Tag Archives: 2010 MT-AL

U of M Students School the Helena IR

Want to be an informed voter and responsible citizen by reading information about candidates and elections, but find that your address ends with the words Helena, MT (the capitol city, yet paradoxically the black hole of any political news and candidate information courtesy of Randy Rickman, Helena IR Publisher)?  Look here instead.

It probably is no use remarking that the readers of other papers in other towns get legislative candidate surveys like this, while we in Helena get “Loud Pops Caused By Fireworks.

Rehberg Plan Would Shutter Yellowstone, Glacier Parks

Dennis Rehberg does not like getting asked tough questions.In the GOP Pledge to America, a so-called “promise” made by D.C. Denny Rehberg and his Washington cronies,  you’ll find glossy photographs of the American landscape, the great national parks and monuments like Mount Rushmore.

But what the Pledge to America doesn’t say is that it’s really more of a threat than a promise. If all of its provisions were to be enacted, then in a mere ten years, according to a leading economist, the federal government would have no money to maintain any of those beautiful places, which are key to Montana’s economy.

As Howard Gleckman, a Resident Fellow at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, told NPR recently of Rehberg’s plan for national parks:

They’d be closed. Maybe we could sell them to Hilton or something. But essentially, they would be closed.

Cool New Voter Info, Ballot Tracking Site

Thank YOU Linda for this neat new tool.How cool is this? For the first time in Montana, voters can access voter information and track their ballots online.

Montana ballots were mailed out yesterday. If you vote by mail, you can now check to make sure your ballot arrives and is counted.  Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch’s new website, launched this week, also tells you your precinct location and polling place in case you’re someone who wants the fun of voting in person on Election Day.  The service can be found at https://app.mt.gov/voterinfo. All you have to do is type in your name, birth date and house number to access the information.

I’m guessing this will come in really handy for those making GOTV (get out the vote) calls to help voters find out where they need to go and what they need to do – there is even a map to the  polling place right there at your fingertips.

The site also tells you your state Senate district, House district, precinct and precinct location.
Speaking of Secretary McCulloch’s neat tech advancements, now would be a good time to sign up for her twitter updates, so that you’ll be the one with the latest scoop on election night, while everyone else is crowded around a laptop that won’t load or waiting for the TV news to come on, you’ll have the scoop.  (Your friends will be jealous.) Go to http://twitter.com/sosmcculloch to follow Linda.

Rehberg Whiffs On Budget, Deficit with Claims that Don’t Match Reality

One of the Richest Members of Congress

A “whiff’’ is one of golf’s most embarrassing things: When a player takes her swing and fails to even make contact with the ball.

It’s the perfect way to describe Rehberg’s claim in this Sunday’s Great Falls Tribune that he is working to reign in spending and reduce the deficit.  Republicans have been saying they would do this for 30 years, but have they ever done it?  No.

A former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, David Stockman would know.  As he told NPR just last week:

When I was in the White House in the Budget Office in the early ’80s, we had the deficit breakout, 100 billion or 200 billion. Admittedly, the economy was smaller then, but it was still 4 or 5 percent of GDP.

Here we are today with a deficit that’s 10 percent of GDP, and it doesn’t look like there’s any prospect that it’s going to decline at anytime soon – or any willingness to even acknowledge the problem and address it.

Stockman said Republicans “can’t get the job done” and that their so-called pledge to America is “a big lie”

“[If] you’re exempting two-thirds of the budget and you’re focusing only on non-defense discretionary, which actually is only about 500 billion or 15 percent of the budget, it’s pretty obvious you can’t get the job done.”

UPDATE: The Beaverhead County Dems have the latest feature article on Rehberg’s opponent from the Montana Standard up on their site.  It outlines Mr. McDonald’s positions on a variety of issues and shows him to be a good deal more progressive than some have tried to claim.

The Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Goes to….

GOP Hypocrite of the Week Denny Rehberg. Welcome to the club fool.Dennis Rehberg. Not exactly a member of Congress Montana can be proud of.Rehberg is a hypocrite for so many reasons.…Dennis Rehberg, GOP incumbent to the U.S. House, who is pictured here cutting the ribbon this week for a Montana road project near Alzada that is being paid for using with the Recovery Act that Rehberg voted against, calling it “failed spending” and a “boondoggle,” among other things.  (Is he…no…grabbing the ribbon cutting scissors from Conrad Burns?)

Yet Rehberg raced to eastern Montana to take credit for a major project there funded by the Recovery Act, something he has done several times before.  The project will invest around $8.6 million into the highway  and local economy, no thanks to Rehberg.   As a spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party said:

Rehberg showing up at this event is the very definition of a poseur and is akin to lying to the people of Montana.

Hmmm… saying one thing and then doing another? I’m pretty sure there’s a word for that. Oh, yeah. There’s an award for it too. Congrats, Denny Rehberg, you’re the Montana Cowgirl Blog’s GOP Hypocrite of the Week.

Though this is the first time we have given Rehberg an award,  it is just one small example of Congressman Rehberg stomping on the fingers of rural Montana and our small business economy as he continually climbs the ladder to wealth and power, screaming about his own importance all the way.

UPDATE: It gets worse.

To see a list of past award winners, click here.

Rehberg Proposals to “Reduce the Deficit” Will Actually Increase It, Studies Show

Dennis Rehberg does not like getting asked tough questions.It looks like Montana’s sole Representative in the U.S. Congress, Dennis Rehberg’s proposals to reduce the deficit by permanently cutting taxes for all income, regardless of whether the person is a billionaire or makes $35,000 a year, will actually increase the national deficit by an additional $700 billion through the year 2020, according to fiscal analysts.

In an extensive story in this Sunday’s September 19, 2010 Great Falls Tribune, entitled  “Roots of U.S. debt run deep and parties are miles apart on what should be done,” mysteriously not available online, reporters Maureen Groppe and Ledyard King of the Tribune Washington Bureau report that Rehberg claims that:

[I]t’s dishonest to say that cutting taxes has the same impact on the debt as increasing spending.

But according to a study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Rehberg is wrong.

Looking at just the effects of extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the CBO at the time concluded that they would initially help the economy but would have a negative effect in the long term because of the impact on the deficit.

It gets worse.  The article goes on to explain that the largest 10-year increase in the deficit came from tax cuts passed under Rehberg’s watch,

…which added about $1.7 trillion to the deficit, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Legislation passed in fiscal year 2009, including the financial bailout passed in late 2008 and the stimulus package passed in 2009 increased the deficit by$509 billion compared with a $903 billion increase caused by tax cuts and spending programs enacted from 2001-2008.

Also under Rehberg’s tenure.