FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2012
Contact: Matt Canter, (202) 485-3129
MONTANA’S MILLIONAIRE CONGRESSMAN DENNIS REHBERG HIDES LOBBYIST MONEY IN FINANCIAL REPORT
AP Investigation Reveals Rehberg Failed To Disclose Lobbyist Contributions In His FEC Report
Montana’s millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg is once again in hot water for serving himself, not Montanans, by hiding tens of thousands of dollars he has raised from lobbyists. Rehberg is required by law to fully disclose campaign contributions and provide specific information on the employer and occupation of every contributor who donates above $200. Over the course of the first nine months of 2011, Rehberg hid the fact that three dozen lobbyists had contributed to his campaign.
“In the five decades he’s held political office, Montana’s millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg has been in the pocket of special interests in Washington DC,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Rehberg has consistently been caught red-handed playing by his own set of rules, using his position to advance his own political interests. It’s little wonder that Rehberg has voted against requiring more disclosure and transparency from campaign donors and shady outside groups.”
Rehberg’s long political career record is riddled with similar occasions where Rehberg used his authority to look out for himself and his own interests instead of what’s best for Montana.
Rehberg has supported allowing shady outside groups to spend millions on political attacks without any transparency, consistently voting against requiring these groups to disclose their donors. Rehberg even supports allowing multi-national corporations to spend millions swaying elections and propping up their special interest agenda. Now, D.C. special interests and Karl Rove are teaming up to boost Rehberg’s struggling campaign by spending thousands on false television advertisements targeting Senator Jon Tester.
AP: Rehberg Failed to Report the Occupation of Nearly Three Dozen Lobbyists, as Required, Giving $20,000 on His FEC Reports. As reported in the AP, “Rehberg has been taking donations from some lobbyists without disclosing their place of employment.” The story continued, “…an Associated Press analysis of campaign finance disclosure reports through October turned up nearly three dozen lobbyists, who donated a total of about $20,000 to Rehberg’s campaign, with their employment left blank on disclosure forms.” [AP, 2/05/12]
REHBERG OPPOSES REGULATING NOW-UNLIMITED CORPORATE INFLUENCE IN ELECTIONS
Rehberg Sided With Special Interests Over Transparency in Campaign Finance Reform; Opposed DISCLOSE Act. In 2010, Rehberg voted against campaign finance reforms that required transparency and disclosure in campaign spending. The bill would tighten disclosure rules on campaign advertising by corporations, unions and other independent groups and would prohibit corporations that are foreign-controlled or have received government assistance from making expenditures in political campaigns. Democrats argued that the bill would dull the effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which determined that corporations have the same free-speech rights as individuals and can spend corporate funds to sway elections.“This legislation restores transparency and accountability and ensures that Americans know when Wall Street and health insurers are the ones behind political advertising,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The legislation would free organizations with 500,000 or more members, have existed for at least 10 years, and meet other criteria from having to identify their top donors. Those groups would still be required to abide by most of the bill’s new regulations, but not the disclaimer requirement that requires a “stand by your ad” provision. The bill passed, 219-206. [CQ Today, 6/24/10; HR 5175, Vote 391, 6/24/10]
Rehberg Supports a Corporation’s Right to Influence Elections. According to KTVQ, Rehberg supports a corporation’s right to free political speech. “About the time we start limiting people’s opportunity to have access to free speech I think you are going to continue to run into the same problem that we’ve had and the Supreme Court is going to say no,” Rehberg said. [KTVQ, 1/31/12]
Rehberg Opposes Efforts to Regulate Corporate Political Spending. In February 2012, Rehberg said he doesn’t support amendment proposals that would allow Congress to regulate campaign spending by corporations and labor unions. “In a healthy democracy, the more voices the better,” Rehberg said. “Good ideas tend to rise to the top. Efforts to simply silence those we don’t agree with is a dangerous approach. A better solution is more sunlight so political speech is transparent and we know who’s saying what. I don’t think we should deny people their Constitutional right to free speech just because they’re a part of a corporation instead of a different form of organization, like a non-profit, a campaign or a union.” [Hungry Horse News, 2/01/12]
CITIZENS UNITED VOICES STRONG SUPPORT FOR REHBERG
Citizens United Endorsed Rehberg. In September 2011, the Citizens United Victory Fund PAC endorsed Rehberg and maxed out in donations to him. The organization said in a statement, “Congressman Rehberg will vote for conservative values in the United States Senate and will work to reverse President Obama’s failed liberal agenda in partnership with a new President in 2013.” [Facebook, 9/21/11]
Citizens United Contributed $10,000 to Rehberg. Citizens United is the group who sued to give corporations the right to free political speech, contributed $10,000 to Rehberg’s campaign. [KTVQ, 1/31/12]
THESE GROUPS TRIED TO RUN AN AD IN MONTANA SO FALSE, CABLE COMPANY REFUSED TO AIR IT
Karl Rove Helped Start the Crossroads Group After Supreme Court Ruled Corporations Could Spend Unlimited Amounts of
Money Advocating Defeat of Political Candidates. As reported by Bloomberg News, ?Republican strategist Karl Rove helped start the Crossroads groups last year after the Supreme Court ruled, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations and labor unions can spend unlimited amounts of money advocating the election or defeat of political candidates. [Bloomberg News, 6/24/2011]
NBC News: Crossroads “Fueled By Tens of Millions From Wall Street.” According to NBC News, Crossroads as ?fueled by tens of millions of dollars in contributions from Wall Street hedge fund moguls and other wealthy donors. [NBC News, 11/04/10
Crossroads GPS Cable Channel Removed Anti-Tester Ad Due To “Making Claims That the Network Deemed False.” In November 2011, the anti-Tester Crossroads GPS ad was “yanked from rotation on a Montana cable show because it made claims that the network deemed false.” Cablevision’s “Optimum cable service dropped the ad, the AP reported.” [The Huffington Post, 11/11/11]
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and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.