In his initial bid for Senate, Jon Tester, denounced legislators who hire lobbyists, vowing to end the “revolving door.” However, as he seeks reelection to his fourth term, Tester’s campaign is being managed by a former lobbyist.
On April 4, Tester expressed his utmost satisfaction in hiring Shelbi Dantic, a former lobbyist, as his campaign manager. According to disclosures scrutinized by the Washington Free Beacon, Dantic served as a lobbyist for Montana Conservation Voters, a climate nonprofit organization that aims to shift the country’s economy “from oil and gas” between 2015 and 2017. After Tester’s announcement, Dantic’s previous employer praised the decision and expressed its pleasure in seeing her “lead the way” to secure Tester’s re-election.
The decision by Tester to appoint a former lobbyist to lead his reelection campaign is in direct contrast to the rhetoric that helped him secure his Senate seat initially. During his first Senate campaign in 2006, Tester heavily criticized his Republican rival for hiring lobbyists, labeling the practice as “unethical.” Tester even committed to a self-imposed ethics pledge, which stipulated that any former lobbyist working for him would be prohibited from collaborating with their previous employer. Tester emphasized the significance of ethics in Washington, stating that the current disarray in the capital was due to a lack of honest and ethical officials. He asserted that the “revolving door” would end with him and promised to enact an ethics plan that would prohibit the hiring of lobbyists.