Montana Repubs attack firefighters - again

Just saw on MSNBC that Rep. Danny Rehberg is attacking Montana forest firefighters for burning trees on his property. The sub for Ratigan rightly criticized Rehberg's greed and praised heroic firefighters, but didn't point out that this is par the course for Montana Repubs. Then-Senator Conrad Burns called firefighters lazy in 2006 - and lost to Jon Tester, giving Dems control of the Senate. From Butte's KXLF:

The lawsuit filed last Friday contends property and equipment was damaged at Rehberg Ranch Estates because the fire department breached its duty during a wildfire. The July 2008 fire burned more than 1,100 acres in the subdivision just north of the Billings Rimrocks.

Monday Democratic Congressional nominee Dennis McDonald said Rehberg's lawsuit will have a chilling effect on fire departments and volunteer firefighters. 

"As a volunteer firefighter in Melville, I don't want to have to worry about being sued, when I'm asked to help fight a fire," said McDonald. "The Billings Fire Department and the heroes who work there should not have to worry about the Rehbergs suing them while they are putting everything they have into doing what's right," McDonald said in a campaign press release.

McDonald says Rehberg's lawsuit is reminiscent of former Senator Conrad Burns' outburst when he called firefighters lazy during the 2006 summer wildfire season.  Burns later apologized for his remarks... 

"Congressman Rehberg, who has a net worth of $63 million, is now after the citizens of Billings for another million dollars," said McDonald. McDonald says he believes the firefighters who worked the Rehberg ranch fire two years ago deserve a "thank you" not a Rehberg lawsuit.

McDonald is one of the candidates on the online ballot for Democracy For America's next round of Grassroots All-Stars. I voted for him yesterday, along with Tom White and Anne McLane Kuster, before seeing this story. I sure don't regret that vote today.

Tags: Denny Rehberg, Dennis McDonald, 2010 midterms, Montana, forest fires, mt-al (all tags)

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