Big Sky, Big Money

Tonight at 8:30 pm on Montana PBS:

In a special investigation in collaboration with Marketplace, FRONTLINE travels to the remote epicenter of the campaign finance debate for a tale of money, politics, and intrigue. How has the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision changed campaigns in America? Ask Montana, which has tried to challenge the ruling in court, is investigating alleged campaign abuses, and is playing host to a bitter race that could decide control of the U.S. Senate.

FRONTLINE correspondent and Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal reports.

Hopefully, some light will be shed on the mysterious meth house documents

Trailer is here.

Watch Big Sky, Big Money, an investigation with Marketplace on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Rehberg Leads Efforts To Defend Cylon, er, Corporate ‘Personhood’

, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica (Yeah, I know, I’m a little behind- but I’m a busy guy) and it occurred to me that the Cylon’s (machines masquerading as people) war with human beings is the perfect model for the Citizens United decision. Both Cylons and Citizens United were created by people- and both threaten to wipe out civilization as we know it. And for those of you who aren’t geeks (like me)- think Frankenstein.

From the Montana Democrats:

Congressman Dennis Rehberg is leading efforts in Montana to defend the notion that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people, calling efforts to undo the Citizens United decision “theater.”

Senator Jon Tester has been a leading opponent of Citizens United and the corrupting influence it brings to Montana’s elections.  Tester also supports Senator Max Baucus’ constitutional amendment, which would provide a permanent fix to the Citizens United decision by putting elections back in the hands of Montanans and preventing corporations from drowning out the voices of voters.

According to news reports, Congressman Rehberg, who agrees that corporations are people, is dismissing efforts to undo Citizens United, saying they have “no chance of passing.”

Rehberg is no stranger to campaign secrecy.

Earlier this week he got caught failing to disclose one in seven donors in his most recent fundraising report.  Earlier this year, he got caught hiding $25,000 he took from lobbyists in 2011. Rehberg also called measures to improve transparency in political campaigns  “unnecessarily difficult.”

Opposition to Citizens United in Montana has been widespread.  Montanans in November will vote on a ballot measure (I-166) to state that corporations are not people.  As expected, Rehberg won’t say whether he supports the initiative.

“Congressman Rehberg refuses to make our elections more transparent because he refuses to hold himself accountable to Montanans,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.  “After 12 long years in DC, Congressman Rehberg is now leading efforts to defend the broken system that lets special interests buy elections, because he knows they want to buy an election for him.”

Scar

Scar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, Congressman Rehberg earned an endorsement, and a $10,00 check, from the organization Citizens United.  Karl Rove’s secretive special interest group Crossroads GPS recently announced a major television ad buy in Montna to help Congressman Rehberg, and they can spend every penny with no transparency thanks to Rehberg’s Citizens United decision.

Yep, the metaphor works. And for those of you not up to speed, Battlestar Galactica is available streaming on Netflix…

Tester Meets with Constituents, Rehberg Continues Invisibility Plan

From The Montana Democrats:

While multimillionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg continues to hide from the public (see ‘Related Articles’ below), Jon Tester  hosted his 10th public small business workshop, following months of meetings with Montanans across the state.

Denny Rehberg - Caricature

Denny Rehberg - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

As for Congressman Rehberg?  He cancelled his latest scheduled appearance–at a Republican Party fundraiser he was supposed to headline Sunday in Havre.  And Congressman Rehberg has held virtually no public meetings with Montanans since November.

After 35 years in politics, Congressman Rehberg no longer thinks he’s accountable to Montana,” said Ted Dick, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Congressman Rehberg gave himself five pay raises in Congress, but he votes to cut funding for our public schools, cut Pell grants, and cut health care for our veterans.  His 35-year career in politics is marked by irresponsible decisions like tax breaks for fellow millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas—at the expense of Montana families, education, Medicare and Social Security.”

Congressman Rehberg has avoided accountability for the last year, hiding the donations he takes from lobbyists, refusing to meet with Montanans, and giving his full endorsement to the Citizens United ruling that allows big corporations to spend unlimited money on dishonest political attack ads.  Here’s more:

Hiding Campaign Cash from Lobbyists:  An investigation by the Associated Press found Congressman Rehberg refused to disclose the identities of 189 lobbyists on his financial disclosure reports. Rehberg hid more than $20,000 he took from Washington lobbyists.

Dodging Public Meetings with Constituents:  Congressman Rehberg went 6 months without holding a public townhall meeting, and when he finally scheduled one, he watched a Sheriff removed someone from the meeting.

Siding with Anonymous Corporate Cash in Elections:  Following his endorsement by Citizens United, Congressman Rehberg gave his full endorsement to the secretive organization’s Supreme Court Ruling, which allows big corporations to spend unlimited to buy elections.

“Aspirin” Billionaire To Bankroll Rehberg

From the Montana Democrats:

via Wikipedia

Foster Friess–the billionaire donor who said women should use aspirin “between their knees” as birth control–is considering a massive contribution to Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove’s secretive front group that has already spent over $600,000 to support multimillionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg.

According to the New Republic, Rehberg is one of Friess’ “favored candidates.”  Friess is also considering “a six- or seven-figure donation to the conservative Super PAC American Crossroads or its sister organization, Crossroads GPS.”

Crossroads recently aired an ad attacking Jon Tester that was so false, a Montana cable company pulled it off the air.

“Congressman Rehberg has earned support from Wall Street billionaire Foster Friess because they share an out-of-touch, extreme agenda,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.  “Thanks to the Citizens United decision, Friess can spend whatever he wants trying to buy votes for Dennis Rehberg.  That’s because Congressman Rehberg supports tax loopholes that benefit millionaires–even when it means cutting Medicare, Social Security and education.”

Crossroads GPS has already spent hundreds of thousands to pay for false attack ads in Montana, following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

Congressman Rehberg supports secret financing of elections. The organization Citizens United endorsed Rehberg in September, giving him a $10,000 contribution. And earlier this month, Rehberg was caught hiding more than $20,000 he took from Washington lobbyists.