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You know it's bad for Republicans when one of their own has to call in Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney (R), to do a campaign ad for you.  And this ad should be a sure sign that Tea Party Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) is struggling in his race to defeat incumbent Senator Jon Tester (D):

I've always had a feeling that Tester would come out the victor in this race and the fact that Romney has to do an ad for Rehberg just proved that Rehberg's campaign is not going well.  Tester put Rehberg in a gotcha moment during the debates where Rehberg had to defend and lie about his long support for privatizing Social Security and Medicare:


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The Republicans can feel control for the Senate slipping through their hands and they thought that Rehberg was their golden boy but he's slipping and Libertarian candidate, Dan Cox, is eating away some of his support:

During the campaign Cox has polled as high as 8 percent and as low as 1 percent, (some polls don’t even include his name), so it’s hard to peg his support. But any votes he receives on Nov. 6 could sway a too-close-to-call race – and help determine which party controls the U.S. Senate come January. - Montana Public Media, 10/31/12
Montana is a Libertarian-leaning state and the Republicans know that.  That's why they're in panic mode because the right is accusing Tester and the Democrats of trying to help the Libertarian candidate sway in their direction:

A group controlled by Democrats is running ads in the Montana Senate race telling voters to vote for the Libertarian candidate, Dan Cox, in what appears to be an attempt to split the vote between him and the Republican candidate — and help propel Democratic Sen. Jon Tester to re-election.

According to Open Secrets, Montana Hunters and Anglers has spent $1,089,694 this cycle attacking Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is challenging incumbent Tester for his Senate seat. - The Daily Caller, 10/29/12

The group they're referring to is the League of Conservation Voters.  Here's the LCV's response:

“We've only supported Montana Hunters and Anglers to do work supporting Tester or opposing Rehberg, and we obviously don't support Cox. We've never given Montana Hunters and Anglers a dime to run any TV ads supporting anyone other than Tester. So nothing really to say about this specific ad,” LCV spokesman Jeff Gohringer told The Hill in a Monday email.

As of Sept. 30, LCV had donated $410,000 of the nearly $417,000 in the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund’s PAC, which is responsible for the TV ad. LCV is backing Tester, in part, for his vote against a measure that would have blocked implementation of Obama administration air emissions rules. - The Hill, 10/31/12

LCV has donated $1.4 million to Senator Tester's campaign.  

Cue the whambulance from the Rehberg campaign:

“It speaks volumes that Sen. Tester’s supporters have given up trying to convince more Montanans to vote for him, and now they’re supporting the Libertarian candidate to play the spoiler,” Rehberg campaign spokesman Chris Bond told The Hill. - The Hill, 10/31/12
Here's the ad they're talking about:

Personally I think it's hilarious and awesome and it shows that Rehberg really is the face of Big Brother Government.  But here's the part that will really make you laugh:

But the Hunters and Anglers PAC had $10,639 cash on hand at the time of the Sept. 30 Federal Election Commission filing, meaning it drew more donations to fund the new $500,000 ad.

While LCV might have requested that Hunters and Anglers use its donation for certain purposes, federal law does not require the PAC to adhere to such commitments, Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, told The Hill on Monday. - The Hill, 10/31/12

Oh the irony of it all.  Lets see if Republicans still support the Supreme Court's Decision regarding Citizens United now.  Senator Tester and the Montana Supreme Court have been fighting to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's decision regarding Citizens United.

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Perhaps Representative Rehberg held another 75 town hall meetings between February 9th and 10th to explain his shifting vote on reauthorization of the Patriot Act. More likely, our independent, “Montana first” Representative caved to Washington pressure and changed his vote in less than a day.

On February 9, 2011 Rehberg did not believe in reauthorization:

Among the 26 House Republicans who broke with party leaders Tuesday and voted against extending key provisions of the Patriot Act were two rumored Senate hopefuls and one lawmaker who has already jumped into a marquee race.

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont), who announced a challenge to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) over the weekend, and Reps. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Connie Mack (R-Fla.) all voted against the reauthorization.

On February 10, 2011, however, he changed his mind:

The House on Thursday voted to proceed on a measure that would extend key provisions of the Patriot Act counter-terrorism surveillance law, two days after the proposal came up short in a Republican-led effort to approve it under fast-track rules.

The four Republicans voting “no” on Thursday were Reps. Ron Paul (Texas), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Tom McClintock (Calif.). All four had opposed the measure on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 172 Democrats voted against proceeding Thursday, up from the 148 who voted “no” on Tuesday. - Intelligent Design, 2/11/11

Whoa!  Deny Rehberg is a Big Government Career Politician!  That should make the Tea Party angry!  Uh, no:
It looks like the Montana TEA Party might have to revise this little press release, too:

Montana Shrugged, the state’s largest Tea Party group with over 5,000 active members, has issued a public “Thank You” to the 26 Republicans who broke with their party to vote NO on extending provisions of the Patriot Act yesterday, including Montana’s very own Denny Rehberg.

“It’s a huge step forward”, said Eric Olsen, founder of Montana Shrugged.  “The Tea Party movement is about less government in our lives, and this vote is a big step in reducing the scope of government, and restoring fiscal sanity to Washington.  We’re especially proud that our own Congressman, Denny Rehberg was one of those brave enough to vote on principle and buck party leadership when it’s called for.” - Intelligent Design, 2/11/11

Senator Tester on the other hand voted against renewing the Patriot Act:

Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) just announced on the Senate floor that he's going to vote against renewing the PATRIOT Act for four years unless Fourth Amendment-violating aspects of the law are changed. He called the act "bad policy that has put on us a very slippery slope," and unless its changed, said he'll vote against renewal "in the name of freedom and privacy." - Mike Riggs,, 5/23/11 is a Libertarian website that features writings from Libertarians such as Peter Schiff, Kennedy and Nick Gillespie acknowledging a Democrat for voting to protect civil liberties.  Tester has also criticized Tea Party Congressman Rehberg for voting to extend the Patriot Act:

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It was 11 years ago today, on October 24, 2001, that Rehberg supported the law allowing the federal government to violate the Constitution and trample on the rights of law-abiding Montanans.

It was the first of Rehberg’s five votes in support of the Patriot Act—a law that gives the government power to spy on citizens and authorize warrantless searches of homes and businesses.

Despite Montanans’ strong opposition to the law, Rehberg supported the controversial Patriot Act for nearly a decade, only changing his position in February of 2011—days after announcing his run against Montana farmer Jon Tester.

Tester has also used Cox's own words against Rehberg:
Rehberg’s federal land-grab bill, H.R. 1505, is described by Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Dan Cox as a “police state bill.”  Rehberg cosponsored the unpopular measure, which gives the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “unprecedented power” to seize control of and make top-down decisions about public lands in Montana.
Rehberg has also supported the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which would allow government agents to listen in on private phone conversations and read emails—without a warrant.  Tester opposed this bill.  Rehberg also supported the REAL ID Act and No Child Left Behind.

Rehberg is a Neo-Con Bush Republican.  Always has been and always will be.  He won his congressional in a very red state in a good year for Republicans.  He's been able to ride Bush's coattails and then tried to transition himself into this small Government Tea Party type to appeal to Libertarian-leaning voters.  Yes, Rehberg has always supported prizatizing Social Security and Medicare, that's no secret.  But his stance on civil liberties and privacy just show that he supports a Big Brother Government and wants to give himself more power to himself so he can spy on citizens.  

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Groups like the LCV have learned how to play the game and they're helping Libertarians in Montana realize that though they may not like Senator Tester, Rehberg is really not their guy.  Rehberg's always been a supporter of Big Brother style government whereas Tester is a fighter for civil liberties.  Now Libertarians really don't like Obama and they won't vote for Tester because of his past working relationship with Obama, especially regarding health care reform.  But Tester doesn't need the real Libertarian Tea Partiers to come over to his side.  He's leading with Independents, has his base locked up and has been running a great campaign.  But Rehberg needs them and Tester and the LCV are using the Super PAC FEC rules to educate voters over who the real small government conservative is.  And it ain't Denny Rehberg.

Cox is taking Rehberg's voters because Denny boy is the Big Brother politician that Libertarians like Cox despise.  So it may not be the best timing or idea to have Mitt Romney, who as governor publicly supported the F.B.I.'s warantless wiretapping of all the mosques in Massachusettes:

Though presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Obama (falsely) for being insufficiently supportive of free speech rights during attacks on American diplomats in Egypt and Libya, Romney himself has ran into trouble on related issues before. In 2005, while governor of Massachusetts, Romney called for the warrantless wiretapping of Massachusetts mosques in order to identify terrorism suspects. Speaking to the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think-tank in Washington, D.C., Romney proposed a wide-ranging surveillance program that encompassed both mosques and foreign students from “terrorist-sponsored states”:

"How many [students] are coming to our state and going to those institutions who have come from terrorist-sponsored states? Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them? …How about people who are in settings — mosques, for instance — that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror. Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what’s going on?" - Mitt Romney, 2005 - Think Progress, 9/13/12

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But surprise, surprise, when Romney's warantless wiretaps caused an uproar among the Massachusettes Muslim community and civil libertarians, Romney flip flopped on his position on warantless wiretaps.  Now he's endorsing Denny Rehberg.  I don't know if everything Romney touches turn to shit or if what's he's touching is just shit but lets see how effective this ad is come Election Day.  The negative attack ads from Rehberg's buddies, Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers, have taken it's toll on this race but Tester is still holding strong and PPP & Pharos latest polling show Tester with a two point lead:

Pharos Research:

In the United States Senate race, 48.2% prefer the incumbent Democratic Jon
Tester, while 46.5% chose Republican nominee, Congressman Dennis Rehberg.

Pharos Research Group did a live call poll of 799 likely voters in Montana from
October 26, 2012 through October 28, 2012.  The breakdown was 384 men, 415
women, representing a 48%/52% split.  There were 246 self-identified Democrats,
343 self-identified Republicans and 210 Independents representing a 31/43/26


The good news for Democrats is that even as Obama's standing has deteriorated in the last month, Jon Tester's has remained unchanged. Last month we found him leading Denny Rehberg 45-43 with Libertarian Dan Cox at 8% and this month we find the exact same numbers for all three candidates. Tester leads thanks to a 45-36 lead with independents and because he's taking 88% of the Democratic vote while only 78% of Republicans stand behind Rehberg. - PPP, 10/10/12

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PPP noticed the impact Cox's campaign would have on the race early on:

Cox's strength in this race is something worth keeping an eye on. He's getting 8% of the Republican vote, but only winning 1% of Democrats. His supporters prefer Mitt Romney over Barack Obama 70-6. Tester really needs Cox to hold onto his voters because if he doesn't they're a whole lot more likely to end up in the Rehberg camp than with Tester. Also worth keeping an eye on are the undecideds- it's a small subgroup but they prefer Romney over Obama 71-8. Rehberg has a lot more room to grow in the final four weeks of the campaign than Tester does- but he hasn't shown an ability to close the deal with those GOP leaning voters yet. - PPP, 10/10/12
Romney will win Montana.  That's a given but this is a split ticket race.  Montanans prefer a Republican in the White House but they like Democrats on both a local and federal level.  As PPP shows, there are a lot of good looking prospects for Democrats in Montana's Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State:

Plus Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) is leaving office with great approval numbers.  But Montana voters understand that they need people in congress to balance the power and look out for their civil liberties.  

I feel good about Tester's chances of re-election because this race is very similar to Max Baucus tough re-election race in 1996:

For the most part Baucus has been able to win reelection with relative ease since coming to the Senate in 1978. One exception, however, was 1996.

It was an election that felt a lot like this year's in the Big Sky State. It was a two years after a GOP wave election, at was a presidential election year, and the guy running to defeat the vulnerable Democratic Senator from Montana was none other than Denny Rehberg.

Baucus was able to pull away at the end despite a bombardment of attacks from Rehberg and the National Republican Senatorial Committee hitting him for being a liberal and for voting for tax increases. During that election someone also leaked court documents relating to Baucus's divorce and issues with alimony.

"The 1996 race was a tough one," a Democratic lobbyist from Montana said. "There's still a little bit of bad blood from it. When you run against someone and it becomes personal you never really forget that." - National Journal, 10/31/12

Senator Jon Tester has proven to be a true defender of civil liberties whereas Rehberg was a foot soldier in George W. Bush's war on the constitution.  Rehberg lost once to Baucus in 1996, lets make him lose again to Tester in 2012:

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Originally posted to pdc on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Montana Kossaks.

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