In the past, Montana Senator Jon Tester has condemned hiring lobbyists to run campaigns, stating that the “revolving door is going to stop with me.” Now, attempting to reach his fourth term, Tester is breaking his own rule by hiring a former lobbyist to run his campaign. On April 4th, he announced that he “couldn’t be prouder” to hire Shelbi Dantic, a former climate nonprofit lobbyist with Montana Conservation Voters, as his campaign manager. Her nonprofit worked to transition the U.S. economy “away from oil and gas,” according to the Washington Free Beacon. Montana Conservation Voters expressed their joy over Dantic’s hiring writing they are “DELIGHTED” to see Dantic “leading the way to reelect” Tester.
According to the Washington Free Beacon:
Tester’s decision to tap a former lobbyist to run his reelection bid contradicts the rhetoric that helped him get to the Senate in the first place. During his inaugural 2006 Senate campaign, Tester hammered his Republican opponent for hiring lobbyists, calling the practice “not right.” Tester even committed to a self-imposed ethics pledge, which saw him promise that any former lobbyist on his staff would be banned from working with his or her prior employer. “The fact is we have a mess back in Washington, D.C., right now because we do not have honest and ethical people back there,” Tester said at the time. “That revolving door is going to stop with me. I put forth an ethics plan that says, ‘No more.’”
There is no doubt that Dancic will continue to work with Montana Conservation Voters while in her new role. The group endorsed Tester and has a national partner, the League of Conservation Voters. Just last month, Tester was the headline speaker at the Montana Conservation Voters’ Annual Member Celebration. He lauded the group during his address, saying, “I’m proud to stand with MCV in the fight to keep our state the Last Best Place. We can always count on them to do what’s right for the Treasure State.”
Tester has obviously chosen easy cash over staying true to his word and the people of Montana will be sure to take note.