Talking Points Memo: State Chamber Of Commerce Members Defend Montana’s Tester From U.S. Chamber’s ‘Hit’ Ads

Recent news in the Montana Senate race shows that large, national interest groups’ views don’t always coincide with all of their members in the local community organizations — with some Chamber of Commerce members objecting to ads being run against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

The municipal Chambers — which often function as community groups as much as political ones — have had to explain to members that their local dues have not gone to pay for the ads. The ads are funded by the U.S. Chamber’s PAC, to which people specifically donate for the purpose of political advocacy.

Tester was narrowly elected in the Democratic wave year of 2006, defeating Republican incumbent Sen. Conrad Burns. National Republicans have recruited Montana’s lone member of the House of Representatives, Denny Rehberg, and recent polling has shown a tight race with Rehberg more often ahead by a very slim margin.

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