Jon Tester is getting pressure from his supporters to "bring home the bacon".
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester has found a more demanding crowd in Montana in recent weeks than the one he left last year as an upstart U.S. senator.
On his first extended trip since taking office, the senator traveled Montana during the congressional recess and everyone wanted a piece of him - and more federal money.
This was something that Conrad Burns was good at particularly since he sat on the Appropriations Committee and was able to ensure Montana was well taken care of.
Money for the state was an issue in his 2006 congressional race against incumbent Sen. Conrad Burns, a Republican who sat on the powerful Senate committee that doles out federal dollars. Burns boasted that he had brought $2 billion to the state over the years and that the state would be worse off if he were defeated.
This became a bad thing according to the Democrat's attacking earmarks as being part of corrupt and dishonest Republican majority.
Tester said he understands there is only so much he can do. He acknowledged that some small requests he had for the highway spending bill were lost in the Senate process, in part, because he got outmaneuvered.So it was bad for Burns to earmark money for Montana, but now it's bad because Tester isn't doing enough to earmark money for Montana???
Republicans, however, criticized Tester for seeking earmarks after making an issue out of such financing for local projects during the 2006 campaign. At the time, Tester said the process should be more transparent.
“People certainly want money coming back into Montana, but more than that they want a senator who is going to be upfront and honest with them,'' said Chris Wilcox, director of the state Republican party.