First endorsed by 21st Century Democrats when he ran for Montana State Senate in 1998, Tester is now under attack by the far right because of his principled stands as the U.S. Senator representing Montana, a seat he has held since 2006.
- Advocated for oversight of the Wall Street banks that helped cause the financial crisis, working to end the era of “too big to fail”
- A leader in calling for limiting corporate influence on elections and corporate donations to candidates
- Wrote a pro-consumer credit card law that includes a ban on unfair interest rate hikes and a ban on credit companies exploiting young Americans, like college students
- Introduced The Public Online Information Act, government transparency legislation requiring public documents be posted online and establishing an independent watchdog committee to make public information more accessible online
Why We Like Him:
Senator Jon Tester has used his seat on the Banking Committee to take the lead on Wall Street reform and consumer protections. As a third-generation family farmer, Tester works for the interests family farmers and knows first hand that climate change is real, advocating renewable energy sources.
On the Supreme Court decision striking down Montana’s campaign spending limits, Tester said, “This decision rolls back 100 years of transparency in Montana, returning us to an era when millionaires and billionaires bought elections for themselves. That’s not free speech; it’s corruption. Today’s ruling is an endorsement of secret spending and the backwards notion that corporations somehow have the same constitutional rights as American citizens. We don’t believe that in Montana. We believe that people and their ideas — not corporations and their money — influence elections.”
While serving in the Senate, Tester still farms the same land outside Big Sandy, Montana, where he grew up and where his grandfather homesteaded nearly 100 years ago.
Tester launched his political career in response to huge rate hikes following the deregulation of Montana’s energy industry in the 1990s.
He was the first member of Congress to post his daily public schedule on his website. He helped pass sweeping ethics reform, and then went beyond those rules and banned all gifts, meals and travel from lobbyists for himself and his staff. He barred any staffers who become lobbyists from ever lobbying him or being rehired. And he began posting all of his requests for funding for Montana projects on his website for the public to see.
Based on his record on transparency, Tester has claimed the title “Montana’s advocate for accountability.”