Archive for October 3rd, 2011

By JC

I’m not one wont to beat up on Denny Rehberg (I usually leave that up to others, but I hadn’t seen a report on this yet), except when he does really stupid  things like go on drunk rampages in boats across lakes, call Pell Grants welfare, and now, he wants to steal kids’ lunch money. Having just returned from 3 days in Billings, and talking with friends whose kids go to school there (and pointed out the Gazette article), I thought I’d offer up some more on the creep watch.

At a recent tour of a school in Billings (where his sister is principal) Rehberg got back into his schoolyard bully ways:

…[Rehberg’s sister Shanna] Henry was accompanied by Brenda Koch, the district’s new executive director for the kindergarten through 12th grade schools on the east side of Billings.

Rehberg asked the pair pointed questions about fraud and whether families ever dupe the free and reduced-price meal system.

Koch explained that each year, a random sample of families who sign up and qualify are audited by the district to make sure they meet the income guidelines.

On top of that, she said, the district is audited by the state every year on how its Title I dollars are spent.

“And that’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing,” she said. “Those funds are just crucial to our schools.”

Rehberg is chairman of the House subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education and is eager to make sure the funds he oversees are spent correctly.

“I’d like to punish those systems that rip the taxpayers off,” he said…

[Rehberg] said as a congressman in his office in Washington, D.C., he sees the numbers, the statistics and balance sheets.

“But you gotta see it and touch it and smell it,” he said. “It makes it real.”

What does Montana’s Superintendent have to say?

In Montana, the concern is not fraud caused by poor families, according to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, but rather poor families not getting the assistance they need. Her office told TPM that “there are many people eligible for free and reduced lunch who don’t apply for the program out of stigma.”

“The Superintendent has absolutely no concern that Montana families are committing fraud,” Montana OPI spokesperson Allyson Hagen said.

Hey Denny, know what’s real? Poverty. But about fraud, if  “you gotta see it and touch it and smell it” why don’t you head on down to Wall Street and check out the lunch menu of the 1%. Then dole out some real punishment. What a pathetic maroon.

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