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News Tuesday, Jun 5 2012

MEMO: Rehberg's Decades Of Disservice

Jun 05, 2012

To: Interested Parties
From: Ty Matsdorf, Senior Advisor American Bridge 21st Century
RE: Dennis Rehberg’s Decades of Disservice
Date: 6-5-2012


During his three decades in office, Congressman Dennis Rehberg has continually taken positions against the will of the voters of Montana and has gained more notoriety for his antics than any legislative accomplishments.

Some of his most recent lowlights include:

– Supporting a massive land grab by the Federal government which would give the Department of Homeland Security unprecedented control over Montana land.
– Voting to give himself five pay raises at taxpayers’ expense despite pledging not to.
– Suing the Billings Fire Department.
– Having a cozy relationship with lobbyists then failing to report the campaign donations he received from lobbyists on legally required transparency forms.
– Supporting vast government overreach including the PATRIOT Act and REAL ID.

As the general election has now begun, Montana voters will see that Dennis Rehberg doesn’t stand with them and despite his past as a gymnast, he will not be able to twist and turn his way out of his true record.


Dennis Rehberg Co-Sponsored Bill to “Give the Department of Homeland Security Unprecedented Authority Over Federal Lands.” The Great Falls Tribune reported, “A controversial bill that would give the Department of Homeland Security unprecedented authority over federal lands within 100 miles of the United States’ border is making its way through Congress… Rehberg, one of the 49 Republican co-sponsors of the measure, said the bill is aimed at giving border patrol agents the tools they need to secure the border. [Great Falls Tribune, 9/19/11]

From 2002-2006, Rehberg Voted Five Times For A Procedural Motion To Block The Vote On Congressional Pay Raises. Rehberg has repeatedly voted for a procedural motion that prevents an up or down vote on a congressional pay increases. Specifically, Rehberg voted five times to order the previous question on the rule for consideration of multiple pieces of legislation. By ordering the previous question, the House votes to prevent an amendment to the rule from being offered, and to bring the rule to an immediate vote. By agreeing to order the previous question, some Members considered these votes to be against consideration of an amendment prohibiting a pay raise. Had the House not agreed to these procedural motions to order the previous question, they argue, a Member could have offered an amendment to the rule permitting a pay raise vote in some form. During floor debate, Representative Jim Matheson regularly made known his intention to offer an amendment to the rule to prohibit the increase, and spoke against the previous question so that his amendment could receive a waiver to be considered. Because these procedural motions passed, there were no up or down votes on the pay increases and lawmakers received several automatic raises. [Vote 261, 6/13/06; Vote 327, 6/28/05; Vote 451, 9/14/04; Vote 463, 9/04/03; Vote 322, 7/18/02; CRS Report: Salaries of Members of Congress, 2/9/11]

Dennis Rehberg Sued Firefighters For Their Response To 2008 Fire At Rehberg Ranch. Denny Rehberg’s Rehberg Ranch LLC filed a lawsuit against the City of Billings for failing to protect his property from a fire that burned undeveloped land at his Rehberg Ranch development. The lawsuit was filed July 2, 2010 and the full text of the complaint was posted by the Clark Fork Chronicle. According to the Billings Gazette, “The owner and developer of the subdivision, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Billings for failing to protect the subdivision. Rehberg claims that his undeveloped property was damaged because the city failed to stay on the scene to watch an earlier wildfire that started a few days before.” [Clark Fork Chronicle, 7/13/2010; Billings Gazette, 7/17/2010]

Dennis Rehberg Said He Would “Never Support, Nor Take A Pay Raise.” According to a video recording from 1996, Rehberg participated in a Great Falls Tribune and University of Great Falls debate where he said, “I’ll never support, nor take a pay raise. Those are my promises and pledges to you.” [Great Falls Tribune Debate, 1996]

Dennis Rehberg Took Donations From Lobbyists Without Disclosing Their Place Of Employment. According to the Associated Press, “For months, Montana Republican congressman Denny Rehberg has been criticizing U.S. Sen. Jon Tester for being the leading recipient of campaign cash from lobbyists. But it turns out Rehberg has been taking donations from some lobbyists without disclosing their place of employment.”[Missoulian, 2/5/12]

Dennis Rehberg Voted For Final Passage Of The Original USA Patriot Act. In 2001, Rehberg voted in favor of the Patriot Act, which expanded law enforcement’s power to investigate suspected terrorists. Among many provisions, the bill: Allowed disclosure of wiretap information among certain government officials, authorize limited disclosure of secret grand jury information to certain government officials, and authorize the Attorney General to detain foreigners suspected of ties to terrorism; Expanded the number of crimes considered terrorist acts and increases the punishment for committing them; Allowed nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including legal expansion of those devices to e-mail and Internet; Authorized the use of roving wiretaps, in which officials get orders that allow them to tap whatever telephone a person uses instead of one telephone at a time; Relaxed rules to allow the FBI and intelligence officials to share grand jury and wiretap information more easily. The bill passed 357-66 [Vote 398, 10/24/01; AP, 10/25/01]

Dennis Rehberg Voted For 2005 REAL ID Bill That Critics Claimed Was “Tantamount To A National Identification System.” According to the Charlotte Observer, “The House of Representatives voted 261-161 Thursday to toughen border security and keep driver’s licenses out of the hands of illegal immigrants, in the opening round of a tough and contentious battle to overhaul the nation’s immigration system… Sensenbrenner and leading supporters described the proposed ‘Real ID Act’ as an anti-terrorism measure that grew out of recommendations by the 9-11 Commission. But opponents denounced it as a thinly disguised crackdown on illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers trying to escape persecution in their home countries. Critics also contended that the driver’s license requirements are tantamount to a national identification system.” [Vote 31, 2/10/2005; Charlotte Observer, 2/11/05]

Published: Jun 5, 2012

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