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Heard on the Hill: HOH Scores the Montana Money Quote

Updatd: 7:40 p.m.

The Montana GOP threw down a gauntlet Wednesday when it called for someone to nail down Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s position on the president’s job proposal.

“Wanted: Jon Tester, for Riding the Fence,” the email said. “The MT GOP is offering a reward for proof of Tester’s for or against position.”

“Any person who can get Senator Tester to commit to voting yes or no on Obama’s new stimulus is eligible for the reward,” it continued.

The reward? One hundred cold ones. Say no more: HOH was on the case.

We went above and beyond by calling the Senator’s office and speaking to Aaron Murphy, Tester’s spokesman.

“I can say that Jon is against the president’s proposal,” Murphy told HOH. “So I guess the reward money goes to me.”

(Ahem, Mr. Murphy. We beg to differ. HOH won fair and square.)

“The Montana GOP can make its check payable to the Billings Fire Department to help with legal fees brought on by Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s lawsuit against firefighters,” Murphy said, making reference to the Montana Republican’s lawsuit against the city of Billings for not fully extinguishing a wildfire on the Congressman’s property.

Moments after our item hit the World Wide Web, Montana Republican Party Executive Director Bowen Greenwood emailed HOH to ask to whom the group should make our check out.

HOH declined to take the reward money because of ethics and our editor telling us “No” — but mostly ethics.

The Montana GOP seemed pretty cool with our choice because after we turned them down, they told us we didn’t win. (Doubtful. We totally won.)

“The people of Montana didn’t elect Aaron Murphy to represent them in Washington,” Greenwood told HOH. “His opinion about the Senator’s position is interesting, but I think Montanans would prefer to hear it directly from the Senator. Just this weekend Sen. Tester said he wanted his campaign to be about issues, but when it comes time to take a position on an issue, he sent a spokesman to make personal attacks.”

So, anyway, if anyone does win the money, definitely let us have some.

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