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Strong Charges From Montana Broadcasters and Rehberg Campaign Over Debate

empty debate stage
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As of Sunday night, there seems to be some question as to whether or not the  scheduled second debate between incumbent Senator Jon Tester and his Republican challenger Denny Rehberg on Sunday, June 24th at the Montana Broadcasters Association convention in Whitefish will take place. An e-mail from the Rehberg campaign cast doubt on the debate, castigating MBA President Greg McDonald over a scheduling error. Here is the text of that email..

Good evening—

In light of continued misinformation regarding a debate sponsored by the Montana Broadcasters Association, please consider the following statement from Montanans for Rehberg:

“The claims being made by Greg MacDonald, the President of the Montana Broadcasters Association, are completely false. And despite repeated requests, MacDonald has refused to provide any evidence of his claims because it simply does not exist. Even though MacDonald saw fit to announce our participation without so much as inviting us, much less receiving our agreement, we made every effort to work with him to reconcile this debate with our schedule because we believed it would be an important opportunity to contrast Denny’s independent record with Senator Tester’s 95% support for President Obama. Unfortunately, MacDonald has refused to even discuss the schedule or take responsibility for his mistake, and now he is misleading his Association members, the news media, and Montana voters.” — Erik Iverson, Rehberg Campaign Manager.

Montana Broadcasters Association President Greg MacDonald reacted to the email by saying the debate planning began between the two parties the day after the primary, and that assurances had been received from both campaigns of their attendance. MacDonald said “Maybe my big mistake was thinking that we were still in Montana, where a man’s word is as good as his bond’.

The Rehberg campaign has asked Mac Donald to provide copies of emails or other correspondence confirming the Congressman’s participation in the debate. Reportedly, the Rehberg campaign agreed to appear at the debate at a different time, but that the television schedule could not be changed.

MacDonald says the televised debate will take place as scheduled with our without Mr. Rehberg in attendance.

Montana Broadcasters Association President Greg MacDonald

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Sunday evening at 7:45, Rehberg for Senate Campaign Manager Erik Iverson replied to MacDonald’s statements. Iverson says “Mr. MacDonald is clearly very partisan, he’s clearly not being honest, and he set this entire thing up to try and cast Denny Rehberg in a bad light.”

Rehberg for Senate Campaign Manager Erik Iverson

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