Rehberg lies to Montanans during final Senate debate

Days before election Congressman flat-out rejects accountability

BILLINGS, Mont.— Congressman Dennis Rehberg made a mockery of Montanans’ ability to sort fact from fiction during Saturday night’s final U.S. Senate debate when he repeatedly lied about his irresponsible decisions that hurt Montana.

Montana farmer Jon Tester offered a stark contrast to Rehberg as he spoke earnestly about his record of putting Montana first.

Those who watched the Saturday debate in Bozeman, Mont., were visibly disturbed by Rehberg’s blatant lying about his ties to special interests and lobbyists—and his flat-out refusal to hold himself accountable.

Below is a fact check of some of Rehberg’s most disturbing lies:

REHBERG LIE: “I will never vote to privatize Medicare”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH: Rehberg was asked point-blank by Tester, “Can you tell me what your thought process was when you voted to make Medicare into a voucher system?” Rehberg falsely claimed that he “never voted to harm Medicare.” But in 2009, Rehberg supported a substitute budget by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to turn Medicare into a voucher system. The unpopular Medicare change was part of Ryan’s substitute amendment to House Concurrent Resolution 85, which failed to pass despite Rehberg’s vote.

REHBERG LIE: “I will never vote to privatize Social Security.”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH:  Rehberg told Montanans he would “never vote to privatize Social Security,” but in 2011, Rehberg voted against protecting Social Security from privatization. Rehberg’s statement builds on his record of supporting measures threatening Social Security—an initiative that 20 percent of Montanans rely on. When Rehberg ran for office, he proposed a controversial plan to privatize Social Security, and earlier said, “When I say I want to end Social Security as we know it, I do mean that.”

REHBERG LIE: “I have never voted for a pay raise”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH:  It’s a painful truth for Dennis Rehberg: During his 12 years in Congress, Rehberg voted to raise his own pay five times—after promising Montanans he would never do so.

REHBERG LIE:  Recovery Act “didn’t give us any opportunity to have our input, to put people back to work.”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH: The Recovery Act provided Montana with $575 million in tax relief for working families and small businesses.The Recovery Act also provided emergency funding for police, firefighters, EMTs and teachers employed in Montana and put Montanans to work building roads across the state. Despite his claim that the Recovery Act didn’t have his input, Rehberg wrote three letters to federal agencies asking them to approve millions in stimulus aid for projects in Montana [Gannett News Service, 10/18/10]. Rehberg also advocated for a controversial $64 million Recovery Act that brought broadband to a wealthy community near Bozeman.

REHBERG LIE: “I believe in transparency and putting our contributions on the internet within 24 hours from dollar one”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH: Although Rehberg likes to talk about transparency, he has failed to be transparent.  Rehberg was caught hiding $25,000 in 2011 campaign donations from registered lobbyists.  This summer, the Associated Press reported that the Congressman failed to disclose one out of seven donors in an FEC report he submitted this summer.  And Rehberg’s failure to properly report a donated luxury campaign bus on his FEC report prompted a formal complaint.  Rehberg’s support for unlimited secret spending in political elections earned him an endorsement from Citizens United—the organization responsible for the U.S. Supreme Court’s unpopular Citizens United v. FEC decision.

REHBERG LIE: “Tester was told as well, if he voted not to suspend the (EPA’s) rules, [PPL was] going to have to close [the Corette power] plant.”

Download actuality HERE.

TRUTH:  Jon Tester has a powerful record of supporting responsible coal development and attempts to blame Tester on the closure of the Corette power plant are false, politically driven attacks. PPL, the multinational company that owns the Corette coal-fired power plant in Billings, brought in $1.5 billion in profits in last year, and said new EPA rules would not impede its operations. After meeting with Tester, PPL wrote the Senator in June of 2012 “PPL plants are well-positioned to meet requirements of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Stands rule.” [PPL Letter]. In 2011 slideshow, PPL touted its “ability to meet proposed EPA regulations without substantial increase in capital or operating cost.”