Donor admits he’s paying for Rehberg’s luxury bus

Congressman veers into another campaign violation

Daily bus rental fee alone exceeds lawful in-kind donation

BILLINGS, Mont.—Lobbyist-turned-Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s statewide luxury bus tour has been forced to take a detour after bus’s owner admitted in a radio interview that he is not being reimbursed by Rehberg’s campaign.

Federal law states that in-kind donations, like the use of Rehberg’s massive luxury bus, cannot exceed $2,500.  But the cost of renting a bus like Rehberg’s 1999 Prevost Entertainer can cost thousands of dollars every day.

In an on-the-record interview with Yellowstone Public Radio Tuesday, owner Ted Beck admitted his bus is an in-kind contribution to Rehberg.

“Is the campaign paying you for any expenses?” questioned reporter Jackie Yamanaka.

BECK: “No, no I just provide it.  It’s an in-kind, in-kind contribution.”

YAMANAKA: “So you’re paying for the fuel and everything?”

BECK: “Most of it, yes.  I provided it.”

Listen to the full interview HERE.

Beck’s admission indicates that Rehberg has veered into yet another campaign law violation.

Rehberg’s campaign has been using the luxury bus for weeks, traveling the state on road trips and parades.

This is not Rehberg’s first failure to comply with campaign finance laws.

Rehberg this summer failed to disclose the occupations of one-in-seven campaign donors as required. In 2011 Rehberg hid $25,000 in campaign contributions he took from registered lobbyists.

The FEC even wrote a letter threatening “penalties” or “legal enforcement action” for Rehberg’s non-compliance with reporting requirements.

“Dennis Rehberg’s ongoing failure to hold himself accountable to Montanans and the law is yet another example of the Congressman’s wrong priorities that hurt Montana,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff.  “Montanans deserve someone like Jon Tester, who always holds himself accountable to Montana and always puts them first in the U.S. Senate.”

Read more about Rehberg’s bus violation HERE.