MontanaVotes2010 will be live-blogging the election today. They have a Facebook and Twitter, @MTVotes2010, as well. And don’t forget to sign up for Secretary of State Linda McCulloch’s Twitter updates @SOSMcCulloch.Tweet
The Helena IR reported yesterday that the Billings “Montana Shrugged” TEA Party faction is suing the state to invalidate Montana laws that regulate sunshine in campaign spending and reporting in politics.
The lawsuit, filed with the help of the James Madison Center for Free Speech in Terre Haute, Ind., says Montana laws requiring various financial reporting by political committees are unconstitutionally vague and should not apply to groups like Montana Shrugged.
Just who is the out-of-state “James Madison Center for Free Speech”? It is backed and lead by the conservative and religious right-wing of the national Republican Party.
Indeed, one of [the group's leaders James] Bopp’s greatest sources of funding emerged when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) embraced Bopp and his cause of campaign finance deregulation and helped him set up his own nonprofit litigation center — the James Madison Center for Free Speech — in 1996, on which McConnell agreed to serve as the honorary chairman.
The group’s leader, James Bopp Jr., is a Republican-backed lawyer who’s fought campaign finance laws for 30 years. In fact, he’s the guy that filed the suit that led to last January’s Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate influence on elections.
Once again, the so-called “local TEA Party movement” is just a pawn of a national Republican movement to obliterate transparency in campaign spending.
In fact, the Kansas City Star reports that this same entity is now challenging laws in at least a dozen states that have disclosure laws like Montana: including California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
And finally, all this garbage about how the TEA Party is supposedly not to be interested in social issues must finally be put to rest.Tweet
Thought you might like this mailer that landed last week from the Safari Club. (Apparently they like to shoot gorillas and polar bears and have the taxpayers subsidize their hunting trips with a tax write-off, according to their Wikipedia listing).
The ammo ban vicious rumor stems from a petition to the EPA last summer, which EPA promptly shot down because they have no jurisdiction. It was all over the talk radio mouth-breather circuit, and is referenced here. So again it’s a non-issue fear-mongering mailer of no substance, but we should still vote for Rehberg because of it? Really this fake conspiracy is the best pro-Rehberg argument out there? Pathetic.
Here’s the mailer.Tweet
Word is that Dennis McDonald’s recent television ad, Millionaire, has started to gain some notoriety among the Republican elite. Here’s the ad:
According to a McDonald press release, a source within the Republican Party says that Karl Rove has acknowledged that he’s seen Dennis McDonald’s ad and made the comment, “Yes, I’ve already seen this ad, our guy in Montana seems to have a problem with his drinking…” McDonald’s press release did not name the source, but this does not surprise me in the least.
Rove was reportedly referring to Republican Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s inappropriate behavior and drinking problem.
Rehberg has had numerous problems with drinking in public during his 6 terms as Montana’s lone Congressman, as the release reports.
Back in 2004, Rehberg was rumored to have been drunk and fell off his horse during a state visit to Kazakhstan. Not only did he fall off his horse and injure himself, but he called the native people “cone heads” while making alien noises, as in the famous Saturday Night Live sketches. A member of the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan reported the incident.
In 2008, according to the Washington Post, Rehberg passed out drunk at the Tune Inn, a dive bar in Washington, D.C. and reportedly slept on a cot in the basement of the bar.
In 2006, according to Roll Call magazine, Rehberg was drunk and took part in a bar room brawl that involved the Missoula police. Rehberg’s staff was also part of the drunken brawl.
Finally, in 2009, the McDonald release states, “Rehberg boarded a boat after he had been drinking (the police report disclosed that he had a blood-alcohol level of .05, four hours after the accident) and instructed his staff members join him on the boat. While State Senator Barcus was driving the boat drunk, the boat crashed and launched up on the rocky shore. Rehberg’s drunkenness and poor personal conduct resulted in injuries to himself and several of his staff members, who were seriously hurt.”Tweet
Denny Rehberg’s campaign fundraising and expense report has just come out, and it looks like Denny might have gone on another bender.
The report contains enormous sums of food and drink expense entries like “Montana Lil’s Casino-$95” or “Congressional Liquor–$25”, or “Capitol Grille, $1795.” All in all, entertainment seems to account for about 75% of the quarter million dollars spent this cycle. The Cat’s Paw, Choppers Pub and Grub, Bucks T4. It goes on and on. Truth is I don’t blame Denny. Why not enjoy yourself if you haven’t a competitive race? About $10K was spent at “Cash Creek Casino Resort” in Brooks, California.
But the big ticket item is $23,000 for a blowout at Spanish Peaks resort, which is especially strange given that there was a similar event at Spanish Peaks, for a similar price tag, in an earlier campaign report. The best part of the Spanish Peaks thing is the dozen or so entries for $50 or $75 or like amounts, spent at the Conoco station at Big Sky on the same day as the big bash. They probably ran out of beer at the fundraiser, and needed to take emergency action.
Erik Iverson, who is heading a new PAC that is attacking Democrats in legislative races, seems to be up to mischief, having received over $40,000 this quarter from Rehberg’s campaign war chest. Lot’s of money is also shown going to a range of “consulting” firms most of which are located in the DC area, which could be for just about anything, including the outrageous push calls now circulating around the state and aimed at Democratic legislative candidates. Also a lot of money paid to “Special Projects” listed at 400 N. California, Helena, MT. Unclear what that entity is.
And once again, Rehberg spent pretty much everything he raised. This is a bizarre phenomenon that has recurred over several quarterly periods, and makes no sense at all. I did offer an explanation a while back that perhaps Rehberg is simply pre-paying his obligations for a run for Governor, using federal money since he isn’t allowed to carry any of that over into a gubernatorial race. Certainly if he’s running against Tester, he’d be saving every nickel since he could use his House war chest for a Senate run. Tester would be a formidable opponent, perhaps Rehberg’s already ducked out. Very strange doings. Stay tuned to this blog for more analysis in this regard; you won’t find any of this mentioned in Montana papers, because Rehberg has them in his pocket, and reporters are barred from covering interesting matters such as these.Tweet