Tester’s Imaginary Land Grab

After the Monday vote on The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505) the issue has been thrown back into the center of this campaign.  Both Tester and liberal groups are weighing in to paint the bill in an unfavorable light.  Last fall an “independent” group run by Montana democrats produced ads condemning the bill and yesterday Tester called it a “federal land grab” in a tweet.   

The attacks make no sense.  H.R. 1505 only applies to federal land.  How could the federal government take land from itself?  What the bill does is allow U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to do their job (protecting the border) on federal land.  Just in case there could be any confusion, the bill also includes provisions that protect legal access to the land for hunting, grazing, etc.  Americans will still be able to do everything they always did in National Parks and Forests.  The issue here is border security, something that Tester claims to support.  If Tester really supports border security, why is he opposing this bill?



Tester’s Tweet About “Rehberg’s Federal Land Grab Bill.” “See the full scope of Rehberg’s federal land grab bill. Map: http://ow.ly/bGCyA It impacts public lands within 100 miles of our borders” (@jontester, 6/19/12)


“Rehberg Is An Original Co-Sponsor Of H.R. 1505 By Representative Rob Bishop Of Utah.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers Website, www.montanahuntersandanglers.com, Accessed 11/7/11)


Anti-Rehberg Montana Hunters & Anglers Action Ad, “No Rehberg Land Grab:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M2d76okcFM8


Montana Hunters & Anglers Is A 501(c)(4) That Says It Is Dedicated To Protecting “Wildlife, Wildlife Habitat, And Access To Public Lands.” “Montana Hunters and Anglers ACTION is a 501 (c)(4) not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife, wildlife habitat and access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Montana. From Helena to Washington, D.C., MH&A ACTION fights for legislation and polices that enhance Montana’s outdoor heritage. We hold elected leaders accountable, educate the citizenry and engage in the democratic process with a powerful, united voice. We hope you’ll join the fight.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers, www.montanahuntersandanglers.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


The President Of MH&A Was Chairman Of A Wildlife Council Appointed By Fmr. Gov. Schweitzer (D). “Land Tawney – President: Land is a fifth generation Montanan who grew up with rod and gun in hand… In addition, Land is just stepping off the Private Land Public Wildlife Council appointed by Governor Schweitzer. He served three two-year terms, chairing two of this council made up of outfitters, landowners, and sportsmen. The council made recommendations on access related issues to the Governor, state legislature, and Fish Wildlife and Parks.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers, www.montanahuntersandanglers.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


The Secretary Is A Democratic State Senator. “Kendall Van Dyk – Secretary: State Sen. Kendall Van Dyk is a native Montanan who was raised on a ranch along the Madison River near Three Forks…Kendall was first elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 2006 at age 26. In the 2009 legislative session, he chaired the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks committee and sponsored the first stream access bill to pass the Montana legislature in 25 years. He continues to work on fish, wildlife and access issues in the Montana Senate.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers, www.montanahuntersandanglers.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


  • “KENDALL J VAN DYK (D) SD 25” (Montana Legislature Website, leg.mt.gov, Accessed 11/7/11)


The Treasurer Is A Former Aide To Sen. Max Baucus (D). “Barrett Kaiser – Treasurer: After having spent more than a decade as a top advisor to U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Barrett now provides strategic communications services across the West.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers, www.montanahuntersandanglers.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


The Director Works For A Left Leaning Lobbying Firm In Washington. “George Cooper – Director: George is now a Senior Vice President at Cauthen Forbes & Williams, where he directs the firm’s strategic communications practice and works closely with the firm’s clients to develop and implement effective public relations and media strategies. George also leads CFW’s natural resources government affairs work.” (Montana Hunters And Anglers, www.montanahuntersandanglers.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


  • Cauthen Forbes & Williams Has Given 90 Percent Of Their Donations To Democrats. (Influence Explorer, www.influencexplorer.com, Accessed 11/7/11)


  • Cauthen Forbes & Williams Has Contributed $9,400 To Tester’s Campaign This Cycle. (The Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 11/7/11)


H.R. 1505 Prevents The Depts. Of Interior Or Agriculture From Interfering With U.S. Customs And Border Control’s Duties Securing The “International Land Borders” On Land Under Their Jurisdiction (I.E. National Parks And National Forests). “To prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands, and for other purposes…(a) Prohibition on Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture- The Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture shall not impede, prohibit, or restrict activities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to achieve operational control (as defined in section 2(b) of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (8 U.S.C. 1701 note; Public Law 109-367)) over the international land borders of the United States.” (H.R. 1505, Introduced 4/13/11)


The Bill Does Not Give Authority To Restrict Legal Use Of The Land.  “(d) Protection of Legal Uses- This section shall not be construed to provide–(1) authority to restrict legal uses, such as grazing, hunting, or mining, on land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture; or (2) any additional authority to restrict legal access to such land.” (H.R. 1505, Introduced 4/13/11)


TESTER: “Government Needs To Secure The Borders First And Then Work On Enforcing The Laws That We Have.” (Gail Russell Chaddock and Faye Bowers, “Immigration bill stalls amid calls for ‘enforcement first,’” Christian Science Monitor, 6/29/07)


Tester Said Strengthening The Borders Would End Illegal Immigration And Make America Safer.  “‘Folks who want to work in this country need to get in line and follow the rules,’ said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.  ‘And we need to enforce those rules, starting with beefing up our border security.  Every step we take to secure our borders—both southern, and northern—is a step toward ending illegal immigration and making our communities safer.’” (Sen. Jon Tester, “Baucus, Tester Statements On Strengthening Border Security,” Press Release, 5/27/10)