Tester Opposes Obama’s Jobs Bill; Spokesperson Wins Reward?

By Beacon Staff

In one of the stranger gimmicks I’ve seen lately, the Montana Republican Party sent out a mass e-mail Wednesday that included a picture of Sen. Jon Tester on a “wanted” poster. It offered $100 “payable to anyone who can get him on the record with a position” on President Barack Obama’s jobs bill.

In an interview with the Beacon last week, Tester only said that he wasn’t sold on parts of the president’s plan, a $447-billion package that includes a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure and state aid that would partially be paid for by raising taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year.

And in an <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63887.html" title="interview with Politico“>interview with Politico earlier this week, Tester didn’t say whether he supported the legislation.

“This plan isn’t the one I would have written, nor is it the one that will end up passing Congress,” Tester said. “But I welcome all ideas to the table so Congress can work together to create jobs, cut debt and cut spending.”

But just hours after Wednesday’s e-mail began circulating, Tester spokesperson Aaron Murphy told Roll Call’s “Heard on the Hill” that the senator opposes the bill.

“I can say that Jon is against the president’s proposal,” Murphy told HOH. “So I guess the reward money goes to me.”

(Ahem, Mr. Murphy. We beg to differ. HOH won fair and square.)

“The Montana GOP can make its check payable to the Billings Fire Department to help with legal fees brought on by Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s lawsuit against firefighters,” Murphy said, making reference to the Montana Republican’s lawsuit against the city of Billings for not fully extinguishing a wildfire on the Congressman’s property.

A spokesperson with the <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_33/HOH_Wins_Money_From_Montana_GOP-208909-1.html" title="Montana GOP told Roll Call“>Montana GOP told Roll Call that Tester’s spokesperson (instead of Tester) saying the senator opposes the legislation doesn’t count. Did you get all that? Anyway, that $100 is still up for grabs.