focus on the actual language of a bill in a polite, professional manner has nothing to do with “behavior.” Using the same “logic” you’re attempting on me, Tragic, there should be no problem at all with Rehberg’s people and supporters censoring and removing comments on their site either, right?

    My point in bringing this up is that both sides are doing it, so best not take the high road and assume that only GOP’ers censor stuff. The simple fact is that when it comes to the Senator Tester’s FJRA that the Senator, his staffers and those “collaborators” who worked on the bill simply can’t handle the truth of light being directed at the actual bill language…so they just censor, remove and ban.

    If Tester’s FJRA bill was so tremendous and such a great idea from a public lands policy perspective it would have passed out of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee (controlled by two western Dems [Bingamen and Wyden]) two or three years ago and already been signed into law. As is, the FRJA has no real support within the Dem party outside of Tester and Baucus, so therefore you see legislative tricks, such as twice having it attached as a “rider” to must-pass, entirely unrelated budget bills.

  14. Perhaps there should be a follow up post entitled Tester the Censor: http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/tester-campaign-disappoints-after-deleting-facebook-comment/article_7e9a16a7-6d4a-58c8-a4ad-7a167e5db0c2.html

    I have to admit, I am a Facebook fanatic! I like to browse, comment, and engage in discussions with my “friends.”

    One of my “friends,” on Facebook, is Jon Tester (as politics is one of my interests). I “friend” most Montana politicians to keep current on statewide issues and their opinions.

    Recently, I was very disappointed, after posting a short comment on Jon Tester’s Facebook page, to see my comment had been quickly removed, and my ability to make further comments, taken away from me (by Jon Tester’s Facebook page).

    So, I ask, “Is this the way Jon Tester will continue to treat me and other fellow Montanans and constituents he apparently doesn’t agree with?”

    Is this not the season for all candidates to be taking comments, have civil discussions, and defend their positions, and the ads that are posted in the media?

    If Jon Tester has no problem taking my ability to comment away, (on his Facebook page), how am I (and everyone in Montana) going to be treated if we send him back to D.C., in November?

    I am tired of leaders who say they are for Montana and the voters and, “one of us” then turn around and remove the ability of the people to comment or engage in discussions.

    As he obviously doesn’t care to hear my comments, as demonstrated by what was done on his Facebook page, he sadly seems to be just another typical Washington politician! As “they” say in the West, “All hat and no horse.” I will remember him come November.

    Betsey Hedrick

    Glendive

  15. Thanks for sharing these last two posts Craig. I was unaware of either of them…Information is Power.

  16. All of the whining about being deleted from facebook is kind of sad all the way around. Don’t lower yourselves to the level of Austin James.

  17. I’m blocked from his site, and all my comments have been deleted kinda sad that they delete the comments and questions other then address them.

Comments are closed.