Tester picks up another key endorsement

Montana Standard calls farmer a ‘moderate… who works for Montanans’

November 2, 2012

Billings, Mont. – Building on his “clean sweep” of key newspaper endorsements across Montana, farmer Jon Tester earned the praise of the Montana Standard—the daily newspaper serving Butte.

“Tester has proven over the last six years that he works for Montanans,” the Montana Standard writes in Friday’s endorsement.  “And his hard work has paid off.”

The Montana Standard specifically notes Tester’s work serving veterans across southwestern Montana.  The newspaper also noted Tester’s bipartisan work in removing Montana’s wolves from the Endangered Species List, allowing law-abiding Americans to transport firearms through national parks, preventing the closure of U.S. Postal Service facilities and pushing to return Amtrak Service to southern Montana.

“Tester is viewed more as a moderate than a Democrat and often talks at editorial boards about Republicans he’s worked with to get needed bills passed,” the Standard writes.

The Standard also praises Tester’s landmark Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, bipartisan legislation that “shows forward thinking.”

The Montana Standard is the latest in a growing list of newspaper endorsements for Tester.  Other Montana papers endorsing the Montana farmer include:

·         The Billings Gazette

·         The Missoulian

·         Bozeman Daily Chronicle

·         Missoula Independent

The Montana Standard has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats this election.  The paper’s full editorial appears below.

STANDARD VIEW: Tester deserves 2nd term

Montana Standard

Published Nov. 2, 2012

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Congressman Denny Rehberg are locked in a tight race to see who will serve Montanans as their next senator.

The Montana Standard editorial board believes that Democrat Jon Tester should retain that seat. Tester has proven over the last six years that he works for Montanans. And his hard work has paid off. Republican Rehberg has not shown that type of accomplishment in his 12 years in the House.

For example, Tester’s work for veterans has been outstanding, from helping secure a veterans home here in Butte to a law that provides employers incentives for hiring veterans. He was successful in securing more money for VA mileage reimbursements, something important to vets who have to travel great distances for health care. He also sponsored a bill that led to expanding access to VA health care in rural Montana, by expanding or opening new clinics.

Here’s a checklist of his other accomplishments as noted by a recent Standard State Bureau story in the Sunday Montana Standard:

  • Sponsored bill that led to removing wolves from Endangered Species List, returning management to the state.
  • Sponsored bill that led to allowing Americans to carry firearms through national parks.
  • Sponsored amendment that exempted farms and small food producers from federal food-safety regulations.
  • Sponsored amendment to require Amtrak to examine feasibility of restoring route through southern Montana.

Tester is viewed more as a moderate than a Democrat and often talks at editorial boards about Republicans he’s worked with to get needed bills passed. He teamed up with a Republican congressman on the wolf issue, for instance. He often cites names of those in the GOP he knows and trusts to help accomplish goals.

Locally, he proposed the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, to open the forest to more timber harvests, curb the nagging environmental lawsuits that halt production and establish some new roadless areas as wilderness. It wasn’t an extreme change and there was opposition to it from county commissioners and AVT riders in southwest Montana. But it shows forward thinking, bringing parties together to compromise on a solution and create jobs. We think Tester ought to take another run at that bill if re-elected.

His backing of the stimulus package brought much-needed jobs to Montana highway workers, and in Butte, it helped retain many workers threatened with layoffs.

Tester also fought against the threatened Postal Service closings in Butte and Helena. The final result on that issue has yet to be written.

Because of all these things, the Standard’s Editorial Board supports Tester for a second term.