Rehberg Launches New TV Ad, “Bologna”

For Immediate Release:
May 17, 2012
Contact:
Chris Bond, 406-852-3113
cbond@dennyrehberg.com

Rehberg Launches New TV Ad, “Bologna”
Ad Features Montanans, Highlights Tester’s Hypocrisy & Pro-Obama Voting Record

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today released a new television ad, “Bologna.”

The ad features Montanans sharing their thoughts about Senator Jon Tester’s harmful, hypocritical record of saying one thing in Montana, then doing the opposite in Washington, DC — and his dishonest, hypocritical attacks that are designed to distract Montanans from that out-of-touch record.

Despite his efforts to appear independent as he seeks re-election, reports show that Tester sides with President Obama’s costly, unpopular agenda 95 percent of the time in Washington.

“Senator Tester loves to talk about how Montana sends him to Washington with a suitcase full of good Montana beef — but what Tester brings back to Montana is a record of bad hypocrisy and 95 percent support for the Obama agenda,” said Rehberg spokesman Chris Bond. “Between his hypocritical, liberal record and his dishonest attacks, Tester is bringing a whole lot of Washington bologna back to Montana, and folks here aren’t going to tolerate it.”

Click here or on the screenshot below to view Denny’s new ad, which will begin running on television stations statewide on Thursday.

 

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Rehberg ad: Trust career politician who sued firefighters ‘to always do what’s right’

Congressman’s actual words: ‘I’m not always right — I make dumb decisions’

BILLINGS, Mont. –  After nearly four decades in politics, Congressman Dennis Rehberg knows all about sausage-making in Washington—as his latest TV commercial shows.

Rehberg’s second TV ad, another bizarre attack called “Baloney,” tries to take issue with Jon Tester for bringing Montana beef from Tester’s Big Sandy farm to Washington.

Rehberg’s ad claims: “You can trust Denny [sic] to always do what’s right.”

But even Rehberg knows he’s “not always right,” telling a Tea Party gathering in Montana, “I make dumb decisions.” [Rehberg meeting, 8/21/2009]

Dumb and irresponsible. Here are some of Rehberg’s most irresponsible decisions:

  • He voted twice for the Patriot Act despite overwhelming opposition from Montanans [HR 3162, Vote 398, 10/24/01; HR 3199, Vote 627, 12/14/05]
  • He voted for the controversial REAL ID program and the failed No Child Left Behind program [HR 418, Vote 31, 2/10/05; HR 1, Vote 497, 12/13/01]
  • He sued the City of Billings and its fire department, costing taxpayers $21,000
  • He hid $25,000 he raised from Washington lobbyists in 2011
  • He voted to give himself five pay raises and accepted seven pay raises after promising Montanans he would never do either
  • He’s pushing a controversial big-government land-grab bill and an anti-hunting bill that’s opposed by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

“After 35 years in politics, Dennis Rehberg can only run on a long record of irresponsible decisions that hurt Montana families,” said Tester campaign spokesman Aaron Murphy. “Montanans know that’s exactly why Congressman Rehberg is attacking Jon Tester’s record of cutting taxes, serving veterans and defending our values.”

A full fact-check of Dennis Rehberg’s new ad is online HERE.

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Rehberg: Corporations are People

Multimillionaire Congressman gives full endorsement to unlimited corporate spending in elections, repays ‘longtime friends’

Helena, Mont. — As Montana’s century-old tradition of keeping unlimited corporate money out of politics took a blow in court yesterday, Congressman Dennis Rehberg is doubling down on his belief that corporations are people.

Here’s what Rehberg said on a right-wing talk show* earlier this month:

Question:  “Your thoughts on are corporations people, of course a criticism of Citizens United.”

Rehberg Answer:  “The courts have made a determination that they are, so far be it for me to question the philosophy and the decision-making of the United States Supreme Court.

Thanks to the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision, which gives corporations the same rights as people, corporate special interests can spend unlimited money to influence elections through anonymous front groups.  And they’ve already spent over $2 million in Montana to try to buy a Senate seat for Congressman Rehberg.

“It’s no surprise that Congressman Rehberg believes corporate special interests are people — they’re his longtime friends,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.  “Shadowy corporate front groups are spending big money on negative ads to repay Congressman Rehberg because he’s given them whatever they want.  They know Congressman Rehberg will protect their special interests, like tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas, even if it means putting Medicare and Social Security at risk.

In September of last year Congressman Rehberg earned an endorsement–and a $10,000 check–from the organization Citizens United.

* Audio of Congressman Rehberg’s comments available at the 17:50 mark at this link.

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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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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

 

More campaign finance hypocrisy from Sen. Jon Tester….

Good afternoon, folks—

As you may have noticed, Senator Jon Tester has been trying awfully hard to turn reporters’ and voters’ attention away from big issues like jobs and the economy, and focus this race instead on campaign finance.  Tester and his team have been expending a great deal of time and effort decrying “unaccountable” outside spending and influence in Montana’s U.S. Senate race — in op-eds, campaign emails, interviews, and a substantial internet ad campaign…

While it’s no surprise that Tester would prefer to talk about anything other than his record of 95 percent support for President Barack Obama’s unpopular agenda in Washington, it’s worth pointing out that even on this issue of his own choosingcampaign finance — Tester’s credibility is strained at best, because his words and deeds don’t even come close to matching up…

The most recent example of Tester’s campaign finance hypocrisy is that, while he decries the influence of third-party ads run by PACs, Tester is actively soliciting that same type of support from liberal PACs, and he’s even doing it through the news media.  As Roll Call reports today:

…[M]any House and Senate candidates who publicly decry super PACs are benefiting from the outside groups that back them… “Montana is a state that takes great pride in transparency in government, and this just goes against that,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)… Rehberg’s campaign countered that Tester’s allies, including labor, environmental and women’s groups, have spent more than $1 million in the race. Rehberg proposed that he and Tester refund all donations from political action committees and lobbyists and raise money only in Montana. Tester, who relies heavily on lobbyist donations, said that would leave him no way to respond to third-party attacks. But he also told Roll Call that he would welcome outside spenders who backed him: “I’m hoping that there are some PACs out there that will support me.”

Meanwhile, even Tester’s own campaign is having a tough time making sense of his hypocritical posture on this issue.  Just look at the rhetorical gymnastics Tester’s campaign is forced to go through in this interview with the Havre Daily News just days ago.  Note how, when confronted with inconvenient facts, Tester’s campaign is forced to awkwardly try to pick and choose between which anonymously-funded third-party ads are acceptable or not, while at the same time struggling to defend Tester’s own corporate allies in the banking industry running ads on his behalf:

Rehberg’s campaign responds by calling [Tester's web ads attacking third-party spending] “hypocritical,” saying Tester has benefited with more than $1 million in spending by third-party groups, and citing an offer Rehberg made for both candidates to return all out-of-state money contributed to their campaigns… Tester’s campaign spokesman Aaron Murphy said this morning that he disputes those figures, and that he believes the Rehberg campaign is including every advertisement that mentions Tester or Rehberg, rather than looking at television ads that specifically attack or support their candidacy… Background information provided by Bond said part of the hypocrisy is Tester benefiting from more than $330,000 in advertising by the Electronic Payments Coalition, “rewarding Tester for carrying their swipe fee legislation in the Senate. ”  Murphy said ads from a banking organization thanking Tester for helping their cause does not compare to Crossroads GPS or the U. S. Chamber running attack ads against him.

It’s remarkable to see Team Tester struggle to make any sense at all on what they seem to believe is a good issue for them…

As a reminder, this all comes just weeks after Tester hypocritically rejected Denny Rehberg’s offer to remove all outside spending and influence from Montana’s U.S. Senate race, because Tester refuses to part with the huge sum of money he has taken from lobbyists and out-of-state special interests.  In fact, even as he continues to decry special interests, Tester has taken more lobbyist campaign cash during this election cycle than any of the other 534 members of Congress.  Hypocritically, Tester ran for Senate in 2006 on a promise that he would provide Montana with representation “not encumbered by high-dollared lobbyists,” and promised, “I won’t sell Montana down the road by cutting deals with K Street lobbyists.”  Sadly, Tester has falsely denied his #1 lobbyist money ranking before, so linked here is a non-partisan report establishing that fact, just in case you need to remind him of the truth…

An investigative report published just days ago by Politico helps shed some light on how Tester became the #1 recipient of lobbyist campaign cash in Congress, as the publication pulled back the curtain on a pattern of unethical strong-arm fundraising tactics by Senator Tester’s lobbyist allies and the Baucus “operation” on Tester’s behalf.  New York Magazine is calling the tactics part of “a political bribery transaction.”

Given the facts, it would be understandable for reporters and the public to be left scratching their heads, asking themselves — what does it say about Senator Tester’s re-election campaign when he’s not even particularly credible on the issue he and his team are attempting to make the focus of this race?

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Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Chris Bond
Communications Director
Montanans for Rehberg
cbond@dennyrehberg.com
406-852-3113

Tester, Baucus announce quicker claims processing for Montana veterans

February 16, 2012

Fort Harrison selected as national test site to improve claims processing

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are heralding news that VA Montana has been selected as a national test site to speed up claims processing for Montana’s veterans.

Fort Harrison was selected as one of three sites in the nation to serve as a test location for the Veterans Benefits Administration proposal to streamline the claims process.  Tester met last month with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to personally ask for additional initiatives for Fort Harrison.

The Veterans Administration has faced a backlog in processing claims from veterans seeking earned benefits relating to disability compensation and education benefits.  The VA nationwide currently has nearly 600,000 claims that have been pending for over 125 days.

Tester and Baucus have repeatedly pushed the VA to speed-up the claims process, saying veterans deserve timely service.

The backlog at the VA has grown substantially since veterans began returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Tester has used his position on the Veterans Affairs Committee to push the VA to address the backlog by providing better training to staff tasked with reviewing claims, streamlining paperwork, and transitioning to an electronic system to standardize the system.

Tester and Baucus recently wrote a letter to Shinseki asking him to consider moving the VBA Regional Director’s office from Salt Lake City to Fort Harrison.  The Senators have repeatedly pushed for the VA to include Montana in many of its new initiatives because of Fort Harrison’s track record of performance and experience.

Today’s news from the VA will mean seven new jobs at Fort Harrison.

Tester brought Shinseki to tour Fort Harrison in July.  During that visit, Shinseki was impressed with the performance of the staff at the VA.

“Montana’s veterans deserve timely answers to their claims, and long delays that threaten health care are unacceptable ” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “This is good news for all of the veterans currently caught up in the paperwork at the VA.  I look forward to Fort Harrison improving the claims process and serving as a model for the rest of the country.”

“It is a disgrace that our veterans have to wait so long to find out whether they are eligible for benefits,” said Baucus.  “In many cases, veterans sustain these injuries serving our country overseas and they should not have to wait so long to find out whether they are eligible for benefits they not only deserve, but have earned.  I’m proud of the hard-working folks at Fort Harrison for helping reduce the backlog of our veterans’ disability claims.  Now, Fort Harrison will remain on the cutting edge by helping the VA make the changes necessary to rise to the level of service our veterans deserve.”

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Montana Contractors’ Association Endorses Denny Rehberg for Senate

Contractors Praise Rehberg’s Support For Policies That Grow Economy, Create Jobs

HELENA, Mont. — Citing his strong support for job-creating policies, the Montana Contractors’ Association (MCA) today endorsed Congressman Denny Rehberg in Montana’s U.S. Senate race.

“Denny has been a tireless advocate for economic growth and development that creates jobs and fosters a strong construction industry. We are pleased to offer our support,” said MCA President Russ Olsen, an owner of R & R Taylor Construction in Bozeman.

Rehberg thanked the MCA for their support in what will be among the most watched U.S. Senate races of 2012.

“My top priority is jobs, and the members of the Montana Contractors’ Association create good jobs here in Montana. I’m humbled to have earned their support and I look forward to continuing working with them to get our economy moving again,” said Rehberg.

The Montana Contractors Association is a chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, and represents commercial, industrial and public works construction firms throughout the state. More information can be found on their website, www.mtagc.org.

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Chris Bond
Communications Director
Montanans for Rehberg

Tester bill requires Homeland Security Dept. to buy American

Bipartisan measure will create jobs, spur U.S. manufacturing

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester’s newest bill would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase its supplies from American manufacturers.

Tester’s bipartisan bill, called the Berry Amendment Extension Act, requires the department to buy clothing, equipment, and other provisions from U.S. producers.  The Defense Department has operated under a similar requirement since Congress passed the original “Berry Amendment” in 1941.

“American tax dollars shouldn’t go overseas when American businesses and workers make quality products here at home,” Tester said.  “It’s common sense that the men and women who protect our country should wear and use American-made goods to do their jobs.”

Tester’s bill covers Homeland Security’s purchases of uniforms, footwear, tents, field packs, and other textile-based equipment.  It provides exceptions for small and emergency purchases, products unavailable from American manufacturers, and certain commercially-available textile products.

Dana Gleason, Chief Designer of Mystery Ranch, a Bozeman-based company that specializes in multi-use backpacks, says the change will benefit American manufacturers and create Montana jobs.

“Mystery Ranch would like to thank Senator Jon Tester for his leadership role in promoting American-made products,” Gleason said.  “This legislation will add jobs at Mystery Ranch’s newly expanded Bozeman plant by providing the Department of Homeland Security with top-notch American-made equipment.”

Tester’s bill mirrors a provision in the Recovery Act that required Homeland Security to purchase textiles and apparel products manufactured in the United States.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced the Berry Amendment Extension Act with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).  It is available online HERE.

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Tester: Homeless women veterans deserve access to services

Senator pushes federal agencies to address disparities, says women ‘overlooked’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is calling for equal access to care and treatment for homeless women veterans, whose numbers have doubled in recent years.

Tester applauded recent efforts by the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development to reduce overall veterans’ homelessness, but said that the challenges facing homeless women veterans are being “overlooked.”  Tester highlighted a recent government report that calls on the agencies to improve collaboration and offer better housing options for women.

“As we see more and more women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it is increasingly critical that we do more to help them transition home,” Tester wrote department leaders.  “Until every single veteran is off the street, we must not relent in our efforts to provide the services and assistance they need.”

The report calls on the two agencies to work together to gather data and improve care for homeless women veterans.  It cited insufficient housing options that force women – often with children – to leave shelters because of unsafe and uncomfortable conditions.

Tester specifically requested that the VA and Housing and Urban Development take steps to better track the number of homeless women veterans, reduce their overall number, and identify gender-specific safety and security standards.

VA figures show the number of homeless women veterans more than doubled in recent years, even as the overall rate of veterans’ homelessness declined 12 percent in 2011.  Tester’s letter also highlights that the unemployment rate for women veterans now doubles the national average.   

Tester’s bipartisan letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was signed by Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).  It is available below and online HERE.

 

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will have the opportunity to question Shinseki in person about veterans’ homelessness at a hearing on March 14.

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February 15, 2012

The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki                                 The Honorable Shaun L.S. Donovan

Secretary                                                                     Secretary

Department of Veterans Affairs                                 Department of Housing & Urban Development

810 Vermont Avenue, NW                                         451 7th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20420                                              Washington, DC 20410

Dear Secretary Shinseki and Secretary Donovan,

We appreciate your ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness among our nation’s veterans, and applaud your request for an increase of $333 million for programs to end veteran homelessness in the fiscal year 2013 budget.  Recent reports of a 12 percent reduction in the homeless veteran population over the last year are certainly a testament to your hard work and leadership. Despite these gains, we have concerns that the particular needs of homeless women veterans are frequently being overlooked.  As we see more and more women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, it is increasingly critical that we do more to help them transition home.

As you know, a recent Government Accountability Office report, “Homeless Women Veterans: Actions Needed to Ensure Safe and Appropriate Housing,” highlighted an opportunity to increase collaboration between your two agencies when it comes to gathering data about homeless women veterans.  As you would undoubtedly agree, without that data, it is impossible for us to have a clear understanding of the demographics of this population or to develop a strategy that can effectively address their particular needs.

The report also highlighted limitations in available housing options for women veterans with children.  Although VA has a referral policy in place for temporary housing, it is not being implemented uniformly nationwide.  As a result, homeless women veterans in some parts of the country are forced to return to the streets until they are admitted into the Grant and Per Diem or HUD-VASH programs.  Additionally, infrastructure needs such as private and secure rooms and showering facilities are often lacking – placing women veterans in uncomfortable and potentially unsafe situations.  We can and should do better.

In light of this report, we request responses to the following questions:

-          What steps are your agencies taking to better capture information on our homeless women veteran population?

-          How do you track both the demographics and particular needs of this population?

-          What strategies are being employed to effectively address their unique needs?

-          What improvements will be made to VA’s implementation of its referral policy?

-          What type of gender-specific safety and security standards will be implemented for VA’s Grant and Per Diem program?

-          What additional steps need to be taken to reduce the rate of homelessness among female veterans?

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that, although the overall number of unemployed veterans has decreased significantly over the past year, the unemployment rate amongst women veterans is now more than double the national average.  As unemployment rates often directly correlate with rates of homelessness, how closely are your Agencies working with the Department of Labor to reduce the homeless women veteran population by addressing one of the underlying symptoms of their unemployment or underemployment?

It is critical that we continue doing absolutely everything we can on behalf of the brave men and women who have already made tremendous sacrifices for our nation.  Until every single veteran is off the street, we must not relent in our efforts to provide the services and assistance they need to find adequate and long-term housing for them and their families.  In doing so, we must make every effort to ensure we are addressing the needs of our entire veteran population, particularly our women veterans, to ensure their needs are being met and they are not falling through the cracks.

We appreciate your attention to this matter, and request a response to inform our views in advance of the March 14 hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on veteran homelessness.  We look forward to working closely with both of you to address this critical issue.

Sincerely, Jon Tester et al

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