The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


12 August 2012

Frankly, Rep. Rehberg, your campaign should have paid the postage

1 comment

Rep. Denny Rehberg claims voters should consider him a friend of Medicare and Social Security. After all, he voted against the Ryan budget and Obamacare. And he’s using government money to let Montana’s older voters — alive and dead — know how good a friend of senior citizens he is.

This franked flier arrived at my home a few days before Mitt Romney choose Rep. Paul Ryan, the Ayn Rand worshipping, pseudo-intellectual, Republican teabagger from Wisconsin, as his running mate. It was addressed to my late mother, who willed her vote to no one, and was struck from the voter registration roll soon after her death last year. But she’s still on the mailing list for the Montana Republican Party, which is where I think Rehberg got the list for his senior card. This is taking leave no stone unturned too far.

But I digress. The card alleges that Rehberg is a friend of seniors who protects Medicare and Social Security:




If you believe that Rehberg is a principled defender of social insurance, you’ll believe anything. Rehberg opposes Social Security — and he voted against Obamacare because, like virtually all Republicans, he believes that individual Americans should buy private insurance policies if they can, and suffer the consequences of failing to exercise personal responsibility if they cannot. His vote against Ryan’s budget was a vote of convenience, not conviction; a tactical vote cast by a man who did not want to be associated with Ryan’s campaign to dismantle Medicare — and who did not expect Romney to tap Ryan for Vice President.

Rehberg’s reward for outsmarting himself is getting to join Romney in saying he wants Ryan to become our next Vice President because he opposes Ryan’s budget. In other words, “I selected/support Ryan because I don’t like his budget proposals.” If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around that, you’re not alone.

Few fair individuals, however, will have trouble wrapping their head around the idea that Rehberg’s franked “I’ll save Medicare and Social Security” card is campaign literature masquerading as official, nonpartisan communication. It might comply with the letter of the franking law — I’m not sure about that — but it certainly does not comply with the spirit of the law. It’s an egregious example of spending tax dollars on something that benefits the lawmaker instead of the taxpayer. And it’s not the first time he’s franked de facto campaign literature.

His campaign should have paid for this flyer. It still can.


18 August 2012. If this area had a competent newspaper their political writers would be pointing out exactly what you have observed — that US Representative Dennis Rehberg is abusing his office and his constituents by using federal tax dollars to promote his own effort to get himself elected as the next US Senator from Montana. It is puzzling to me that the voting public in the Flathead Valley does not get incensed when they see such blatant political abuse of the franking priviledge. Rehberg has been an ineffectual obstructionist voice for quite some time and Montana would be wise to abandon him at the ballot box come November. Peter Stoll, Kalispell.