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Bloomberg News: Big Money Montana Senate Race Shows Tester’s Lobbyist Links

02.20.24 |

News

  • Tester’s campaign among top recipients of lobbyist donations
  • Lobbyists also donate to Republican frontrunner Tim Sheehy

Bank of New York Mellon lobbyist Alison O’Donnell, a former senior aide to Sen. Jon Tester, took part in a meeting with her old boss at the end of last year.

It’s the kind of routine huddle that wouldn’t be noteworthy but for two reasons: The Montana Democrat pledged to go beyond Senate requirements by voluntarily disclosing his official calendar, making such interactions public, and he restricts the ability of former aides to lobby him.

A high ethical bar that doesn’t apply to anyone else could be framed as a strength in a re-election campaign this year that will be crucial to deciding which party controls the Senate.

However, there’s a flip side: Anything short of 100% compliance can become an unforced error as Republicans concentrate resources in a state that former President Donald Trump carried by 16 points in 2020.

Campaigns and outside groups from both parties have reserved more than $100 million in ad buys for the race, according to the tracking firm AdImpact.

Tester’s lobbyist and industry connections “will be at the forefront of the campaign against him,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Maggie Abboud said in a statement.

Read more from the original publication HERE.

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