Archive for May 12th, 2010

 
“Rehberg has shown to be diligent at one thing–avoiding accountability. “
–Melinda Gopher, candidate for the Democratic House nomination

By JC

Well, it was just a matter of time until Melinda Gopher unleashed part of her strategy to unseat incumbent Denny Rehberg for Montana’s lone House seat: attack Rehberg’s vulnerability created by his drinking and poor decision-making abilities during last year’s near fatal boat crash:

“Montanans want answers. Since August 27th, there has been a veil of secrecy around Rep. Rehberg regarding the boat crash in which all occupants of the boat were injured, one very seriously. Were it not for rescuers delivering life-saving aid; Dustin Frost, a then-Rehberg staffer–would be dead…

I challenge all of my Democratic opponents to state their position on this; they want to seek offices requiring judgment and leadership–their opinons must be known because Montanans have a right to know where they stand on this issue.”

Invoking a House ethics investigation would be a great way to drag Denny out of the shadows over his abuse of power that night on Flathead Lake. I’m not going to get into the details of the accident and aftermath, it’s been chronicled to a great degree here at 4&20, and elsewhere outside of the mainstream media.

What I will say is that I admire a political candidate who is willing to speak truth to power, and raise the issues that neither any of the other candidates or the media is willing to tackle: Rehberg’s fitness to hold public office. Here’s the meat of her argument:

“Rehberg has shown to be diligent at one thing–avoiding accountability. It is time to call him on this. I am asking for four things:

1. State Democratic party leaders call for his resignation from office and an ethics investigation into Rehberg’s role in this criminal matter.
2. Join my demand that Rep. Rehberg give full disclosure of the night surrounding the incident; including his time spent those very sequestered two hours at the Kalispell hospital.
3. It took two full hours to obtain BAC samples from all involved, given the seriousness of the accident. What sort of atmosphere was created in the hospital, was there an attempt to conceal, destroy, or tamper with evidence–or otherwise mislead authorities? Unidentified sources claim the hospital went out of its way, far beyond normal procedure–to lock down the facility. There was a great deal of secrecy the night the crash victims were brought in–this is unusual given these are public servants. It would be prudent to review the entire manner the hospital handled this event.
4. Because of the nature of Rep. Rehberg and Sen. Barkus’s public offices; it is crucial the U.S. House look into the misleading public statements made by Rehberg. His statements had the effect of misleading an official investigation where multiple crimes were committed, people’s lives were greatly imperiled, and state laws were broken. This rises to the level of the need for an ethics investigation.

As a candidate for this office, I want Montanans to have the benefit of full and complete information of the night of the incident–to make their choices on June 8, and in the general election. We are not running a government of secrecy–it is our right to know. With the latest delay to postpone the trial until after the general election; not only Rehberg but Republicans are attempting to circumvent the fallout that full public disclosure will bring to Montana voters. To continue a pattern of secrecy and denial suggests there is something to hide.”

I like what I hear coming out of the Gopher campaign: a well written and cogent attack on Rehberg, and an understanding of the big issues before us today. If you haven’t yet, hop on over to her new campaign website. It is very appealing, full of lots of information, and regularly updated! I like her approach, taking on Rehberg and the issues at a time when other candidates are trying to build name recognition or define their campaigns before the Rehberg attack machine does it for them.

I’d love to see a contest between Rehberg and Gopher. Denny has two basic approaches to that matchup: ignore her, or attack her. He isn’t capable of running a campaign on the issues. He is a long term incumbent running during an election when incumbency is a huge detriment. And what is he going to do? Attack a native american woman with a wonderful biography, and a history of working hard for the people? Go negative on a person who the average Montanan can see has risen up out of abject poverty to succeed and take on a silver-spoon politician in an era of ideological purity in the teabagger-dominated republican party?

If I were Gopher, I’d say bring on the attack machine, and we’ll turn it right around on Rehberg, and let the people see him for who he truly is: a drunken rich-boy bully. And if Rehberg chooses to ignore her, that would be a big mistake when the public mood is 2 to 1 against incumbents this year.

We need a candidate who is willing to run hard against an ethically challenged, incompetent, and do-nothing incumbent. The more I see what Gopher is doing, the more that I see she is that candidate.

by jhwygirl

Montana Conservation Voters came out a while back with some of its endorsements in contested races.

Pete has reported on this in the past…so I hope I’m not stepping on any toes…

MCV had some trouble, it seems with many of the races – a failure to endorse in the congressional race is truly a disappointment for me, considering the clear differences in issues such as coal and renewable resources and green energy/jobs. Tyler Gernant clearly leads with those issues when compared with Dennis McDonald.

Wherein I see I’ve digressed…

Two local races facing Democratic primaries are HD94 and HD92 – and Montana Conservation Voters have made clear endorsements in those races – endorsing Bryce Bennett in HD92 and endorsing Ellie Hill for HD94.

Both are fine candidates and very hardworking progressives for both Missoula and the state of Montana. Their work alone should earn them your vote and the right to represent Missoula residents in Helena…but these two have been knockin’ doors (Ellie up there on Hillview? Good Lord the woman has tenacity!) and making calls, in between their regular 9 to 9 jobs that serve this community.

Clearly, they are excellent choices. Missoula is fortunate with such a wealth in quality for these two house candidates.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Mail-in ballots are in the mail, if not delivered today. Be sure to vote early. Save county Elections Administration Vicki Zeier and the rest of the staff that last minute rush.

In the upcoming day’s I’ll be offering a few more endorsements. Of course, I’ve clearly said Tyler Gernant is the best choice for Democrats if they want to take out Dennis Rehberg in the congressional race….but we’ve got a couple other races that I plan to opine on in the near future.




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