TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg sent out an email this week trying to give the impression that he didn’t intend to cut Medicare. Problem is, he never says he isn’t planning major cuts:
Unfortunately, some members of Congress and their special interest allies are willing to use half-truths to scare seniors. They want you to think that someone is trying to take away the Medicare benefits that you spent a lifetime earning. Fear mongering may be good theater, but it’s not good for the country and it’s not something I’m going to do.
The “it” he’s not going to do is “fear mongering.” He doesn’t say he won’t cut Medicare, rather, he only says:
I want to set the record straight. Any Medicare reform I support must first have the support of Montana’s seniors.
Which only means that when he votes again to cut it, he’ll trot out a couple of TEA partiers rounded up to say they agree with him.
You can read Rehberg’s entire email message below the fold. It includes a longish video, in which he immediately launches into a fear mongering campaign saying that Medicare is broken and in dire need of immediate changes. This appears to be his attempt to lay the groundwork for the cuts he expects to vote for later in the campaign. He says he won’t “undermine” Medicare, but specifically will not say that he doesn’t plan to propose or support major cuts.
Jon Tester meanwhile launched a petition to protect Medicare, saying that
the folks who want to cut the deficit by ending Medicare as we know it while protecting tax loopholes for oil companies and the super-rich are going to use this new committee as another path to their goal. And it’s up to everyone who supports Medicare to stop them.
Women live longer than men, so the majority of Medicare beneficiaries are women, as are two thirds of Medicaid recipients. Seventy percent of Medicaid dollars go to care for seniors and Americans with disabilities.
Here’s Rehberg’s email:
How cool is this? Big Sandy farmer Jon Tester is continuing to build more momentum in his bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate, thanks to this week’s launch of Women for Tester, another grassroots organization supporting his campaign.
Anyone is welcome to join Women for Tester online here . The organization is also on Facebook here.
The group was started by Stacy Rogge-Senterfeit, who works for the Clark Fork Coalition in Missoula, and Barb Skelton, a rancher and business consultant who was the first woman to be nominated for Lieutenant Governor in Montana. Great idea ladies!
In a press release, Stacy said:
“One thing is clear about Dennis Rehberg: He can’t be trusted to stand up for Montana women and our families, Congressman Rehberg voted against equal pay protections for women, and enthusiastically supported the effort to take away access to preventive care — including breast cancer screenings — by defunding Planned Parenthood.”
I could not agree more.
Women for Tester is the second grassroots organization supporting Tester’s hard work and Montana values in the U.S. Senate. Students for Tester, which launched earlier this month, is on Facebook here.
Throughout the entire legislative session, women in Montana have been shocked at the callous cruelty with which the majority of Republicans have voted against women at every opportunity. They even compared women to livestock and property, comparing us and our “value” to pregnant cattle.
Now, all that may be changing.
A hero for women has emerged, leading the way as a shining example of how women really should be treated. That man is Representative James Knox (R-TEA Billings Heights.) It has recently come to light that Montana Republican James Knox is now championing respect for women, proudly posting how to demonstrate respect (in order to get us to spread our legs) on his Facebook page.
Knox’s message came through loud and clear. The way men should demonstrate respect for women is by paying us with jewelry to spread our legs. Ladies, isn’t there some kind of award we can give this man?
The best part of this news? Now that leaders like Knox are spreading this enlightened view of women, we can now expect similar respect for our equal rights as citizens and members of society.
The beliefs of the TEA Party Republicans in Montana are scary. But what scared me more is the recent New York Times/CBS News poll that found a striking difference in the way men and women say they are going to vote come November. Men are more likely to vote Republican than in 2006 and 2008, women are keeping up our loyal Democratic tradition as we have for years, but many women may sit out the 2010 election cycle, according to a recent New York Times article.
This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. It tells us that outreach to women voters will be a key strategy for any Democrat hoping to win an election this year. In election years like this without many of the big statewide races that generate voter interest in Montana, GOTV — Get Out The Vote — will make or break close races this Election Day. Republicans have had a turnout advantage in the primaries across the state because of Tea Party and extreme-right candidates, many of whom won, so those with limited resources will be wise to target women voters this cycle to make efficient use of precious campaign dollars.
There is a lot of anger out there, the Times reports, mostly from men. But it’s time to generate some anger of our own. A TEA Party Republican legislature will be a nightmare for Montana women of unrivaled proportions.
Unless you think that the only women whose views can be trusted are rich, white, married, conservative women with kids, wake up and do something to impact this election. Every kind of craven, backwater, 1850′s era nuttery you can think of is going to be proposed in a legislature controlled by TEA Party Republicans. Repeal no-fault divorce? That was already proposed in the last session. Get ready to say goodbye to equal pay, equality at home, bodily autonomy and freedom from violence. Think I’m overreacting because of the Governor’s ability to veto? Remember that some 90% of incumbents are re-elected every year and that the Governor’s office will be an open seat in 2012.
The Montana Women Pipeline Project just announced its endorsed candidates for this November’s legislative races.
The Pipeline describes itself as sort of a local Montana version of Emily’s List (which supports pro-choice women Democratic candidates) This group works to elect progressive Democratic women in Montana. It looks like a list of new progressive women–there are no incumbents on the list, which may be a strategic decision since its easier for incumbents to win. Word on the street is that this is one of the groups that helped Lindsay Love beat an anti-woman candidate in Great Falls in the Democratic Primary, by helping to raise funds for Love’s race. Smart.
Here’s who they’ll be backing in the general:
Denise Du Pont, HD 58 Laurel
Julia Page, SD 21 Gardiner
Donna Zook, HD 20 Great Falls
Pam Erickson, SD 44 Hamilton
Pam Ellis, HD 47 Billings
Mary McNally, HD 49 Billings
Sheila Hogan, HD 77 Clancy
When you look at who’s behind the group, you can see why it’s so effective. Cynthia Wolken staffs the Pipeline. State Senator Christine Kaufmann is involved, as well as State Superintendent Denise Juneau, Public Service Commissioner Gail Gutsche, Rep. Sue Dickenson [D-Great Falls], and legendary community activists Judy Smith and Terry Kendrick of Missoula.