The Ethics of Jon Tester
by Shari Dovale
Montana Democrat Jon Tester is quite the ethics zealot.
Tester claims he was the first, and remains one of the only, Member of Congress to publicly post his schedule on his website starting in 2007. Yet, since he was elected in that first term … OOPS, he must have forgotten the pledge … he has never posted a staff meeting during his time in office.
Currently running for a fourth term, Tester promised to “end secret meetings with lobbyists” and to “post a list of every in-office meeting that I or my staff has had with a lobbyist” during his 2006 campaign. Except … here’s that OOPS again … he met with Anduril Industries, a company that lobbies on defense and border security issues. Their discussion was among almost three months’ worth of meetings that Tester’s office, citing a staff error, did not disclose until the following month,
Now, Tester says he wants to ban Members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists, calling it a “revolving door” policy. Yet … Double OOPS … at least two dozen former senators and House members who have gone on to lobbying careers have contributed personally or through their old campaign committees more than $100,000 combined to Tester’s campaigns and affiliated PAC.
Tester seems to believe that he is a paragon of moral principles and ethics. Why else would he call for the resignation of Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-N.J.) amid federal charges of bribery, fraud and extortion?
“I’ve read the detailed charges against Sen. Menendez and find them deeply disturbing. While he deserves a fair trial like every other American, I believe Sen. Menendez should resign for the sake of the public’s faith in the U.S. Senate,” Tester said in a statement.
His PAC, Montanans for Tester, will donate the $10,000 it received from Menendez’s PAC to a veterans charity.
Yes, he says that he received just $10k and he is going to give it all away to remove himself from the black smear that Menendez has placed on the Senate.
Here comes another OOPS … Except that Federal campaign finance records show that Montanans for Tester accepted a total of $30,000 from Menendez over several election cycles.
Oh darn it all, that baffling conundrum called ethics.
Maybe they can bring these issues into the next election cycle, and ask him about it during a debate with Tim Sheehy? I’m sure Tester will have figured out an answer to these hard questions by then.