Iverson preparing Rehberg to take over Senate nomination? No way

One of the more interesting theories on why Iverson was sent over to Burns is that Burns is headed for indictment, and Iverson is there to smooth Dennis Rehberg’s transition to Republican Senate candidate.

Love the rumor. I don’t buy it. Basically if Burns is indicted, the Republicans are scr*wed. First, Montana law doesn’t allow candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot at this late date (MCA 13-10-325):

A candidate may not withdraw later than 85 days before a general election or 75 days before a primary election.

There’s some 60-odd days left before the general.

If Burns, say, resigns from his office, he’s still stuck on the ballot. And:

13-25-202. Vacancy in office of United States senator. (1) If a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next general election. If the election is invalid or not held at that time, the election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next succeeding general election.

(2) The governor may make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy until the election.

The “governor” in this case is Democrat Brian Schweitzer and friend and political ally of Jon Tester. Don’t take rocket-science-level-genius to see where that dog’s headed…

There is one – and only one — way that Dennis R slips onto the ballot as the Republican candidate, and Boss Hogg’s probably not gonna like it (MCA 13-10-327):

However, if a candidate for partisan office dies less than 85 days before the general election, the affected political party shall appoint a candidate within 5 days after being notified of the vacancy.

So…unless Dennis and his pals are planning on Conrad Burns’ untimely death, Montana is stuck with Burns as their Republican nominee for Senate.

That leaves us hanging out to dry on the Iverson switch-a-roo. It doesn’t make much sense. Why would someone knowingly and willingly join a losing campaign and a loser candidate? Charity? If you follow the links on Matt’s excellent post, you could speculate that Iverson’s showboating and upstaging got him booted off the Rehberg campaign. Essentially Iverson was canned. Or exiled.

But a poor choice, for Rehberg as well. Check out McKenna’s quote in the Gazette article, for reasons why:

In response, Tester spokesman Matt McKenna said, “Outside of Conrad Burns, few people in Montana are more entangled with the Jack Abramoff and INSA (Inland Northwest Space Alliance) than Erik Iverson, so this seems like par for the course with the Burns’ campaign.”

He was referring to the fact that Rehberg recommended Carter County hire Kevin Ring, a former associate of Abramoff’s, to lobby to get a highway paved. Iverson’s wife worked on a clinical trial for INSA, although she was paid by other sources.

So here’s a guy involved with Rehberg’s dirty laundry coming over to Boss Hogg himself. Turns out they know some of the same guys. You can’t help but start thinking of Burns and Rehberg as coming from the same mould, now can you?

  1. It all kind of makes sense in a way. Rehberg is our sole elected Representative, who only really represents 36 parties, but he was nice enough to let the Carter County know where they could buy some representation of their own. Maybe Denny wants to reassure the rest of us that we can get what we need for a price as well and that he understands we probably couldn’t get that kind of service from America’s laziest Senator without a little help from his good friend Mini Me.

  2. Oooh Oooh I know! We all know that Rehberg wants to be a senator. He knows he can’t take Baucus and it wouldn’t do to challenge Burns in the primary. So, if Burn’s loses, Rehberg can try and unseat Tester in 6 years. So, Rehberg is trying to sabatage Burns.

  3. Except in six years, Tester will be Montana’s most popular Senator since Mansfield/Metcalf. Plus by then more Abramoff details will have come out, and Rehberg will be tarnished.

    Truth be told, Rehberg’s days are numbered.

  1. 1 Ney’s criminal activities…look a lot like Burns’ « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] This may be a good time to remind folks that it’s too late for the GOP to slip Dennis Rehberg on the ballot instead of Boss Hogg. […]

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