The Missoula Independent: Hands off the Pork
Well, Rehberg and fellow Republicans successfully wrangled reluctant Democrats in the Senate, which on Tuesday imposed a two-year earmark moratorium. Republicans got a big assist from President Obama, who promised during last week’s State of the Union address that “If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it. I will veto it.”
The Montana Republican Party, meanwhile, is gloating, pointing out that “it’s getting lonely at the pork trough.”
[Baucus and Tester have] been out defending the practice of pork barrel earmarking as necessary for their re-election… er, public service. Now a sitting president from their own party told them they were wrong.”
Plus, George Ochenski handicaps the race between Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg for the US Senate.
Already—and it should come as no surprise—the looming heavyweight bout appears to be an ugly one. Here’s what Ted Dick, the Montana Democratic Party’s executive director, had to say when news of Rehberg’s potential challenge broke: “This is turning out to be one of the worst-kept secrets in Montana. Despite his near-fatal boat accident with a drunk driver, his frivolous lawsuit against Montana firefighters, years of deficit spending and voting against Montana, and an embarrassing record of, well, nothing, Dennis Rehberg wants a new job. He’s going to have a tough two years ahead of him explaining to Montanans why he deserves it.”
And Dick’s counterpart in the Montana Republican Party, Bowen Greenwood, said this, as reported by Roll Call: “Sen. Tester is very highly vulnerable in 2012. It’s not a matter of who our candidate is, it’s a matter of his record. He voted for Obamacare and 60 percent of Montanans oppose that. He voted for the stimulus. He didn’t just break his campaign promise to oppose earmarks, he trampled on it. Jon Tester has betrayed Montana, and that bill is coming due in 2012.”
And then there’s the health insurance reform measure vilified by Republicans as “Obamacare.” A Florida federal judge recently ruled the entire measure as unconstitutional and a likely Supreme Court appeal is ahead. The outcome could easily become an electoral drag on Democrats nationwide.