Rehberg Games – Billings Balancing Act

Day 8: August 8, 2012

A precarious performance with the public

Proving he’s a gymnast up for a challenge, Congressman Dennis Rehberg tried to balance Montana’s need for firefighters with his lawsuit against the Billings Fire Department. For Day 8 of the Rehberg Games we draw your attention to the fact that when it came to choosing between his bank account and firefighters, the Congressman irresponsibly pushed firefighters off the beam.

WARM-UP: Rep. Rehberg believes all Montanans rely on firefighters and acknowledged the high cost of running a local fire department.

In 2009 Rehberg said that, “While all Montanans need firefighters’ services, there are a lot of communities that just can’t afford to run a fire department locally.” [Office of Rep. Denny Rehberg, 11/18/09]

BALANCE CHECK: Just two years later Rep. Rehberg (a millionaire) sued the City of Billings and its fire department, costing the taxpayers more than $20,000 in legal fees.

In a letter to Rehberg’s attorneys, City Of Billings Attorney, Michele L. Bruckmann, who was representing Billings in Rehberg Ranch v. City of Billings said, “firefighters’ energies and time” should not be spent in litigation, but in “saving lives and property from fires.” [Letter from City of Billings Attorney, 11/7/11]

The Congressman’s lawsuit ended up costing Billings taxpayers more than $20,000 [KTVQ, 3/6/12] drawing funding away from the city’s fire department and other critical services.

DISMOUNT: Rehberg stuck it to Montanans, putting his personal interests ahead of public safety.