Comments on Montana’s Congressional Delegation

by Pete Talbot

Baucus pulls a Rehberg

The rhetoric was pure Rehberg but it came from the mouth of Max Baucus.  On the heels of the State of the Union address, the first comment from our congressional delegation was Max blasting Obama for not ramming through the Keystone XL pipeline.

Granted, it was just a local TV news snippet and I’m sure the station was looking for the most controversial quote, but Max gladly provided it.

He joins the ranks of Joe Leiberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln as party skanks.  Montana Republicans should be grateful that Max Baucus is their senior senator.

Baucus says he’s “quite disappointed” that Obama didn’t reference the pipeline.  Here’s the link to the 10 p.m. newscast.  Max is about four minutes in.  Viewing not recommended for those with a queasy stomach.

On the other hand

In light of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, both Baucus and Tester are pushing for a Constitutional amendment that would regulate campaign spending.  This will be no cakewalk as it takes two-thirds of both chambers and three-quarters of the states (38 states?) to ratify the amendment.  Maybe just making our elections publicly financed would be easier, although I’m sure that, too, would end up in SCOTUS.

Of course Rehberg likes the idea of unlimited corporate influence in elections.  He believes there just needs to be more “sunlight” (or transparency) in campaigns, which mens a five-minute scroll of all the contributors at the end of a sixty-second negative hit spot on TV.  Yeah, right.  Like we can’t already figure out where all the millions of dollars are coming from.

It will be interesting to see how aggressive Congress is in advancing this amendment and how accountable members will be to citizens (and by citizens, I don’t mean corporations).

Update: Here’s Pogie’s take on Rehberg and Citizens United.

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  1. More:

    http://bigskypolitics.blogspot.com/2012/01/keystone-and-montana-senate-race.html

    • petetalbot

      Thanks for the informative link, Larry.

      Some clarification on the first part of my post. It wasn’t so much that Baucus is touting the pipeline, although I believe this is the wrong direction for our energy policy. It was the timing. Does Max want Obama to lose even more votes in Montana? Max is looking out for himself.

      Wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who spoke of the 11th commandment? “Thou will not speak ill of fellow Republicans.” Max should apply this philosophy to his own party.

      • While Senator Tester seems to want to distance himself from the President expect Max to bring Obama to Montana later in the cycle.

        Pete, in South Dakota, a popular Democratic At-large Representative ran against her party and lost to a far less qualified candidate.

        If he knows we have his back Sen. Tester can not only expect Democrats to fall in line, he can woo independents by showing loyalty to the ones who brung him.

        • @GFTribune: Tester racks up another $1.1 million in donations for Montana Senate race.

        • petetalbot

          Not following you here, Larry. What’s the South Dakota analogy you’re trying to make? And what makes you think Baucus would bring Obama to Montana “later in the cycle?”

          • SD’s lone representative, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was a blue dog defeated in 2010; she ran against against the President and voted against PPACA.

            In my view, Sen. Tester should trust his electorate to turn out for him in the general and bring Obama to Montana later this year with the confidence that the state could even reject whichever earth hater emerges from the slime to be the GOP nominee.

            I am a trained salesman, Pete, and was taught early that you have to ask for the order.

            Getting our own base out to vote is hard enough without our own candidates bumming them out with doom and gloom.

            We need to keep the Senate and reverse the House: we can do it if we work our asses off.

            • @dscc: Read @jontester’s great post on why Citizens United must go.

  2. Ingemar Johansson

    Yeah, we wouldn’t want to threaten that Nebraska aquifer.

    Like the other hundreds of miles that runs there now.

  3. Drill Baby Drill

    The hypocrisy wih regard to corporate donations is getting pretty thick in here. Is there no one willing to admit this? Please.

    • petetalbot

      Care to flesh that comment out, DBD? I’m not seeing any hypocrisy here.

      • Drill Baby Drill

        Sure, but how do i know you all will not just delete what I write .

        • JC

          Many of us have had plenty to say about corporate donations going to all of our elected reps. But if you think that on one hand taking corporate contributions, then advocating for campaign finance reform equates hypocrisy, then you’re just crying crocodile tears.

          I’m sure you’d rather that those who support reforms or a constitutional amendment just denounce and not accept any corporate contributions. Then the beloved defenders of drill baby drillers would walk away with the next few elections.

          Truth is the whole system is corrupt. As long as accepting corporate sponsorship is a necessity for getting elected or reelected, all politicians are hypocrites because they are doing the corporation’s work, instead of the people’s work. Just because some corporations give their candidates enough slack to give some platitudes to reform doesn’t mean that those candidates are really doing more than giving lip service.

          Of course I could be proved wrong if Tester and Baucus were to actually work hard to pass a constitutional amendment. But what are the chances of that?

          • Drill Baby Drill

            I dot know where you draw the line, but I know your candidates don’t bother wih moral compunction. MT Dem candidate Diane Smith made a fortune from Playboy and even calls the Playboy Channel a “programmer of excellence.”  Is that her “jobs” plan?  Is Playboy a great corporation? Please.

            http://www.pr.com/press-release/21204

            • JC

              1) you don’t know who my “candidates” are. so quit assuming and building strawman arguments.

              2) many folks don’t even think Smith is a legit dem candidate.

              3) Even if she were teh most awesome dem candidate, I wouldn’t care if she had moral compunctions about her choice of occupations or not. That’s for the voter to weigh. Just like I don’t think that Romney’s lack of moral compunction (in some republican’s eyes) about polygamy means diddly squat to me in regards to his policy stances.

              4) If you’d even take a moment to look at the jobs part of her campaign website, you’d notice that she has something other than what you reference as a jobs plan. Of course, maybe I’m reading you wrong, and when you saw the words “too big to fail” you thought she was talking about female endowments, instead of the size of big banks’ balance sheets.

  4. Matthew Koehler

    Ochenski provided his take on Keystone XL in today’s Indy:

    http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/dems-divided/Content?oid=1532498

  5. JC

    And AFL-CIO prez Richard Trumka acknowledged labor’s division over KeystoneXL

    http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12552/afl-cios_trumka_acknowledges_labors_divisions_over_keystone_pipeline/

  6. ladybug

    We will know when Baucus and Tester are serious about reversing Citizens United. When Baucus hires a Chinese lobbyist to write the bill. Until then, it’s a clever stunt to keep the pitchforks away from their door. And good riddance to Herseth-Sandlin in South Dakota.

  7. Mark Miwertz

    “Comments on Montana’s Congressional Delagation”

    Well, it’s a “delegation”.

    Setting the glaring misspelling aside, and you know I don’t, it might be time to only allow donations from individuals, period. Eliminate PACs and SuperPACs and Union donations, and Association donations, and Corporate donations and Party donations and club donations, etc.

    What’s your name, your occupation, address and phone number and the amount you’re contributing? George Soros and the Koch bros get to make big donations, but the rest of us better tell our friends. Yet, still, that seems to be the gist.

    As for speech, that will have to be different, as we all understand the importance of anonymous political speech, even in support of a candidate. Or, conversely, is that a contribution that needs to be reported? A well placed and well timed blog article would be worth millions of advertising dollars.

    • Pete Talbot

      Obviously, there’s no spell check in our headlines, Mark, although I’m sure I’ve made more “glaring mispelling” errors than this. Thanks for the heads up, though. I tend to agree with your donation synopsis. It won’t be an easy task and will be challenged every inch of the way.

  8. See this, folks?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/207227-gop-wants-sen-baucus-to-go-rogue-on-keystone

  9. Drill Baby Drill

    As I predicted- my comment about democratic ties to shady corporations ha been censored. Figures.

    • JC

      Your comment got flagged as spam by Akismet. I went ahead and un-spammed it. Next time don’t be so hasty flinging censorship claims about with asking first.

      • Pete Talbot

        I’m not getting to my laptop much lately, JC, so thanks for doing this admin stuff. I would have been tempted to leave the comment in the spam box, though. ;-)

    • Steve W

      Baby is right – Whine whine whine.

      You sound as if you think you are entitled to post on somebody else’s blog.

      You remind me of your Repo buddies in the MT legislature who believe they can usurp other peoples property.

      Your predictions are generally either bogus or wrong, Baby. Haven’t you figured that out yet?

      • Drill Baby Drill

        Oh I see. You all are entitled to call Republicans corporate whores, but if i call one of your golden boys the same I am wrong ? Typical Liberal tunnel vision

  10. Are comments really worthwhile on blogs? I have to admit that I’m wondering that, now that I’ve become a refuge for some of your former contributors. :)

    Being accused of censorship whenever a post is held for moderation certainly does get tiresome, as does having to read through people’s comments to moderate.

    Worth the effort, he asked, hijacking the thread.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Over here looking for some sympathy Don?

      • God, you’re a tiny little person, aren’t you?

        Why don’t you run back and answer my question. One thing that Representative Rehberg has done in Congress. Surely, a big-thinking bold defender of the Congressman can come up with one?

        Hint: Naming post offices doesn’t count.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          I’ll answer here because it has a better chance of remaining.

          Ya see, as a “big govt. solves everything type” of person you’d have Denny’s achievements incapsulated in sponsored bills such as these:

          Rehberg/ Some Democrat Single Payer HC
          R/SD Card Check
          R/SD Global Warming
          R/SD Stimulus #2
          R/SD Tarp #2
          R/SD Prescription Bill #2
          R/SD More Wilderness
          R/SD GM Bailout #2
          R/SD Immigration Amnesty
          R/SD Internet Protection
          R/SD No Drilling… No Railroads…No Pipelines..etc.

          And on and on.

          You’re under the flawed logic that we send representatives to Washington to DO something, as in new legislation.

          We need representatives sent to UNDO, not DO.

          We need reps not endorsing this Presidents agenda 97% of the time but representing the majority of Montanans.

          • So, how about telling us one thing he’s undone?

            Seems like in the past 24 hours you’d have been able to come up with one achievement in a decade.

            • Ingemar Johansson

              Denny’s voting record on the issues.

              http://www.issues2000.org/House/Dennis_Rehberg.htm

              • So he’s managed to vote while in Congress? Impressive.

                Not one piece of legislation in ten years that he wrote? Not one that he pushed through with his seniority and experience?

                Given the crippling problems that you believe government regulation has caused, surely Rehberg has been able to fight back some of it?

                Sad, really.

              • Ingemar Johansson

                Really Don?

                Legislators write their own bills?

  11. I have to say it’s always fun to watch people try to defend Rehberg.

    Thanks for the show.




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