Jack Abramoff would certainly be proud. First, you pass legislation that the credit card industry and the banking industry doesn’t like. (i.e. You create the problem.) Now that you’ve created the problem, you work to pass legislation that overturns your previous action. All the while, you rake in the cash from the big moneyed interests now backing your latest move.
That is basically what is playing out via advertising across Montana as we speak, as the credit unions and credit card companies duke it out with retailers who oppose a change. (And this isn’t the first time this year that this tactic has played out. Remember the 1099 provision? That was a tax provision that Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jon Tester included in the federal health care bill. They created that problem, and then patted themselves on the back for later getting rid of it.)
Now, fresh off of news reports showing Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) raising over a million dollars for his 2012 re-election effort, The Hill has an explosive new report detailing how Sen. Tester raked in campaign contributions from the credit card industry.
More, from The Hill.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has reaped a windfall in contributions from banks and lobbyists since introducing legislation to delay new regulations on debit-card swipe fees.
Tester collected nearly $60,000 in contributions from credit card companies and other opponents of the proposed caps on swipe fees in the 17 days following the introduction of his bill, public fundraising records show.
The biggest surge of contributions to Tester’s campaign came from employees of TCF Financial Corp., the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit to block what has become known as the Durbin rule.
Read much, much more in detail by clicking here for the full story.
Plus, environmentalists are throwing big bucks the senators way after he bucked the state’s farm and ranch community and refused to block the EPA from moving forward on new carbon dioxide regulations.
The League of Conservation Voters is running this ad bashing Tester’s 2012 opponent.
This cookie cutter ad is also being used in several other states, including Nevada- against Republican Congressman Dean Heller.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal had this:
Heller, who is running for the U.S. Senate, was joined by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., Denny Rehberg, R-Montana, and Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., on the target list of what the LCV said was a $250,000 radio ad campaign. The Nevada Conservation League chipped in on the Heller commercials.
While raking in cash from national environmental groups, Tester’s vote certainly rankled the farm and ranch community back here in Montana.
Jake Cummins, Executive Director for the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, says Tester broke his promise to stand up for agriculture.
He wrote this in The Helena Independent Record:
In fact, when former Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced the House of Representatives to vote on it, not only did our only Congressman Denny Rehberg vote no, but he was joined by every single member from the surrounding states of Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. That includes both Republicans and Democrats. We are glad he did. An independent economist predicted that if cap-and-tax had passed, it would have cost Montana 8,600 jobs.
Despite the fact that this should be a no-brainer, both Sens. Baucus and Tester voted to allow the EPA to move forward with its regulation of carbon dioxide, letting EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson usurp their Senate prerogative by presuming to act without Congressional authority. By failing to rein in the out-of-control EPA bureaucracy, Max Baucus and Jon Tester condoned her presumption and condemned the many small family farms and ranches that make up the largest part of Montana’s economy to significantly increased operating expenses and burdensome permitting requirements at a time when farm input costs are already approaching all-time highs.