Montana Chamber Presidents Distance Themselves from U.S. Chamber Ads

By Beacon Staff

Aaron Murphy, with Sen. Jon Tester’s campaign, sent along letters from chamber of commerce presidents in Great Falls and Missoula in which they distance themselves from a series of negative advertisements aimed at Tester that are paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In a letter to the Great Falls Tribune, which isn’t available online, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President made clear that “dues from any Chamber member do not go to that PAC and, therefore, don’t help pay for those ads.”

The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce does not support any negative ads on any candi–date. We highly recommend that any negative ad toward any candidate be taken with skepticism until it has been researched, evaluated and verified before anyone makes a final decision regarding that candidate.

The Missoula Chamber of Commerce also responded to “several calls from our members expressing concern” about the advertisements. A letter from John Brauer, chairman of the board, and Kim Latrielle, Missoula Chamber president, read in part:

We do not condone the tone of these commercials and believe this type of campaigning is counterproductive. As an independent organization governed by local business and community partners, we do not automatically agree with either the Montana Chamber of Commerce or the U.S. Chamber on their polices or messages. We do not endorse political candidates and we do not pay for advertisements regarding candidates.

One of the ads running against Tester: