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Montana Democratic Party Releases New Ad: “Unreasonable Bailouts”

The Montana Democratic Party released a new ad today holding multimillionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg accountable for voting against Montana on important issues that affect our state. Congressman Rehberg voted for billions in tax breaks for Wall Street bankers, and voted to let CEOs get millions in taxpayer-funded bonuses.

“After 12 years in Washington, Dennis Rehberg has forgotten where he comes from," said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Congressman Rehberg voted for billions in special tax breaks to big bankers on Wall Street, and to let Wall Street CEOs get millions in bonuses funded by taxpayer bailouts.” 

The ad will begin airing tomorrow and will be running statewide on broadcast and cable markets over the next 3 weeks.

The ad script reads below:

Announcer:        After 12 years in Washington DC, Dennis Rehberg’s forgotten where he comes from

Because Rehberg voted for billions in tax breaks to big bankers on Wall Street

Rehberg even voted to let Wall Street CEOs get millions in bonuses funded by taxpayer bailouts

Rehberg:             I guess I ask you, is that unreasonable?

Announcer:        Yes Congressman, it is.                 

Announcer:        Contact Dennis Rehberg and remind him he’s Montana’s Congressman, not Washington’s or Wall Street’s

Announcer:        The Montana Democratic Party is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

Here's more background:                

REHBERG VOTED TO PROTECT A SPECIAL TAX BREAK FOR HEDGE FUND MANAGERS AND OTHER WALL STREET INTERESTS

November 2007: Rehberg Voted Against AMT Relief And Other Tax Extenders Offset In Part By Closing Hedge Fund Managers’ Special Tax Loophole. In November 2007, Rehberg voted against a bill “that would provide a one-year adjustment to exempt an additional 21 million taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax on income from 2007. It would make changes to tax law and extend several expiring tax provisions for one year. The bill would expand the eligibility in 2008 for the refundable child tax credit by setting the threshold for the credit at $8,500. To offset the cost of the measure, the bill includes provisions intended to raise revenue, such as taxing the carried interest of private equity managers, venture capitalists and some real estate investors at up to 35 percent instead of the current 15 percent.” [HR 3996, Vote 1081, 11/9/07; CQ Votes]

Grand Rapid Press: AMT Bill Would Be Paid For By “Ending The Gimmick That Taxes The Carried-Interest Income Of Private Equity And Hedge Fund Managers As If It Were Capital Gains.” In a November 15 editorial, the Grand Rapid Press wrote, “Not only did the House properly shield the higher middle incomes, it also fixed glitches in the $1,000 annual Child Tax Credit, so that some 2.9 more children would be qualified - a help to low- and moderate-income families under no menace from the AMT. And what is more, the House bill pays for these adjustments - the first time in seven years that tax breaks wouldn't add to the budget deficit. It does that by ending the gimmick that taxes the carried-interest income of private equity and hedge fund managers as if it were capital gains - that is, at 15 percent rather than at the 35 percent levied on other very high incomes. (This is the indulgence whose unfairness Really Rich Guy Warren Buffett has deplored for taxing much of his income and that of his peers at a way lower rate than the incomes of others who are far less well off.) So theHouse bill fixes in one whoosh the AMT trap, holds harmless a federal budget burdened by Bush's tax largess to the rich, gives a break to middle and lower earners and rights the tax system's inequities at least a little.” [Grand Rapid Press, Editorial, 11/15/07]

REHBERG VOTED TO LET WALL STREET CEOs GET MILLIONS IN BONUSES FROM TAXPAYER-FUNDED BAILOUTS

Billings Gazette: Rehberg Voted “No” On Bill That Would Have Prohibited TARP Funding From Paying “Unreasonable Or Excessive” Executive Compensation. In November 2011, the Missoulian reported, “However, Rehberg also voted ‘no’ on April 1, 2009, on a bill that would have prohibited recipients of TARP funding from paying ‘unreasonable or excessive’ compensation, as defined by federal banking regulators. The bill passed the House but was never voted on by the Senate.” [Missoulian, 11/16/11]

Rehberg Voted Against Bill To Cap Executive Compensation For Bailout Companies. In 2009, Rehberg voted against a bill to bar any recipient of federal money from the $700 billion financial industry bailout from paying any compensation that is “unreasonable or excessive,” as defined by standards to be set by federal banking regulators. The restrictions would be lifted once a company had repaid the government. This was one of the bills that came from the outrage over AIG bonuses. The bill passed 247-171. [HR 1664, Vote 182, 4/01/09]

REHBERG SAID THE VOTE TO CLAW BACK AIG BONUSES AFTER THEY GOT A TAXPAYER-FUNDED BAILOUT WAS “DUMB” AND “UN-AMERICAN”

Rehberg: My Vote To Claw Back AIG Bonuses A “Dumb Decision” That Was “Un-American” And “Unconstitutional.” During an August 2009 town hall meeting, Rehberg dismissed his vote to clawback bonuses to AIG executives through a 90 percent tax as a “dumb decision.” Rehberg: Because I'm not always right. You know I make dumb decisions sometimes. You usually tell me, my mom's the first one who to tells me. But it's one of those you know, what was I thinking? It had to do with the AIG bailout and the executives got this, the bonuses, right? And I’m upset about it, and so what did I do, I voted to tax them at 90% of the bonus. Just to try to get the money back to you, and my people said what are you thinking, taxing 90% on an individual? That's un-American, that’s unconstitutional. And I thought well, you're probably right. [YouTube, Town Hall Meeting, 8/24/09]

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