Tester: Against Earmarks Before He Was For Them
The Montana Democrat is "thinking about" supporting earmark ban.
1:55 PM, Nov 18, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
With less than favorable polling for his upcoming reelection bid, Democratic senator Jon Tester of Montana will be a top 2012 Republican target. In 2006, Tester narrowly bested Republican incumbent Conrad Burns by just over 3,000 votes, and a large part of Tester's campaign against Burns--who was plagued by the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandals--was focused on the need to cut spending and end earmarks.
In a 2006 debate, Tester railed against earmarks that snuck through without scrutiny, and then went one step further. “Quite frankly, I don't support earmarks, period,” the future senator said. Asked Wednesday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD about this quote, Tester first responded, “I haven’t eaten lunch yet,” before clarifying he is against earmarks "without transparency." That’s a different tune from his 2006 debate statement that he was against all earmarks "period."
Asked Wednesday if he supports a proposed moratorium on earmarks, Tester said he’s “thinking about it.”
Republican Denny Rehberg, Montana's at-large congressman, released a statement today urging Tester and Montana's senior senator, Democrat Max Baucus, to vote for the earmark ban. Here's a snippet:
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