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VoteVets Action Fund Runs $200,000 in Montana and Hawaii Ads

By VoteVets.org  |  Press Release
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2012

Washington, DC - VoteVets Action Fund is pouring $200,000 in Montana and Hawaii, in independent expenditure ads.  The ad in Montana is new, and hits at Rep. Denny Rehberg's record, while in Hawaii, the funds will go towards a new round of buys for a previously aired ad.

An Iraq War Veteran from Montana says in the ad there that there is "no way" veterans will call Rep. Denny Rehberg "Senator," after Rehberg voted himself a pay raise five times, while voting against additional funds for prosthetic research that would help the over 1600 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have lost limbs in the wars.  The ad, sponsored by VoteVets Action Fund, a national veterans group representing over 100,000 supporters, is running for one week in Missoula, Billings, Butte and Great Falls, for a total buy of nearly $100,000.  The group said more could be coming.

The ad can be viewed here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge1uCmLCJZI

The full ad, with documentation is below.

 

That ad features Jim Kearns, an Iraq War Veteran from Helena.  In the ad, he says, "I served in Iraq and came home safely.  Over 1600 who left limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't so lucky. But Congressman Rehberg voted against additional critical funding for prosthetic research.  Millionaire Rehberg voted to give himself a pay raise.   Five times. Then voted against helping wounded vets.  And now Congressman Rehberg wants us to call him Senator?   No way."

Indeed, from 2003 through last year, Rehberg continually voted to allow himself a pay raise in Congress, even while his net worth has been estimated to be well over $10 million - putting him in the top 25 richest Members of Congress, according to Roll Call.

Rehberg, in May of this year, voted against a motion to recommit a Veterans Affairs Department appropriation bill that would have increased funding for prosthetic research and development by $28 million. According to a press release from the measure's sponsor, Congressman John Barrow, "Under the amendment, $56 million in surplus funds would be removed from the BRAC closure account. Half of that amount, $28 million, would be added to funding for medical and prosthetic research. The remaining $28 million would go towards deficit reduction."

In Hawaii, $100,000 will be spent to air an ad for two weeks, touting the biography of Tulsi Gabbard.  Gabbard, who is running for Congress, was once down in polls in her primary race against Mufi Hannemann, but since the VoteVets Action Fund ad originally aired in mid-May, she has closed the gap to a statistical tie, or slight lead, in recent polling done by the Honolulu Civil Beat.  With this two week buy, the ad will have aired over five weeks, at a total cost of $220,000.

That ad can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82hbkxix9ws

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 100,000 members, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.  VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives.   VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

 

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"LUCKY" - VoteVets Action Fund, Montana Ad Script and Backup

 

Audio: I served in Iraq and came home safely.

 

Over 1,600 who left limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't so lucky.

Associated Press: More Than 1,600 Veterans Of Iraq And Afghanistan Have Lost A Limb; Over 400,000 Have Mental Health Issues. According to the Associated Press, "Over 400,000 new [Iraq and Afghanistan] vets have mental health issues. More than 1,600 of them have lost a limb, many others have lost fingers or toes." [Associated Press, 5/28/12]

Visual: Congressman Rehberg Voted Against Prosthetic Research.

 

[Roll Call Vote 304, 5/31/12]

 

 

Audio: But Congressman Rehberg voted against additional critical funding for prosthetic research.

Rehberg Voted Against A Measure To Increase Funding For Medical And Prosthetic Research And Development For Veterans By $28 Million. Rehberg voted against a motion to recommit a Veterans Affairs Department appropriation bill that would have increased funding for prosthetic research and development by $28 million. According to a press release from the measure's sponsor, Congressman John Barrow, "Under the amendment, $56 million in surplus funds would be removed from the BRAC closure account. Half of that amount, $28 million, would be added to funding for medical and prosthetic research. The remaining $28 million would go towards deficit reduction. The amendment failed to pass the House of Representatives by a vote of 188 to 230." Three Republicans supported the motion and 14 did not vote. [Vote 304, 5/31/12; Barrow Press Release, 5/31/12; Congressional Quarterly, 5/31/12]

Visual: Millionaire Rehberg. Voted Himself Five Pay Raises.

 

[Roll Call Votes 261, 6/13/06; 327, 6/28/05; 451, 9/14/04; 463, 9/4/03; 322, 7/18/02]

 

 

Audio: Millionaire Rehberg voted to give himself a pay raise. Five times. Then voted against helping wounded vets.

From 2002-2006, Rehberg Voted Five Times For A Procedural Motion To Block Up Or Down Vote On Congressional Pay Raises. Rehberg has repeatedly voted for a procedural motion that prevents an up or down vote on a congressional pay increases. Specifically, Rehberg voted five times to order the previous question on the rule for consideration of multiple pieces of legislation. By ordering the previous question, the House votes to prevent an amendment to the rule from being offered, and to bring the rule to an immediate vote. By agreeing to order the previous question, some Members considered these votes to be against consideration of an amendment prohibiting a pay raise. Had the House not agreed to these procedural motions to order the previous question, they argue, a Member could have offered an amendment to the rule permitting a pay raise vote in some form. [Vote 261, 6/13/06; Vote 327, 6/28/05;Vote 451, 9/14/04; Vote 463, 9/04/03; Vote 322, 7/18/02; CRS Report: Salaries of Members of Congress, 2/9/11]

 

  • PolitiFact Florida Examined The Procedural Motion That Blocks Up Or Down Votes On Pay Raises And Found That A "Yes" Vote On The Motion Would Block Members From Denying Annual Pay Raise.According to PolitiFact Florida, "Alyson Heyrend, Matheson's spokesperson, explained the procedural move. ‘Matheson each year sought a ‘no' vote on a procedural vote on Ordering the Previous Question,' she told PolitiFact in an e-mail. ‘Had a majority voted ‘no' he would have then offered his amendment to deny the annual Congressional pay raise. The process is designed to be obscure -- which is Matheson's primary concern -- that the public isn't able to see Congress take an open, up-or-down vote on whether or not to raise their salaries." [PolitiFact Florida,10/27/11]

 

Rehberg Is One Of The Richest Members Of Congress. As of 2010, Rehberg's estimated net worth was $10.90 million, ranking him number 23 on Roll Call's "Richest Members of Congress" list. [Roll Call, 6/18/12]

 

Visual: Congressman Rehberg Voted Against Helping Wounded Vets.

 

[Roll Call Vote 304, 5/31/12]

 

 

Audio: And now Congressman Rehberg wants us to call him Senator? No way.

 

DISCLAIMER

 

 

 

 

 

Webby Award Official HonoreePaid for VoteVets Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. VoteVets Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization which primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf veterans and their families. VoteVets Political Action Committee is a federal political committee which primarily helps elect Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran candidates and educates about veterans and military issues aimed at influencing the outcome of the next election.

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VoteVets Political Action and Vote Vets Action Fund are separate organizations.