Posted: Mar 18, 2013 7:35 AM by Drew Trafton
BILLINGS-- Former Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg is getting back to work.
However, instead of serving as a Republican representative in the U.S. House, he'll be taking the experience he amassed during his six-terms in Congress to the well known public strategy firm Mercury/Clark & Weinstock based in the nation's capital.
Mercury, a firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, is a part of Omnicom Group, Inc. - a publically traded international juggernaut in the marketing world that boasts 5,000 clients in more than 100 different countries worldwide.
Mercury, where Rehberg will join several other former Congressmen under the title of Co-Chairman, operates business in the fields of state and federal government relations, polling and survey research, digital communications, media strategy and claims "a bipartisan grassroots mobilization network in all 50 states."
"It's pretty exciting because I joined a firm that's going to give me an opportunity to do the things I like to do-and that's remain involved in the issues that are important to the people of Montana," said Rehberg.
Rehberg says he was approached to join the firm following his loss in the U.S. Senate Race to incumbent Jon Tester in November.
"We're not asking you to be a lobbyist, we're asking you to live where you want to live," Rehberg recounted of his early conversations with the bi-partisan group touting former Congressmen from both parties. "(It's) a bigger idea where we talk about grassroots, we talk about polling and media. Trying to help groups best understand how to function in both the business world and the governmental world."
Rehberg attributes the firm's interest in him to his time and experience gained from being chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that dealt with health, education and labor in the U.S. House.
The former Congressman and Lieutenant Governor (1991-1997)says he is looking forward to acting as a consultant to the intermountain west region of the United States-especially when it comes to working with individuals and businesses involved in energy and healthcare.
"I'm going to give businesses advice on how to adjust to some of the disruption that's going to occur as a result of a change within our healthcare system," said Rehberg. "It's going to be a problem for businesses and, because I was chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that dealt with having to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare - I've got the ability to give advice to Montana businesses as they have problems with the changes."
Rehberg says following his loss in November, he took time to reflect on his accomplishments as well as his regrets-chief among them, the lack of flexibility he had whiles serving in Congress when it came to spending time with his family.
"You know, I'd fly in and travel around Montana, but it was always work on the weekends," said Rehberg. "This way, I get to spend time with my 14-year-old daughter and Jan sees me more. But I also get to stay involved in the things that matter most to me."
His new job will allow him to work mostly from his home in Billings as well as afford him time off on occasion-new luxuries Rehberg says he expects will put a nail in the coffin of his political career.
"I really did want to be a Senator," said Rehberg. "I thought I could do a good job. I had a lot of ideas for moving Montana and the nation forward. But it wasn't meant to be. It didn't work out. And my life goes on and I have a new chapter in my life and I want to continue in serving Montana. But I'll do it in a little different way. I'll do it from the outside trying to give advice in how to bridge that gap. So, I have no intention of running again."
However, Rehberg says he has been paying very close attention to what is happening in Washington since his final term ended, and he was quick to issue a warning to current lawmakers concerning spending and the national debt.
"Are we so arrogant to believe that America can survive no matter what we do? History is full of examples of countries that came and were gone because they spent more, they gave more than they were able to afford," said Rehberg. "And we better be careful that we don't find ourselves in the same situation."