Jon Tester Montana Politics

Rehberg and Tester on Lobbyists

In a political world so often dominated by talking points written and delivered by surrogates, it’s too rare to be able to compare candidates directly based on their own words. When it comes to lobbyists, let’s compare what Tester and Rehberg have to say.

My apologies for not sourcing Mr. Tester’s remarks, but the journalist who clipped it from another reporter’s interview didn’t give credit for it. From Senator Tester:

From Represenative Rehberg:

And again:

Of course, Representative Rehberg should be a bit more concerned about the lobbyists he associates with, because in the past he’s found himself associating with the kind of person who ends up in prison.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • How you can draw distinctions between the two candidates based on thirty-second ads put out by one is remarkable testimony to the power of advertising as a psychologically manipulative force, in your case reinforcing your preexisting prejudices. Any person can give advice to an office holder. What Tester fails to mention is that the only means of access to him to offer advice is by means of campaign contributions. Legal bribes buy access, and “advice” carries weight because of the money and power behind it. (Example: Environmental groups opposing FJRA were not consulted in advance and were ridiculed after introduction. Why? They lack money, and so had no access to the senator or his staff.)

    The Rehberg clipps were of course the result of a massive cherry-picking operation paid for by campaign contributions – it takes ad agency staff months to sort through all of the available footage to find one or two clips that might have some emotionally manipulative value.

    You’ve been bamboozled by Tester, long and hard. Our inclination is to avoid evidence of our own bamboozlement, as it destroys our self-assurance. You reaction has been to buy ever and ever deeper in to the game, to double down. Perhaps your best hope of achieving a balanced outlook on this election would be to restrict yourself to Rehberg 30-second spots and avoid Tester’s.

  • I agree that there is not much oint in comparing lobbyist donations. It is a fact of life these days that one can’t compete for a national race without this kind of money. Too bad, really. And 30 second ads don’t tell anyone a thing. I have voted for 47 year now and have always tried to be responsible about it. My conclusions are that a person’s character is really pretty abvious from the start. Who lies, who does not. Who steals and who does not. Who cheats on his wife, who does not. Who exagerates the facts and who does not. I have voted as often for republicans as democrats over those 47 years but not this time. I have never seen a more morally or ethically challenged group as the republicans in this election. From the presidential race on down to the county commissioner I really would not want any one of them in my home.

    • Indeed, fear of the other party has proven to be a viable strategy to keep voting citizens from questioning the Coke/Pepsi choices we are given. Obama’s people know full well, for example, that you are dissatisfied with him, but also know you are so afraid of Republicans that you’ll vote for him no matter what.

      Consider now and then that you’re being played.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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