FEC complaint filed against Rehberg for yet another campaign violation

Montanans for Tester hold Rehberg accountable to the law

BILLINGS, Mont.—Montanans for Tester today filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Congressman Dennis Rehberg for yet another campaign finance violation.

A copy of the complaint is available online HERE.

Rehberg’s violation involves accepting an excessive in-kind campaign donation in the form of a luxury bus.  Since September, Rehberg’s campaign has been using the donated Prevost Entertainer luxury bus to crisscross Montana.

Federal law prohibits in-kind donations from couples that exceed $5,000 per election.  The value of Rehberg’s use of the bus, fuel, insurance and driver’s time far exceeds $5,000.

Rehberg is allowed to pay fair market value for use of the bus with his own campaign.  But in his latest FEC report, Rehberg failed to report payment for expenses related to a campaign road trip in September that spanned at least seven days and 3,700 miles—a journey whose actual cost exceeds the $5,000 limit.

Montanans for Tester first suspected Rehberg of violating election law after the owner of the bus, Dr. Ted Beck of Helena, admitted to a radio reporter that he was paying for the costs of Rehberg’s travel.

Although Rehberg claimed he was paying for the costs of the bus, he failed to report those expenses in his latest fundraising report.  Rehberg only reported $4,880 in-kind-donations from Ted Beck and his wife, Vicki.

“Even in the final days of this election Dennis Rehberg is refusing to hold himself accountable to Montanans,” said Montanans for Tester spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff. “Dennis Rehberg has repeatedly made irresponsible decisions that hurt Montanans—he just can’t be trusted to look out for anyone but himself.”


The front of Rehberg’s bus

This is not Rehberg’s first failure to hold himself accountable to Montanans.

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.