Rehberg rings hollow in call for campaign transparency

Congressman defends unpopular Citizens United decision

BILLINGS, Mont. – As Congressman Dennis Rehberg defends today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down Montana’s century-old law limiting corporate influence in state elections, he has also been caught failing to meet his own standards.

The Court today ruled that its own unpopular Citizens United v. FEC decision applies to Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act of 1912. Rehberg, endorsed by the organization Citizens United last fall, has benefitted from millions of dollars in secretive special interest money thanks to the controversial ruling.

According to Lee Newspapers, Rehberg instead said “the correct response is strong laws requiring those who spend money on elections to report their spending.”

“I believe that every single dime ought to be accounted for,” Rehberg said during a June 16 debate in Big Sky, Mont. “It ought to be disclosed from dollar one, within 24 hours on the Internet.”

But Rehberg has failed in that regard too.

Just last month, after Rehberg failed to file his last fundraising report on time, the Federal Elections Commisssion sent him this warning.


And earlier this year, Rehberg was caught hiding $25,000 he took from lobbyists in 2011. As the Associated Press reported, “It turns out Rehberg has been taking donations from some lobbyists without disclosing their place of employment.”

“After 12 years in Congress, Dennis Rehberg has made up his own definition of what transparency and accountability means,” said Aaron Murphy, a campaign spokesman for Jon Tester. “By supporting the unpopular Citizens United decision, Congressman Rehberg embraces very idea of secret campaign spending—and that is not a Montana value.”

Tester earlier said today’s Court’s decision “rolls back 100 years of transparency.”