Politifact Examines Tester’s Lobbyist Contributions

Aaron Flint posted on July 11, 2012 08:09 :: 1083 Views

The Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact.com analyzes an ad criticizing Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) as he faces a tough re-election bid against Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg (R).  

The ad, produced by Americans for Prosperity, mentions how Sen. Tester is the largest recipient of lobbyist money, citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  While Tester may not lead the US Senate in lobbyist contributions over a 6 year period, Politifact noted that Tester did lead the US Senate in contributions “by registered lobbyists made to candidates’ campaign committees during the 2011-2012 period.”  

You can click here to read the full breakdown, here’s an excerpt which shows their ruling. 

POLITIFACT: Americans for Prosperity claimed that Tester is “the largest recipient of lobbyist money” in the Senate, and it provided as backup a chart from a credible, independent organization showing Tester topping the list. However, the ad doesn’t clarify an important quirk in how CRP puts together its rankings: The ranking is based only on donations made this election cycle. That makes the ad’s phrasing somewhat misleading, because donations tend to spike during a senator’s re-election cycle, and looking just one cycle essentially excludes other senators who have accepted more money than Tester if the comparison had been made on an apples-to-apples basis. We rate this claim Half True.

While Politifact put their “truth-o-meter” to work analyzing this ad, their conclusions still raise questions about Tester’s 2006 claim that he wouldn’t cozy up to lobbyists if elected to the US Senate.  For that claim, Montanans will have to put their own “truth-o-meter” to work in November.  

Click below to watch the AFP ad:

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