We don’t write about politics here on Wildfire Today unless there is a direct tie-in to wildland fire, and the lawsuit that Congressman Dennis Rehberg of Montana filed against the Billings Fire Department qualifies. Now that Congressman Rehberg is running for a Senate seat as a Republican, he is being criticized by his opponent and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for that lawsuit.
The Congressman attempted to obtain money from the City of Billings for some vegetation that burned on undeveloped land owned by the Congressman and his wife during an 1,100-acre wildfire in 2008.
In 2011 he threw his wife under the bus by claiming it was she that filed the lawsuit, and then later tried to minimize the damage to his campaign by saying “It’s not about the money”. He explained that he was doing it for the good of the fire department so they could learn from their mistake. Eventually, in November, 2011, he dropped the lawsuit.
Here is the text of the above video:
(Narrator):Wildfires … they destroy homes and lives. Firefighters put themselves on the line every day. But instead of thanking them, Congressman Dennis Rehberg filed a lawsuit against the fire department blaming firefighters for damage on his property.
(Voice of news reporter:) Attorneys for the City of Billings say it cost nearly $21,000 to defend the Magic City against a lawsuit filed by Congressman Dennis Rehberg.
(Narrator:) Dennis Rehberg. He’s for himself. Not us.
UPDATE, October 6, 2012:
More videos uncovered about a US Representative’s lawsuit against the Billings Fire Department
We have found two more videos along the same lines, one by Majoritypac, and the one below that features a person identified as Tim Bergstrom, a retired Billings firefighter.
Thanks go out to Dick