Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…aboard this tiny ship. -Gilligan’s Island theme song
Maybe. Maybe not.
Back in January 2011, I wrote a column titled, “Final Word: The Boat Crash” regarding the 2009 boat crash involving U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, former state Sen. Greg Barkus and three others.
The issue won’t go away. It will continue to be a topic of discussion anytime Denny Rehberg runs for public office – along with many of his other missteps during his political career.
A few weeks ago, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) “sent a letter to the Clerk of Court for Flathead County, Montana requesting the release of the pre-sentencing investigation report (PSI) in the criminal case State of Montana v. Barkus.” Then, according to CREW, “The court ordered the parties to the underlying action – presumably Sen. Barkus and Rep. Rehberg – to respond to CREW’s request for the PSI by October 23, 2012, showing how the demands of individual privacy outweigh the merits of public disclosure.”
October 23 was yesterday. The attorney for Greg Barkus filed a motion for a 30-day continuance saying the request from CREW was for their “own political motives.”
According to an Associated Press story posted yesterday, Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan “said he would not object to the release of an edited version of the document that removes all personal information on Barkus, Rehberg and the other injured passengers. The edited version also should exclude any description of chemical or alcohol use by Barkus, or any information about his financial or marital status.”
The Montana Street Fighter blog talks about the “chemical” issue HERE.
Sure, the request for the information is “political” but that is not an argument. The argument from Barkus’ attorney just leads one to believe that there’s something in this report possibly damaging to his friend, Denny Rehberg, who is challenging U.S. Senator Jon Tester.
To quickly clear things up, Rehberg should send a letter to the Judge and tell him that all information in the pre-sentencing investigation report about him can be released now. That’s what people really want to know.
If you’ve read my columns over the years, you know that drunk drivers (or drunk boaters) rank right down there with pond scum in my book. Judges and prosecutors who allow them to plea-bargain or pay their way out of the punishment are in the same boat (pardon the pun).
So in my view, nothing should be “edited” in the document in regards to Barkus or Rehberg – who were both elected officials at that time (Rehberg still is). As for the other people in boat, especially the two staffers employed by Rehberg, any information about them should be redacted unless it is a statement about Barkus or Rehberg. The same thing should apply to Barkus’ spouse.
Montanans deserve to read the pre-sentencing investigation report of State of Montana v. Barkus before November 6.
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