Gopher challenges opponents on call for House ethics probe on Rehberg

 
“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.

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  1. Montana Cowgirl

    I believe McDonald has already called on Rehberg to take some personal responsibility for this. Good to see Gopher doing it too. Keep it up Melinda!

    • it’s true. mcdonald did say something to that effect but he acted so much like a weasel doing it that nobody paid any attention to him.

      gopher has credibility when it comes to calling someone out for bad behavior. mcdonald just looks like a pathetic little wimp when he does it.

  2. Big Swede

    Convinced me JC.

    She’ll get my support in June.

  3. Big Swede

    Here’s a question i’d like asked of Ms Gopher.

    If given a choice between any Republican candidate and Ted Kennedy for POTUS, which one would you have supported?

    • Pot is legal in Montana, kettle.

      • Big Swede

        Heard this joke today Mark, thought about you.

        Stalin decides to go out one day and see what it’s really like for the workers, so he puts on a disguise and sneaks out of the Kremlin. After a while he wanders into a cinema. When the film has finished, the Soviet Anthem plays and a huge picture of Stalin appears on the screen. Everyone stands up and begins singing, except Stalin, who smugly remains seated. A minute later a man behind him leans forwards and whispers in his ear: “Listen Comrade, we all feel exactly the same way you do, but trust me, it’s a lot safer if you just stand up.”

      • That is typical Russian humor, very dry and understated. I love it! Thanks.

        What I don’t get is this, Swede: The Cold War is over. You are not supposed to be afraid of Commies anymore. You’re supposed to be quaking in fear over Islamic terrorists.

        Old propaganda dies hard, no?

        • Big Swede

          Oldie but goodie.

          Give me liberty or give me debt.

          • the gipper gave us debt….

            http://www.lafn.org/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html

            so did bush one and bush two. i love that you republicans want the keys back after driving us into the ditch. how stupid do you think the american voter is?

            i think by the time election time draws near, people will come to their senses again and see the republican agenda which was initiated by reagan has failed this country badly. it has left us behind the rest of the world in everything except debt. we lead that statistic.

            deregulation and privatization has succeeded if you are dick cheney (50million) and his pal rumsfeld (75 million) reaganism has simply funneled the wealth of this country into the hands of a few wealthy corporations. they threw the keys to the finest country in the world to a bunch of pirates and selfish bastards who have wrecked it and walked away laughing.

            don’t try to revise history here swede. go live your fantasies elsewhere. this here blog has more common sense than to place any faith in bonzo’s pal or any of his corrupt offspring.

            • reagan made trusting free enterprise popular. look where it has led us. free enterprise corporate control of our entire government to the point that neither party can be trusted to do the right thing anymore for the american voter.

              reagan was the fork in the trail that has led us here. i trust neither party to fix it. lobbyists have too much power now. the people must rise up independently and reclaim it or we are lost.

  4. Jose Soplar

    Absolutely one of the best articles I’ve seen written yet on this race. I will be voting for Melinda Gopher for all the reasons you mentioned. I have been a supporter of hers since she announced. She is fearless, bright, and hardworking. She will represent us well.

  5. cynic

    Not to be a spoiler here but has Melinda even filed with the FEC yet? Her campaign lacks any real credibility and I have yet to see her outside of the liberal mecca of Missoula. Just sayin.

    Campaigns take hard work and to me she is not really taking it seriously– she will get maybe 11% of the vote. If she is lucky.

    • JC

      Many of us don’t measure credibility of a campaign by the size of its war chest. You may not take Gopher seriously, but lots of people do. And I’d suggest it is far more than the 11% gratuity you give her. If you’d look through her writings you
      ll see a candidate who is dead serious about her intentions.

      This campaign comes down to two newcomers and a party insider who’s been around too long. Campaigns serve many purposes–not the least of which is to win. There will be a few who do not win the vote, but will continue on with electoral politics.

      If McDonald loses the primary, he is done with running for office. If he wins, then Gernant and Gopher will see plenty of opportunities in the future, and having run good primary campaigns will position them for future endeavors.

      Gopher strives to raise issues and buck the traditional dem machine in Montana, and for that I applaud her. I like her ideas, and the ways she presents them.

      McDonald? Well, anybody who would walk into a republican trap carrying a mop isn’t taking their campaign seriously–no matter how much money they have in the bank.

      • cynic

        None of the candidates stand a chance against Rehberg- who will win in November with 60+% of the vote.

        But you go on with your delusional reality- I do however recommend having a conversation about this race East of Higgins street. As for your candidates chances– lets talk again on June 9th.

        • JC

          How do you know Rehberg won’t go on another drunken rampage by then and end up in jail? Anything can happen in this race when one of teh candidates is a drunken sailor.

          • Cookie Puss

            That’s a winning strategy. He might also get hit by a meteor. Keep hope alive.

          • cynic

            Democrats also go on drunken rampages. And ask the Democratic candidate who ran against him when he got drunk and fell of the horse in Kazakhstan thing and ask her how well it worked using that as a campaign tactic.

            And once again he wasn’t driving the boat. The accident doesn’t have legs except for making liberals look like elitist assholes.

            But you want him in office so sure, keep it up with the drunken sailor thing.

            • cynic- you republicans are sure making a lot of noise regarding gopher…. could it be you fear her most of all three candidates?

              when we mention mcdonald and gernant here you are quiet as little mice. hmmmmm….

              i don’t think yer fella has that big an advantage. this year incumbents (especially the rich ones who are in the pocket of big oil) are very vulnerable in both parties for good reason. congress has stunk up this country with its corrupt obedience to corporate lobbyists.

              i think you might be in for a surprise with gopher and possibly even gernant in the fall.

              of course, if mcdonald wins the primary then rehberg can knee crawl accross the goal line and win.

              • cynic

                not a republican. but thanks for playing…

              • my mistake cynic- i just thought if you were calling us all elitist assholes here for questioning an incident which has been covered up by republican lawmakers…..

                it might be a reasonable assumption.

        • Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s during all of his second term, and some of his first too. Yet his handlers were so good that we seldom caught a glimpse of the real man.

          Don’t kid yourself that Rehberg cannot be one thing in real life, and another thing as a candidate. There’s a whole sector of the corporate world that does nothing more than manage images.

  6. Big Swede

    His handlers did a great job here Mark.

    • He spun good yarns throughout his career. He was an entertainer, and a good one.

      Geez, you think he was spontaneous? The only spontaneous words I ever heard him utter were “Shut up!” to a heckler. And he nailed it.

  7. Jessie V.

    Even though she is clearly a McDonald plant, I like Melinda Gopher. It’s in the numbers, not the message silly.




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