|Just Days Ago Said “We Shouldn’t Be Sending Billions Of Dollars In Bailout Aid To States,” But Voted Last Night To Do Just That
WASHINGTON — Despite declaring just ten days ago that “we shouldn’t be sending billions of dollars in bailout aid to states,” Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) flip-flopped last night, voting instead with Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Senate liberals to send tens of billions of dollars to state governments in what Tester himself has dubbed a “bailout,” while raising taxes on families and small-business owners.
As Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill reports:
The first measure, a piece of President Obama’s larger jobs package, failed by a tally of 50 to 50 after several Democrats joined with Republicans to the Senate from moving to the measure… [Nebraska Sen. Ben] Nelson and Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) were the two Democrats to vote against the president’s full “jobs” package last week. Tester voted yes on Thursday’s measure.
And despite Tester’s insistence that he wanted changes made to the underlying bailout bill, Thursday night’s vote was the one that mattered because, had the measure attained the 60 votes needed to proceed, Tester’s fellow Democrats could have passed Obama’s bailout through the Senate with just 51 votes.
Ironically, Tester’s flip-flop is just the latest example of his words not matching his deeds when it comes to bailouts. Tester was caught last week claiming in a taxpayer-funded direct mail piece to have opposed “all bailouts,” despite his vote to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – as reported by the Associated Press.
“Senator Tester’s flip-flop to vote for this bailout and tax-hike package is just the latest example of Tester not keeping his word to Montanans,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “Whether he’s flip-flopping to please President Obama and his Washington party bosses, or blatantly misleading the public about his hypocrisy, it’s clear that Jon Tester continues to put his own narrow Washington agenda over the best interests of Montana.”
Meanwhile, as the Solyndra loan scandal continues to fester in the wake of Tester and Obama’s original $825 billion stimulus debacle, new and disturbing headlines like these continue to remind Montanans of the pair’s failed economic agenda:
· ABC News: Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland. With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work. Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland. “There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”….An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News that will air on “Good Morning America” found that the DOE’s bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded.
Just The Latest Tester Hypocrisy…
As a reminder, taxpayer-funded bailouts are not the only issue set on which Tester’s hypocrisy have drawn criticism in recent weeks.
· Just last week, the Associated Press compared Tester’s strident anti-lobbyist rhetoric to his record as the number-one recipient of lobbyist campaign cash so far in the 2012 cycle – a fact which Tester falsely denied on the air recently: Six year ago, farmer Jon Tester ran as an outsider fighting lobbyists and corruption in Washington D.C. … But after nearly five years in the U.S. Senate the Democrat’s pledge is being tested amid one of the hottest Senate races in the country and the demands of raising millions in campaign money… his opponent, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, is finding it rich hunting ground for hypocrisy… Republicans have been hammering Tester for taking a lot of campaign cash from lobbyists after denouncing the influence of lobbyists. So far this election cycle the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found that Tester took more campaign cash from lobbyists than any other members of Congress. The GOP also made hay earlier this year when it was revealed that big banks dumped money into Tester’s campaign coffers as he took their side in opposing the congressionally mandated caps on debit card swipe fees.. “He can deny it if he wants. But he was number one in receiving money from lobbyists. That is a fact,” Rehberg said. “For a guy that went into the last campaign saying `not me. Not going to do it,’ but then to be number one out of 535, it is hypocrisy.”
· And the Great Falls Tribune reported Tuesday on Tester’s hypocritical attacks on an American job-creator while he himself accepts campaign cash from companies doing business with Iran: All American companies should cease doing business with Iran, and those that continue should be required by law to fully disclose all business activity to the public, said Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester during a Senate Banking hearing last week. Now, Tester is taking heat for suggesting during the hearing that Koch Industries was doing business in Iran after the company released a statement stating it ceased business in the country years ago. Mark Holden, Koch Industries’ general counsel, said the policy proposed by Tester is already Koch policy. Tester also is facing criticism for taking campaign contributions from companies with affiliates still doing business in Iran. Philip Ellender, President and COO at Koch Companies Public Sector, called the Koch reference a political move. David and Charles Koch have been major funders of conservative causes and the target of criticism by Democrats. “The reason Senator Tester singled out Koch Industries is because of our political positions and beliefs,” Ellender said. “This is just the latest in the concerted attacks against us.” Tester’s re-election campaign has mentioned the Koch brothers in at least five fundraising emails.
o In reporting on this very issue, the Weekly Standard discovered that, under fire for his hypocrisy, Tester attempted to scrub his Senate website of his remarks: I contacted Senator Tester’s press secretary by both phone and email on Friday to ask if Tester would return Honeywell’s money, since he is on record as saying “no responsible and patriotic American business should be dealing with Iran in any way.” Since my phone call, and perhaps sensing that he’s vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy here, the statement on Tester’s website has been toned down considerably. In particular, the quote where Tester says “no responsible and patriotic American business should be dealing with Iran in any way” has been removed. (You can still read the original statement on Tester’s Facebook page.)
Sen. Tester: “We Shouldn’t Be Sending Billions Of Dollars In Bailout Aid To States.” (Sen. Jon Tester, Statement, 10/11/11)