A fascinating, huge searchable trove of data was released this week by the Washington Post. It ranks Congressmen according to their personal wealth, and reveals many interesting details about how our lawmakers earn, and invest, their money. I encourage everybody to spend a few minutes horsing around with the database. Very interesting.
Among other things, it says that Denny Rehberg was personally worth $31 million just a few years ago. But on the eve of his announcement that he would run against Jon Tester (the only working man in the United States Senate), Rehberg’s net worth suddenly plummeted to only $5 million. Perhaps this was accounting artifice, to make Rehberg look more like the common man.
In the alternative, I wonder whether there isn’t a legitimate question to raised by this data regarding Rehberg’s business acumen. If a person invests money and land for a living, and sees the value of those assets drop by 83% in the course of a year or two, how can this person possibly claim to be qualified for high office? Mind you, Rehberg lives in the right-wingosphere where a belief prevails that Mitt Romney would be a better president than Barack Obama because he “understands business.” Meaning, in Romney’s case, that he was talented at investing capital for a profit.
How, then, does Rehberg rate himself on this metric?
Ravalli County TEA baggers have joined in a favorite Republican pastime: lying and deception. The TEA Partiers know they can’t win on ideas or ideology. Instead, they’re resorted to fraud to thwart the Dems’ electoral chances by filing TEA baggers for local Democratic leadership positions.
TEA Party Republicans have proven they have no qualms about lying to voters or the press. It’s all part of a greater Republican strategy to suppress the vote. Here’s how it works.
By causing confusion about which candidates are fake Dems which are not, the TEA party is hoping some Democrats won’t vote in the precinct level races at all–or vote for the wrong candidate. The confusion will force local Dems to spend more resources—resources they could have used to help elect Bullock, Tester and legislative candidates in the fall.
Plus, the TEA Party’s fake precinct people will be able to vote for local central committee leadership and propose changes to the Democratic Party Platform. If Democratic central committees are tied up by spear hunting resolutions and ineffective leadership, the Republicans reason, they won’t be able to turnout as many voters in November.
Expect to see the Republicans repeat this trick in other counties. That’s because Montana has two top nationally targeted races this year–for Governor and U.S. Senate. With so much money being spent in Montana, there will be very few undecided voters. This means the election will be decided by who is best able to turn out voters for their candidates. Voter turnout is of course where local central committtees are invaluable.
The upshot is that the Ravalli Dems say the fraud has energized its membership to get the truth out to voters. Which brings us to the quote of the day from Corrine Gantt, the Dems’ central committee vice-chair who has some ideas for putting the new central committee “leaders” to work:
“I look forward to providing all of them with T-shirts that proclaim in big letters that they support President Obama that can be read from 50 feet away,” Gantt said. “They will be expected to wear these shirts in all of the summer parades while they are carrying signs that say how much they support our issues. Since they signed up willingly to take on these responsibilities, I have no question that they have every intention of honestly taking their place in our organization.”
Republican Rick Hill is trying to tell folks in Eastern Montana that he’s a “Montana native” – despite being born, raised and schooled out-of-state. The deception was attempted at a Lincoln Day Dinner where Hill and the other GOP candidates spoke last week.
There are two ways to explain Hill’s behavior here. First, Hill could be lying because he thinks that’s the only way he stands a chance against Bullock.
Governor Schweitzer hit on this recently – pointing to one of the many reasons why Bullock is a stronger candidate than the GOPers:
“They’re just going to have a real tough time beating Bullock. Not only is he a great guy, he’s got a young and beautiful family . . . been a spectacular attorney general. He’s born and bred in Montana. A lot of these cats that are running right now, they’re born someplace else, they’re interlopers. They just show up, they say, ‘It’s a small state, maybe I can go be governor of it.’…Bullock has got deep roots, he’s a smart guy. If you’ve got a $100 in your pocket, you ought to bet on Bullock. Bullock’s going to win this race.”
The only other explanation is that dishonesty and deception is so deeply ingrained in Hill’s imbecilic nature that he just can’t help himself. After all, neither Jim Lynch nor Ken Miller lied about their out-of-state roots in the Sidney Herald article reporting on their appearance. Nor is this the first time Rick Hill has been caught trying to hide the truth about his past.
He tried to scrub from his Wikipedia page the fact that he left his wife and young kids for a mermaid/cocktail waitress. When his family showed up to beg him to come home he laughed in their faces. He described this behavior in an email to Republicans as “single parenthood.” If Rick Hill will lie about his own background, no one should be surprised when he lies about jobs, schools and revenue.