Rehberg Splits With Party to Stand With Montana Seniors Against Ryan Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, released the following statement today after voting against the so-called ‘Ryan Budget’ citing concerns with changes made to Medicare.  Rehberg, who was one of only four Republicans to vote against similar legislation last year, is also the only member of Montana’s delegation who opposed $500 billion in Medicare spending reductions in President Obama’s health care law.

“We have to reduce government spending and that’s why I introduced legislation that would cut $1.4 trillion from the deficit over ten years. We need to live within our means, and focus on spending reductions not tax hikes.  From ending bailouts to reducing taxes, there are some good things in Congressman Ryan’s plan, but I simply refuse to gamble with something as important as Medicare.  After President Obama and his Congressional allies cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare to pay for their new health care programs, I promised Montana’s seniors that any plan to change Medicare would need their support before it got mine.  It was wrong when Democrats pushed through harmful changes to Medicare in 2009, and it’s wrong for Republicans to try and do the same thing in 2012.  This isn’t about doing what’s best for the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, this is about doing what’s best for Montana.  And I’ll continue to put Montana first.”

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Rick Hill Announces Wolf Management Plan

Helena, MT – Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill joined sportsmen, landowners, ranchers, legislators and other stakeholders to discuss his plan for the management of Montana’s wolf population. 

 
“Right now we are at a tipping point with wolves, the point where we won’t be able to manage the population any more because there are too many of them. The number of wolves in Montana continues to grow and the population is spreading,” said Hill.
 
According to the mandates of the wolf de-listing from the Endangered Species Act, Montana needs to maintain 150 wolves, including ten breeding pairs. Today the minimum wolf count is 650, but most experts acknowledge the actual number is likely 10-30% higher than that, with 715-845 wolves in Montana.  With birth litters on the horizon, the number of wolves could reach 1000.  Some fish and game experts worry that if wolf numbers continue to expand it will be difficult for conventional management tactics to bring the numbers back to manageable levels—and that could have a catastrophic impact on Montana’s elk and other big game herds, and increase pressure on livestock producers.
 
“Our current control methods are not adequate. If we don’t approach this problem head on—our ranchers, landowners, and sportsmen will be negatively impacted. If we don’t act now it will be too late.”
 
“I believe FWP needs an aggressive series of steps immediately to control the wolf populations.  It’s critical that we make an immediate and dramatic reduction in wolf numbers,” said Hill.
 
Hill’s plan includes splitting the state into two separate zones for wolf management: a Wolf Aggressive Management Zone, to control the population in Western Montana, and a Wolf No Tolerance Zone that does not permit wolves to spread to Central or Eastern Montana.
 
“We will work with the experts and the counties to establish the line for the no tolerance zone.  No wolves will be allowed east of that line.  When they cross that line they will be considered predators, and any person with a gun can legally shoot them at any time of day, on any day of the year.”
 
Hill’s proposal also includes: a lengthening of the wolf-hunting season, the use of trapping, the ability for hunters to shoot more than one wolf, and more aggressive pack removal from livestock depredations.
 
“We will immediately introduce these changes upon being sworn in as Governor. Working with a new Fish and Wildlife Commission, I will make it a priority for the legislature to pass any needed statutory changes within the first two weeks of the 2013 session so we can immediately cut down the predator numbers.”
 
In addition, Hill pledged a change in the culture and leadership at the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.  
 
“Restoring the trust and cooperation between sportsmen and landowners will be the top priority of the new leadership at FWP.  It’s time we start listening and partnering with landowners, counties and sportsmen and women to address their concerns and needs,” said Hill.
 

**SEE ATTACHMENT FOR ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND**

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About Rick Hill:  Rick’s career has spanned from business to public service. Rick has run businesses, helped others get their businesses started, and served as Montana’s Representative in Congress. During his time in Congress, Rick was recognized for his work in defense of free enterprise and personal liberty and his commitment to fighting federal over-reach and budget deficits. Rick has been married to Betti for 28 years; they have three grown sons and seven grandchildren. Rick announced his bid for governor in November of 2010.
 
About Jon Sonju:  From working in his dad’s body shop growing-up, to helping expand his family’s Kalispell based manufacturing business, Sonju Industrial, Jon understands the challenges business owners face. Elected to the Montana Legislature in 2004, he has served in both the State House and the State Senate. During his time in the legislature he has been a consistent advocate for economic opportunity, smaller government, and the protection of our personal freedoms. Jon was born and raised in the Flathead Valley where he still resides today. He and his wife Tania have two young children, Jacob (6) and Brett (3).

Air Force reaffirms C-130s coming to Great Falls

Tester secures aircrafts’ delivery by 2014

 

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester this week secured a commitment from the U.S. Air Force to deliver eight C-130s to Great Falls by 2014.

 

The Air Force originally announced the C-130 mission for the Montana Air National Guard in February, but it was uncertain when the cargo planes would arrive.  The mission is expected to provide hundreds of jobs for Montana Airmen and members of the Great Falls community. 

 

At a Senate hearing this week to consider the Air Force’s budget, Tester pressed Air Force Assistant Secretary Terry Yonkers and Air National Guard Deputy Director General William Etter for more specifics on the C-130s’ arrival.

 

“We’d like to do it as soon as possible,” Etter told Tester.  “But we need time to make sure we address the military construction issues and also training, conversion, and new facilities.”

 

Etter said that within 90 days, he would provide Tester with an exact date for the C-130s’ arrival.

 

Yonkers said that the Air Force is setting aside $27 million to accommodate the C-130s and new construction needs, such as bigger aircraft hangers.  The officials told Tester that even if the hangers are not completed in time, MANG’s existing facilities could handle the C-130s.

 

Tester today also met with the Director of the Air National Guard, Lieutenant General Harry “Bud” Wyatt, who confirmed that the C-130s will be MANG’s next flight mission.  Fellow Montana Senator Max Baucus joined Tester and Wyatt.

 

Tester has fought for years to deliver a new manned flying mission to Great Falls, most recently reminding the Defense Department that Montana is the “ideal fit” for the C-130s and vowing not to rest “until the last of the C-130s lands in Great Falls.”

 

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Contact:          Andrea Helling or Dan Malessa – (202) 228-0371

 

Tester, Baucus: Montana’s ICBMs ‘decrease risk of nuclear war’

 Senators tell panel missiles needed to keep American safe

 

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus have a clear message for their Senate colleagues: Montana’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) keep America safe and reduce the risk of nuclear war.

 

A Senate panel is currently holding hearings on America’s nuclear capabilities.  Tester and Baucus today reminded the panel’s leaders that the nuclear missiles at Malmstrom Air Force Base are the strongest and most cost-effective part of the country’s nuclear defense strategy.

 

“The ICBM force dramatically decreases the risk of nuclear war by providing a stabilizing and visible constant in our nuclear posture,” Tester and Baucus wrote the panel. 

 

The United States currently has 450 Minutemen III missiles, evenly divided between Malmstrom, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

 

Tester and Baucus, who are members of the Senate’s bipartisan ICBM Coalition, note that unlike other parts of the nation’s nuclear defense, the ICBM force has been modernized through 2030.

 

Earlier this week, Tester and Baucus urged the President to wait until the bipartisan New START agreement with Russia is fully implemented before initiating any new discussions on reducing strategic nuclear weapons.

 

The Administration’s proposed 2013 budget maintains funding for all 450 ICBMs, and the Defense Secretary has previously stated that the U.S. will retain between 400 to 420 ICBMs by the time the bipartisan New START agreement is implemented in 2017.  The Senators also renewed their call for any future ICBM reductions to be made equally and incrementally among the three bases. 

 

Tester’s and Baucus’ letter to Senators Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was also signed by the co-chairmen of the bipartisan Senate ICBM coalition, Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

 

The letter is available online HERE.

 

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Contact:          Andrea Helling or Dan Malessa – (202) 228-0371 (Tester) or Kate Downen 406-224-5056/Kathy Weber 406-329-7980/Jennifer Donohue 202-224-2651 (Baucus)

Rehberg Promotes Montana’s “All-of-the-Above” Energy Solutions in Invitation for House Energy & Commerce Committee Visit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06) inviting him to visit Montana with his committee and any members interested in seeing what an “All-of-the-Above” energy solution can look like.  Rehberg serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water and has been a consistent leader for a comprehensive energy policy in Congress.

“Increased production of domestic energy not only reduces our dependence on foreign oil and keeps prices down, but it creates good paying jobs in the process,” said Rehberg.  “Montana is not only an example for what can be accomplished when we produce our own energy, but a warning for what we stand to lose from dangerous policies like cap & tax which could effectively destroy an entire sector of our economy.  I invited the Energy and Commerce Committee to come out to Montana to see why we’re called the Treasure State.”

Rehberg’s full letter is below:

Dear Chairman Upton:

As Americans struggle to afford the increasing cost of energy, I have enjoyed working closely with you to find long-term energy solutions.  Like you, I think we must find a way to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, decrease costs and create jobs.  That’s why I want to invite you and the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to my home state of Montana.  Montana is a warehouse of energy opportunities, and can provide a critical component of a comprehensive national energy policy.  We’ve got just about everything in Montana – coal, oil, wind, oil, solar, geothermal, biomass.

According to AAA, the average price of gasoline has steadily increased for weeks, reaching $3.89 a gallon nationally and $3.60 in Montana.  High gas prices impact just about every other segment of the economy as people choose to stay home and spend less.  Montana can help reduce the soaring costs as a leader in developing alternative and renewable energy, as well as producing traditional energy like coal and oil in an environmentally responsible manner.  While Montana has an abundance of natural resources, our most valuable resource is the hard-working folks with the expertise to utilize those resources safely and cleanly.

The opportunities for Montana to increase its role have been hamstrung by onerous regulations and legislation being crafted in D.C.  For instance, the job-killing greenhouse gas regulations by this Administration under the Clean Air Act have been estimated to cost consumers billions of dollars.  This is on top of the taxpayer money that will be needed for all of the new regulators that the EPA will have to hire in order to enforce the new rules.  These policies, along with cap and trade, are backdoor attempts by the Obama Administration to impose its anti-energy agenda which will have devastating consequences on economic growth and job creation.  Before the Administration unilaterally imposes burdensome regulations there should be opportunity for congressional input.

Visiting Montana could provide valuable insights into what’s working, and just as importantly, what can be done better.  You can explore the good-paying energy jobs in Montana and hear first-hand what these devastating anti-energy policies would have on those jobs and the communities they support.  Thank you for your consideration of this request, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.

Montana Steelworkers Endorse Kim Gillan for Congress

“Kim’s experience is unmatched, her record is unrivaled,

and her resolve is exactly what Montana deserves in the U.S. House.”

Billings, MT – Montana State Senator and Democratic candidate for Congress Kim Gillan today announced that Montana Steelworkers locals 11-470 and 11-443 have officially endorsed her campaign for Montana’s lone seat in the United States House of Representatives.

“Throughout her career, Kim Gillan has always spoken up for working Montanans,” Wade Johnson, Chairman of Steelworkers Local 11-470, said. “No matter how difficult the task, Kim has proven time and again that she knows how to get things done for Montana and deliver real results that make a difference. Kim’s experience is unmatched, her record is unrivaled, and her resolve is exactly what Montana deserves in the U.S. House.”

Steelworkers Local 11-470 and 11-443 represents over 540 working men and women in and around Yellowstone County.

“Kim Gillan has stood shoulder to shoulder with Montana’s working men and women for years, and she has never once let us down,” Keith Crookston, head of Steelworkers Local 11-443, said. “In this race, the choice couldn’t be clearer: Kim Gillan will be an effective and results driven leader who will deliver for Montana.” 

“From the very beginning, my campaign has focused on creating and sustaining good paying jobs for Montana families,” Gillan said. “That’s why I’m proud to have the support and endorsement of the hard working men and women of Steelworkers Locals 11-470 and 11-443.”   

Kim Gillan is an experienced and results driven State Senator from Billings who oversees the Workforce Development program at MSU-Billings, an effort committed to making sure that the state’s workers and young people have the skills needed to compete and excel in today’s changing economy. Gillan served 16 years in the Montana Legislature, where she encouraged new, good-paying jobs, stood up and spoke out for balanced and responsible budgets, supported Montana’s small businesses, created a fairer tax system for working families, and implemented an insurance mandate in Montana that covers diabetes and autism.

Kim Gillan has also received the endorsements of Teamsters Local 190, the Montana Public Employees Association, and the following legislative and community leaders:

Sen. Shannon Augare, Browning; Sen. Gary Branae, Billings; Rep. Tony Belcourt, Box Elder; County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County; Rep. Robyn Driscoll, Billings; Sen. Tom Facey, Missoula; Rep. John Fleming, Saint Ignatius; Rep. Cynthia Hiner, Deer Lodge; County Commissioner Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County; Rep. Sue Malek, Missoula; Rep. Bill McChesney, Miles City; Rep. Mary McNally, Billings; Sen. Lynda Moss, Billings; Rep. Trudi Schmidt, Great Falls; Sen. Kendall Van Dyk, Billings; Sen. Gene Vuckovich, Anaconda; Sen. Dave Wanzenried, Missoula; Fmr. Rep. Paul Beck, Red Lodge; Fmr. Sen. Vivian Brooke, Missoula; Fmr. Rep. Rosie Buzzas, Missoula; Fmr. Rep Gary Forrester, Billings; Fmr. Rep. Eve Franklin, Helena; Fmr. Rep. Julie French, Scobey; Fmr. Rep. Kathleen Galvin Halcro, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Carol Gibson, Billings; Fmr. Rep. George Golie, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Wanda Grinde, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Mary Ann Guggenheim; Fmr. Rep. Robin Hamilton, Missoula; Fmr. Sen. Ken Hansen, Harlem; Fmr. Rep. Hal Jacobson, Helena; Fmr. Sen. Judy Jacobson, Butte; Fmr. Rep. Deb Kottel, Great Falls; Fmr. Sen. Jeff Mangan, Great Falls; Fmr. Rep. Gary Matthews, Miles City; Fmr. Sen. Bea McCarthy, Anaconda; Fmr. Rep. Scott McCulloch, Billings; Fmr. Rep. Joe Quilici, Butte; Fmr. Rep. Holly Raser, Missoula; Fmr. Sen. Emily Stonington; Fmr. Montana United Transportation Union President Fran Marceau; Chuck Cashell, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 400 Business Manager.

Bullock Issues Statement on Petition Filed in U.S. Supreme Court by Group Seeking to Dismantle Montana’s Campaign Finance Laws

Bullock Issues Statement on Petition Filed in U.S. Supreme Court by Group Seeking to Dismantle Montana’s Campaign Finance Laws

 

HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock issued the following statement regarding the petition for certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court today by American Tradition Partnership, seeking to reverse the Montana Supreme Court decision that upheld the 1912 Corrupt Practices Act.

 

“It is disappointing that a Washington, D.C.-based group believes that the highest court in our nation should discard Montana’s century-old law without even a day in court.  We should expect better.

“In Montana, campaigning still means going door-to-door and meeting face-to-face with voters, which is democracy at its best.  I look forward to continuing to defend our laws from this series of lawsuits, and protecting the way Montanans have, for a century, chosen to elect our public servants.” 

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