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Green groups support Tester under guise of hunters, anglers

The Montana incumbent casts himself as friend of hunters and anglers, but the real story is a pro-environmental agenda.

It‚??s a strange endorsement in this Montana television ad‚??stuffed and mounted wild game come to life and praise Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for killing them.

‚??Jon stood up for hunters in Montana, stood strong for the Second Amendment,‚?Ě says the voiceover of a scaup, in a poor imitation of its better-known cousin the Aflac duck. ‚??Jon even took on the Obama administration over grey wolves,‚?Ě the scaup says as a wolf skin rug, grey in color, growls in response.

Tester faces Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg in his reelection effort and paid for the television advertisement as part of a larger effort to cast himself as a friend to the hunting and fishing community‚??a significant base of Montana voters.

However, a sizable contribution to Tester‚??s campaign comes from an out-of-state environmental group that seeks to protect wildlife from man‚??including sportsmen.

The liberal League of Conservation Voters funds political candidates based on their support of certain environmental issues, and gave Tester a 91 percent ranking on its scorecard this congressional session for votes siding with the Environmental Protection Agency, global warming initiatives and for opposing most energy development projects that use natural resources.

‚??Environmentalists have discovered they will have more success if they cloak their big green agenda in hunter orange,‚?Ě said Jed Link, a spokesman for Rehberg.

‚??The League of Conservation Voters‚?? agenda plays well in some places, but in most of Montana it‚??s not a popular agenda so they have to hide their involvement and act like something they are not,‚?Ě Link said.

This election season the League of Conservation Voters has spent $6 million on political campaigns across the country‚??$350,000 on Montana television ads attacking Rehberg and another $337,000 on door-to-door canvassing in favor of Tester.

‚??We are joining forces because Congressman Rehberg is anti-hunter and anti-fisherman, plain and simple,‚?Ě Land Tawney, president of the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund, said in announcing their coordinated ad campaign with the League of Conservation Voters.

The first ad titled ‚??No Rehberg Land Grab‚?Ě suggests sportsmen, anglers and recreationists would be forbidden by the Homeland Security Department from accessing federal property because of legislation supported by Rehberg.

A second ad suggests bureaucrats would fence off public lands and an actor tells the lawmaker to ‚??keep your insiders away from our outdoors.‚?Ě

Border security connection

Interestingly, the legislation in question would force the Interior Department to allow law enforcement agents pursue illegal immigrants onto federal property along the border, now restricted because of endangered species or wilderness designations.

Human Events reported last year the legislation was crafted in response to similar situations along the southern border, one in which border patrol agents were ordered to stay miles away from a pond inhabited by endangered pupfish.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the bill‚??s author, said Tester never mentioned any concerns about the language or intent as it progressed through Congress and that his newfound interest is ‚??purely political.‚?Ě

‚??Given Jon Tester‚??s record of supporting President Obama‚??s weak border security and immigration policies I am not at all surprised that he opposes this effort to protect the country from criminals looking to illegally enter our country and bring drugs into our communities. Jon Tester‚??s efforts to distort the facts and intentionally mislead his constituents about this legislation illustrate that he cares more about getting elected than doing what‚??s right for the safety and security of our country,‚?Ě Bishop said in a statement to Human Events.

The language allowing fence construction along the northern border was also in response to a terrorist threat against Montana.

Law enforcement officials there disrupted the 2011 assassination attempt of four al-Qaida terrorists who targeted a cyber-spy living in Conrad, Montana after the men illegally crossed the border.

Earlier this year an al-Qaida magazine urged terrorists to set wildfires in Montana‚??a repeat of a threat years earlier.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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