Archive for August 15th, 2006

Holy smokes! And we thought Conrad Burns was abusing his franking privileges! Check out the mailer Rehberg is sending out to Montanans across the state on the taxpayer dime! (I’m working on getting a working link to the original.)

Last week, Rehberg’s congressional office mass-mailed three fliers…that tout the Republican congressman’s legislative work helping children, seniors and veterans, a record that his Democratic foes hotly dispute. The mailings went out just days before a franking cut-off goes into effect 90 days before elections.

A franking privilege is the ability for a government official to send information to his constituents for free, for the purpose of keeping them informed of their lawmaker’s activities. Fine. That’s not a bad thing, I think we’d all agree. The problem, then, with Rehberg’s mailers?

One look at Rehberg’s mailings and you can see why it would be controversial. They portray the deeply conservative rancher-turned-politician as a compassionate politician who works hard to promote public education, veteran welfare and access to health care — hallmark liberal issues. One mailer uses the headline “putting families first,” a phrase that is eerily similar to slogans appearing in Democratic campaigns, including Bill Clinton’s first White House bid in 1992. Rehberg’s photograph and first name appear repeatedly on them, along with a rather selective, (critics say misleading) recitation of his legislative record and headlines stroking “Denny’s” good works.

Shane’s done the legwork and looked up the Representative’s record on these issues, and it’s clear that, while Rehberg may have been busy in Washington DC it wasn’t working on affordable health care and education or protecting our children.

Not only are these inaccurate descriptions (at best) of Rehberg’s actual positions, they fit in with his campaign strategy of running as a Democrat. In that post, I show his actual record on issues he trumpets, like the environment, health care, education. In an earlier post, I wrote about how he voted against funding a successful program combating online child porn.

So…what has the Representative really been doing?

–He’s been busy trying to save himself a buck by repealing the estate tax.

–He’s been working to keep the middle class down, voting himself a pay raise and against a minimum wage hike, among other issues.

–He’s been working tirelessly to muzzle the press.

–He’s been cavorting with Abramoff associates.

–He’s been voting for subsidies and tax breaks for big oil companies.

I can understand why Rehberg doesn’t want to tell the electorate what he’s really been up to…but to bill us for…what? $100K?…worth of mailers that paint a deliberate distortion of his record is disingenuous, at best. It’s more like stealing, actually.

Rehberg should reimburse us every dime he spent of our money on this shameless politicking.

Update: Pogie actually called Rehberg’s office about the mailer and — surprise! His staff thought it was a campaign mailer, too.

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Come celebrate Jon Tester’s birthday with other Missoulians! (Or find one near you!)

The Missoula party should be fun – a whole raft diatribe of bloggers will be there, including me, Matt Singer, and V.

And how is it that Helena has five parties, and Missoula only one? That’s pathetic, Missoulians. I assume that means half the d*mn city will show up…

Links…

Jason on Burns’ abuse of his franking privilege. (Great phrase!)

Shane on where Burns gets his money.

New West – Boise’s post on Idaho paleo-conservative, Bill Sali.

TAPPED investigates the etymological roots of Senator George Allen’s recent racist slur.

Adapting to win” is the new “staying the course.” And, of course, what would new talking points be without Jon Stewart’s commentary?

George Will — George Will!! — trashes the administration’s methods of combatting terrorism.

Meanwhile, how is US anti-terrorist policework going? Not so good.

A post-election poll of CA’s 50th HD, commissioned in part by MyDD, “…demonstrates clearly that the occupation of Iraq matters to voters…”

Lieberman stoops to red baiting, which includes an attack on “fellow” Democrat, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Looks like Joe is throwing the Democratic party under the bus.

Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum consider how their writing has become more impassioned or angry: “Instead of writing incessantly about ‘angry bloggers,’ they ought to be asking why so many mild-mannered moderate liberals have become so radicalized during George Bush’s tenure.”

Reviving the 2000 elections in a brilliant look at the SCOTUS’ decision on Bush v. Gore.

It’s official! The Billings Gazette has meticulously researched the funding for the trio of terrible initiatives and traced it back to New York City real estate developer, Howie Rich! In a full-feature article explaining the whys, hows, and wherefores, and basing its story on evidence supplied by blogs and the High Country News, the Gazette has it all!

Not.

However, the Gazette did acknowledge the source of inititaives 154, 97, and 98. Check it out:

Published reports have identified New York City real estate developer and Libertarian Howard Rich as a key supporter of property-rights initiatives like I-154.

Um. That’s pretty much it. What those published reports are, well, you’re on your own there, pal. And ignore the bold header under which this sentence appears: “No Source Revealed.” You don’t really need to know anything about this, do you? Right? Scr*w the “five Ws”: why, what, where, when, and how. That stuff is for high-school papers.

Update: In the comments, Shane said we should all go over to the story and leave some comments. That’s a fantastic idea! Follow the link in the post and ask for more information on Howie Rich!




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