Today former Congressman Rick Hill has earned quite a distinction–just probably not one he wants. Hill was named to the national League of Conservation Voters’ state “Dirty Dozen” list, which includes 12 of the most anti-conservation state-level candidates in the entire country. Hill has a horrible conservation record from his time in Congress, as you can imagine.
Those who make the ”Dirty Dozen” list have a history of losing elections. Two years ago, former State Sen. “Big Oil” Roy Brown was named to the LCV state Dirty Dozen list, and after an aggressive, targeted field campaign by opponents, Brown lost his election to Sen. Kendall Van Dyk, a Billings sportsman. In 2006, former Sen. Conrad Burns was named to the national Dirty Dozen list and was defeated by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, who is an organic farmer.
But while Hill can’t be two pleased about making the “Dirty Dozen” list, its certainly good news for democrats. It means the list electability problems Rick Hill is piling up keeps growing.
A Madison County judge this week has weakened Montana’s stream access law by limiting public access to streams from bridges on roads with historic prescriptive easements.
It’s just the latest attack an access to public land–and this setback for hunters and anglers will need to be challenged. Pam Bucy pledged this week in a message to supporters that if she is elected, she will continue this fight to the Montana Supreme Court if necessary. Bucy has made the issue a major focus of her campaign and will be an Attorney General who will fight protect public access in Montana.
On her website, Bucy sites some of her experience working for hunters and anglers, including serving as Mike McGrath’s Chief Deputy for seven years. McGrath’s work for public access was the major legacy of his time in office. As a key member of the major litigation unit at the Department of Justice, Bucy successfully defended I-143, Montana’s game farm ban, all the way to the Montana Supreme Court. She also coauthored the brief used by Attorney General Mike McGrath to defend Montana’s prime big game habitat. There’s more, which you can read about on her website– including a list of the hunters, anglers, and conservationists endorsing Pam Bucy here.
Today was not a good day for Congressman Rehberg.
First, he can’t be too pleased about the Montana Fat Cat campaign, which is calling attention to his support for massive oil and gas subsidies while Montanans pay at the pump. Meanwhile, the fat cat profits continue to rise. Rehberg’s hoping you don’t checkout the Montana Fat Cat Facebook page and Twitter feed either which appear to be dedicated to ridiculing his idiocy.
Today is also Equal Pay Day, when America recognizes that women are still not paid equally for equal work. Which reminds us of still more ways Dennis Rehberg votes against women. He voted against a level playing field in the workplace for women and against equal pay for equal work.
Rehberg voted twice against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, a bipartisan measure that protects women’s rights to seek restitution if they’re victims of pay discrimination in the work place. [Vote 768, 7/31/07; Vote 37, 1/27/09; CQ Votes]
Rehberg also opposed the Paycheck Fairness Act twice, which would strengthen protections for women to fight pay discrimination. [Vote 556,7/31/08; CQ Votes] [Vote 8, 1/9/09; CQ Votes]
That’s bad, even by Rehberg standards. Even Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Act, further demonstrating how terrible Rehberg really is.
According to the latest data from the American Association of University Women, American women still earn on average 23% less than their male counterparts in the workplace. Equal Pay Day takes place today to symbolize how far in to 2012 women would have to work in order to earn what their male counterparts did in 2011. Over the course of a lifetime, women earn approximately $431,000 less than men.
Groups are beginning to make endorsements in the Democratic Attorney General Primary.
To date, the groups that are endorsing Pam Bucy include:
- Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana,
- Montana Teamsters,
- Montana Conservation Voters,
- EMILY’s List, and
- Women’s Campaign Fund
The groups that are endorsing Jesse Laslovich are:
- Anaconda Teachers Union Local 502
While more organizations are endorsing Bucy at this point, Lazlovich seems to be better at putting endorsements on his website. The Bucy campaign has not yet posted their endorsements on the campaign site. Instead, supporters of the candidate are touting the endorsements in letters to the editor.
Commenters here have pointed out that write-ins will be accepted in the the Helena Citizens Council election. The Helena Citizens Council is an advisory council to the Helena City Commission. Matthieu Oppedahl, Jessica Peterson, Kim Abbott and Michael Hand are running as write-in candidates. The race attracted attention after it was revealed that Bobette Madonna, the leader of a group who was ousted from the Montana TEA Party over its comments advocating violence against gays, is seeking election for the Helena city board.
Next up, Campaign finance reports show that Lorabelle Behlmer, the right-wing candidate for Helena City Commission has been endorsed by the Montana Association of Realtors PAC, and they have donated the maximum contribution to her campaign. The Realtors are working across the state to elect hard right candidates in places like Billings and Whitefish. In contrast, Katherine Haque-Hausrath and Commissioner Matt Elsaesser have been endorsed by the Montana Conservation Voters. You can read about MCV’s endorsements in other towns here.
Finally, it appears that Lorabelle Behlmer has self-financed the majority (over $1,500.00) of her campaign expenses. She has been reporting “Debts and Loans not yet paid” to herself for yard signs and other expenses, as you can see from the attached pdf of her finance report here. However, debts to yourself are actually Candidate Personal Contributions or Loans. This puts Lorabelle’s statements that she “sees support from throughout the community and from people outside of Helena” in a slightly different light. Perhaps she didn’t mean financial support.
As one of Big Oil’s most loyal defenders, millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg raked in plenty of campaign cash from the nation’s most profitable oil companies. Now, it has come to light that one of the contributors was ExxonMobil’s Political Action Committee, which has so far given $10,000 to Rehberg in 2011.
How are the landowners that live along the Yellowstone oil spill people supposed to believe that Rehberg is on their side when he’s taking this kind of money from Exxon. (And this year is all we know about, though I imagine someone will look into his past donations from Exxon soon.) Rehberg is known for voting for big oil. As the Montana Conservation Voters point out,
The oil giant’s pipeline burst near Laurel on July 1st and spewed out 42,000 some gallons of oil pollution into the Yellowstone River. As, On July 13th Rehberg voted for dirty water legislation (H.R. 2018) in the U.S. House, which undermines protections of our nation’s water ways.
Rehberg also voted to keep subsidies for big oil in spite of the fact that the leadership of Rehberg’s own party in the House has repeatedly pointed out that the oil industry doesn’t need the subsidies.
As the flood waters recede across Montana, Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s fraud reached a new high water mark. On the very same day as Rehberg’s Congressional Hearing about the Yellowstone oil spill he was voting against clean water.
Rehberg recently made a somewhat of a fuss over the Exxon Oil spill with a Congressional Hearing, presumably to get himself some publicity showing concern. He must have had his fingers crossed behind his back the whole time though, because in spite of flooding reporters with emails about his worry over the Yellowstone, he was voting against clean water on the same day as the Congressional hearing.
Rep. Denny Rehberg voted for dirty water legislation (H.R. 2018), which passed in the U.S. House 239-184. The legislation attacks the Clean Water Act’s ability to protect the nation’s drinking water and public health by undermining vital safeguards. If enacted into law, this bill would take the U.S. back to a time before the Clean Water Act when there were no minimum national clean water standards to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways from damaging pollution.
The hypocrisy was not lost on the Montana Conservation Voters, Director Theresa Keaveny said in a press release:
“With tens of thousands of gallons of oil polluting the Yellowstone River, there is simply no excuse for Congressman Rehberg to undermine vital protections that provide safe drinking water and clean waterways for Montanans. In doing so, he once again demonstrates that he is more interested in siding with the corporate special interests that fund his campaigns than with the people he supposedly represents in Congress.”
This is not the first time Congressman Rehberg has tried to take credit for things he voted against. Rehberg was caught pretending to support breast cancer awareness on his Facebook page while voting to end mammogram coverage. He’s also known for having asked for stimulus funding after voting against it, even going so far as setting up publicity stunts to cut ribbons on stimulus-funded projects.