Great Falls Tribune and Billings Gazette for Tester

More great news for Tester: the Billings Gazette has endorsed the Big Sandy farmer over his Republican opponent, Conrad Burns.


As they point out, Tester led the Montana Dems to do precisely that as President of the Montana Senate. The Gazette reviews a bunch of Tester’s record, basically concluding that someone who lived up to his promises in Montana is more likely to be trusted than Conrad Burns.


In fact, if you know someone who is still undecided…or might not vote because of all the negativity, send them the link to the Gazette article. It’s about positive reasons to prefer Tester–something that I think even the Tester campaign has lost site of in the past few weeks.

Neither have commented on the Great Falls Tribune’s endorsement, but it’s probably more earth-shattering, considering Great Falls’ political leanings. That probably explains why the Tribune danced around the issues that make Montanans despise Burns at a 56 percent clip: corruption and rubber-stamping for President Bush. Instead, they focused on an easy target: Burns’ inability to keep his foot out of his mouth:

More troublesome is that with Burns you also get a tendency to say indiscreet things.Taken individually, those things — from his “raghead” crack to the comment about a Guatemalan worker — aren’t really all that awful. But taken together, they betray an attitude and world view that, in an age of increasing connectivity — and sensitivity — is neither productive nor reflective of prevailing Montana attitudes.

Tester, then, is the anti-Burns:

With state Sen. Tester you get an earnest and articulate man who we see lacking in one main area: seniority. However, his time in the Legislature and in an almost year-long campaign, has demonstrated good sense, a grasp of issues, and priorities that reflect those of mainstream Montana.

If you know Jon Tester, it’s laughable to imagine him as a “tool of East Coast liberals” like Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton, as his critics maintain.

The enormity of these two endorsements for Tester’s hopes is not to be underestimated. Both papers represent regions that Tester needs to do well in, in order to win Burns’ Senate seat. And the Gazette, especially, defined the difference so clearly and so cogently between the two men, that it’s hard to imagine a better:

Tester has pledged that, if elected to the U.S. Senate, he will adhere to stricter ethical standards than Congress requires in reporting and refusing lobbyist gifts. Contrast that with Burns’ decision to celebrate his 71st birthday with a $2,000-per-person party at a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm. Or his choice in September to take the Vonage private jet from D.C. to Bigfork to his annual golf tournament. Nothing illegal in either case, but is that the image Montanans want their senator to present?

For those Montanans who are appalled at the burgeoning national debt, concerned about U.S. foreign policy, alarmed that today’s spending will be paid for by our children and grandchildren and fed up with business as usual in Washington, D.C., Tester is a fresh alternative. Those who want change have an intelligent, hardworking, common-sense choice in voting for Jon Tester.


Still, just as I ripped the Gazette yesterday for pussy-footing around the real divisive issues of the day in its endorsement of Rehberg, I’ll do the same today. Because the election is about more than character – although character is essential to the task at hand – it’s about preserving our liberties and untangling the myriad of scandals, foreign-policy disasters, and bitter partisanship that the Republican Party has cultivated in our garden over the last six years.

Now where will the Missoulian fall? It wouldn’t surprise me if they continue their rightward swing — just as the region is moving left — and choose corruption, pork, and incompetence and Conrad Burns, thumbing its nose at its readership. Luckily the editorial will likely be so poorly written and convoluted, no one will understand it.

Posted by touchstone

  1. God, did I really write lost ‘site’ of?

  2. Yes, you did. I was going to edit it out, but I forgot…sorry.

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