HELENA – A hunters-and-anglers group sympathetic to Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has spent $500,000 on a new TV ad in his Senate race – telling voters to support the Libertarian candidate, Dan Cox.

Cox, who owns a fishing lure manufacturing company in Hamilton, is the third person in the high-profile Senate contest between Tester and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.

The ad, which began airing this week, criticizes Rehberg for supporting a bill that would give the Department of Homeland Security expanded authority over federal lands within 100 miles of U.S. borders.

Its closing frame then says: “Vote Cox. The Real Conservative.”

The ad is funded by the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund, a political-action committee financed earlier this year by the League of Conservation Voters, a leading conservation and environmental group backing Tester.

Rehberg’s campaign manager, Erik Iverson, said he found it extraordinary that Tester’s supporters are now essentially telling voters to vote for someone else.

“It’s remarkable that, with a little over a week to go before Election Day, that Jon Tester’s supporters have basically thrown in the towel to get more Montanans to vote for Tester, and they’re now trying to get people to vote for the Libertarian instead of Denny Rehberg,” he said. “They seem to simply have given up the case that Jon Tester should be re-elected.”


Aaron Murphy, a spokesman for the Tester campaign, said Friday that Rehberg’s support of the Homeland Security bill is a good reason to vote against him.

“Most Montanans oppose this bill, including Jon Tester, Dan Cox and (Republican U.S. House candidate) Steve Daines, so the real question is why does Dennis Rehberg insist that trampling our freedoms is good for Montana?” he said.

Rehberg has said while he supports the bill, he insisted on including language that prohibits the measure from interfering with approved, prior uses on federal park, forest and other land.

Recent polls have shown the race to be a virtual dead heat between Tester and Rehberg, making it possible that Cox’s showing could influence the final outcome.

Cox said Friday he’d never heard of the group sponsoring the ad, or had anything to do with it, but that he “loved the commercial.”

“I couldn’t have put together a better commercial against Rehberg on my behalf,” he said.


The ad shows a man and his son on a hunting trip, and the son discovers a remote surveillance camera in the trees, filming them. The man then gets a rifle and shoots the camera.

“Congressman Dennis Rehberg would let the Department of Homeland Security monitor and control public access on public lands,” the ad’s narrator says. “That may look good in Washington, but in Montana, not by a long shot.”

The treasurer of the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund, Joe Splinter of Lewistown, could not be reached for comment.

The group on Friday reported spending $498,000 on TV ads, another $40,000 on web ads, and $146,000 on mailing costs, all to oppose Rehberg. The group reported receiving $410,000 from the League of Conservation Voters this summer, but reports on its income after Sept. 30 aren’t available.

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(19) comments

Stan Reck
Stan Reck



Desperate is Rehberg. Ever since his bill got out of the House in June his numbers have been falling: http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2012-montana-senate-rehberg-vs-tester

Even Republican Steve Daines blasted Rehberg, saying he doesn’t “understand the importance of state’s rights.”

sofaking tired of the GOP
sofaking tired of the GOP

If you don't like this tactic then support Tester and overturn Citizens United.

sofaking tired of the GOP
sofaking tired of the GOP

It's funny how you conservatives get your panties in a wad about Obamacare when it is actually a Republican idea, just shows how bitterly partisan the country has become. Millions of new customers for the health insurance industry should drive costs down not up. It's also bewildering that hunting and fishing groups that know each candidate's policies well support Tester even though most hunters and fisherman are conservative and vote GOP.

Montana Man for LIFE

Hey Sofaking
First…your name is very fitting. Because I’m sure you sit at home on your sofa and doing nothing but cash your government check!!!
Next…funny I didn’t know Obama was a Republican!!! lol and he’s the one who pushed Obamacare through!!! Don’t lie and say in was a Republican who pasted Obamacare.lol I don’t think my government should be able to force me to purchase Obamacare or any healthcare at all, Democrat or Republican I don’t care. I also don’t think its ok for Obama to take 700 billion dollars from Medicare to help fund his program. Nor do I find it acceptable that you say healthcare has lowered in cost, check your facts buddy, since Obamacare past, healthcare cost have went up an average of 2,000 dollar a family. I also find it unacceptable that the middle class will have to pay the biggest single tax hike ever placed on them by the government.
For your information I voted for Tester in the last election…. I sadly I was lied to, Tester said he would put Montana first!!! What a joke…. 65 percent of Montana was against Obamacare and Tester still voted for it. Wasn’t he supposed to vote for Montana and against Obama??? I thought that what our representative was supposed to do??? This isn’t about Republican or Democrat, it’s about Tester NOT representing the people who voted him into office!!!!!!!!!!!

sofaking tired of the GOP
sofaking tired of the GOP

Wow your well informed and I work full time thank you. The private mandate was a republican idea and Romney used it first, but since Obama used it Romney now has to run against his own program. Tester attached a rider so we can hunt wolves again and introduced a bill to undo the insane Citizens United case, what has Denny done for us in 12 years? And again, Montana hunting and fishing groups are for Tester, not Denny. And the 700 billion from Medicare was also proposed in Paul Ryan's budget. Health care has been going up highly for the last 20 years. If the health insurance companies are going to get millions of new customers, according to the free market theory which the Repubs love so much, costs should go down. And Romney wants to cut taxes and INCREASE military spending which already contains the most pork, who do you think is going to pay for that? He is going to have to cut about 1 trillion dollars somewhere and it won't be the rich you can be sure of that, and our social security will be given to Wall Street, no thank you.


Amen to the below comment........
Looks like JON TESTER is getting pretty desperate. Jon Tester, the Obamacare loving, big labor union loving, EPA government regulation loving, two faced liberal. A vote for this third party election crasher is a vote for Jon Tester. Montana, pay attention to what you're doing and stop electing idiots for state and national office-"

Montana Man for LIFE

If you vote for Dan Cox, your basicaly voting for John Tester!!!!
And a vote for John Tester is a vote for Obama care!!!
Any vote for Dan Cox and your Throwing your vote away people, because he has no chance to win and beat Tester and that needs to be our main focus!!!
I agree we need to get rid of Denny Rehberg, but not at the cost of having John Tester for another term, the man doesn't care what Montana wants, just ask Obama!!!
We need to get rid of Denny Rehberg but we need to be smart about it, one at a time focks. We have to stay focused so we can win in the end....


Why would a libertarian vote for a candidate that supported the Patriot Act, The Real ID Act, NDAA., increasing the debt, voting for No Child Left Behind and many other things, including higher taxes and more regulations on a certain product.. Sorry but a vote for Dan Cox is simply a vote for Dan Cox since many of those people either won't vote or vote for Cox. I'd like yo see both Rehberg and Tester out of office, so if everyone voted for Cox he'd be elected and we can get rid of the other two.


A vote for Cox would send a CLEAR message that Montanans do not like Rehberg's vision for more federal control over Montanans. Even then I doubt if Dennis would "get it" but future politicians would.

I have put together a site about HR 1505 so anyone can read the actual bills, see the maps, etc. It is www.hr1505.info. You can leave comments if you find anything misleading, etc... I've tried to let the work speak for itself.

But, yeah, if you don’t like the fact that Rehberg has given Obama the power to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process (Patriot Act), has voted to give Obama the power to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely without due process (NDAA, House Version), has voted to give Obama the power to tap phones without warrants (FISA), has voted to give Obama the power to fence off our federal lands and use drones to spy on us in 1/3 of Montana (HR 1505), and has even voted to continue to let the Feds manage our own wolf population, then you might want to vote for Cox or Tester because they both adamantly oppose those things.

-- rg


These radical environmental groups posing as legitimate hunters and anglers in Montana is really sad, and reflects what a low-life Tester has become. Their anti-Rehberg agenda is very apparent. When groups like this can try to buy elections, it shows why the Citizens United decision was the right one. NO TESTES(R).

Montana Man for LIFE

Sorry Chuck

If you voted for Dan Cox than you basicly voted for the man who gave use health care John Tester!! A vote for anyone but Denny Rehberg is a vote for Health Care in Montana.

I don't like Denny Rehberg but....he is way better than Tester....and yes I would rather have Dan Cox but he has NO chance at beating Tester. We need to come together and Vote REHBERG in this term and then get him out next term with someone good. But to not focus on getting rid of Tester first is a silly, stupid, mistake. We need to fight one battle at a time, stay focused and win in the end!!!!


Montana Hunters and Anglers group is made up of a former Baucus staffer and other Democratic Party operatives. They try to disguise themselves as looking out for hunters in Montana, but are nothing but the same old left wing operatives doing their thing.

Trillion Dollar Tester's internal polls must be scaring the left.

Chuck Feney
Chuck Feney

I voted for Dan Cox well before I heard this ad, because Denny is no friend of the Liberty movement. In fact, the most insulting ad I've been mailed this year shows head shots of both Denny and Ron Paul, claiming Denny is an arch-enemy of the Federal Reserve. Give me a break!

Denny is a big fan of the new American Gestapo - the Department of Homeland Security.
He's one of the 50 Republican sponsors of this "Constitution Free zone" - H.R. 1505.
If you like getting irradiated and fondled at the airport, you'll love the 100 mile zone checkpoints that can be set up anywhere, anytime, with no warrant or justification.
Ron Paul opposes all these Patriot act type bills.
Herr Rehberg's 100 mile Bend-Over Zone.

Herr Rehberg sponsored H.R.1505
Which causes the Gestapo to thrive
Within 100 miles of the border
It gives the New World Order
Control of everyone, Dead or Alive!

There'll be Gestapo blocks to ask for "Your Papers"
To turn Americans into cowering "Bow and Scrapers"
With dogs and spotlight
They'll stop you at night
While ignoring Holder's drug and gun running capers!

So if you're within Denny's hundred mile zone
There's no Constitutional right to be left alone.
If they get set up to stop 'ya
Either submit, or they'll drop 'ya
So spread 'em, 'cause you're a terrorist - homegrown!


Well Citizens United is causing this kind of tactic to compete. Erik Ivers ( Rehberg) campaign manager doesn't mention the millions they are getting from Rove and the Koch Brothers trying to influence some of the less intelligent to go along with their failed trickle down theory of economics. If you want to be stupid and vote for the elite and against your own interests fine...and since there seems to be so many of those here who are unable to understand good government from no government we have to play by your rules I guess. So keep whining but as I learned in the military, to defeat your enemy you have to understand their tactics and do it better than they do...way to go Tester.......rather have an Obama clone than an elitist Koch Brothers clone..cause they definitely don't care about me or this state...

idiot state

Montana's crooked politics. Looks like JON TESTER is getting pretty desperate. Jon Tester, the Obamacare loving, big labor union loving, EPA government regulation loving, two faced liberal. A vote for this third party election crasher is a vote for Jon Tester. Montana, pay attention to what you're doing and stop electing idiots for state and national office-


This is a very old trick by the Dems. But it shows how desperate this stooge of Obama, this Tester is becoming.


People should look at Dan Cox , in fact very closely. Before he got in a dispute with the Republican Party in Hamilton and threatened to destroy them any way that he could he was a
full blown Republican in all ways. SO what does Dan Cox really stand for and will he turn Democrat if he gets mad at the Libertarian Party. This man can not be trusted.


Any chance to use Cox like he fraudulently used the constituents of Ravalli County in destroying our Growth Policy in 2010 is a-okay with over 45% of our voting population. Too bad our Democratic voice has been so distorted by Citizens United. We have been forced to play the same game as the Republicans. Yes, if you can't vote for Tester, please, by all means, cast your vote for Cox.

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