Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) became the number one recipient of lobbyists’ cash during the 2018 election cycle, according to new data from the Open Secrets database.
Sen. Tester has raised the most money from lobbyists–$394,478– during the 2018 election cycle, according to new data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.
The Montana Democrat beat out four fellow Senate Democrats, including Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who took up the remaining spots for the top five senators to raise the most money from lobbyists.
Tester has raised more than $1 million from lobbyists throughout his career.
Calvin Moore, a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman, said in a statement on Monday:
Senator Tester got to Washington and became exactly the kind of swampy career politician he promised Montana he wasn’t going to become. Montanans deserve a Senator who will put their needs first, not another mouthpiece for high-dollar lobbyists and Washington special interests like Jon Tester.
When Tester first ran for U.S. Senate in 2006, he promised to be immune from the money and influence of K Street lobbyists.
“You’ve got to have somebody who will go to Washington, DC, and fight for you. … I won’t sell you down the road by cutting deals with K Street lobbyists. … [Montanans] need the greatest representation not encumbered by high-dollared lobbyists,” Tester said in 2006.
Sen. Tester’s campaign for re-election also struck controversy last week when a Pearl Jam poster for a get-out-the-vote concert promoting Tester featured a dead President Donald Trump and an American bald eagle eating the remains of his corpse.
Chris Meagher, Jon Tester’s campaign spokesman, disavowed the Pearl Jam poster. However, Tester himself has yet to condemn it.
Matt Rosendale, Tester’s Republican challenger, told Breitbart News Tonight that he found it “very disturbing” that the Montana senator has not personally condemned the controversial Pearl Jam poster.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, a close friend of Sen. Tester, said last week that he welcomes “all interpretations” of his inflammatory poster.