Democrat Sen. Jon Tester Hid Meeting with Boeing Lobbyist While Weighing FAA Nomination

democrat sen jon tester hid meeting with boeing lobbyist while weighing faa nomination
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Democrat Sen. Jon Tester (MT) received tens of thousands of dollars from Boeing lobbyists and failed to disclose a meeting at a Boeing facility attended by one of its lobbyists last October, Politico reported.

Biden nominated Phil Washington to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in July 2022, but Tester’s reluctance to publicly endorse him ultimately derailed his confirmation.

Politico revealed that Tester received nearly $15,000 from Boeing lobbyists while Washington’s confirmation process was up in the air.

As the outlet reported:

Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 29, 11 Boeing lobbyists donated a total of $4,300 to Tester’s campaign, according to FEC records. Boeing’s corporate PAC has donated $15,000 to Tester’s leadership PAC over the past three years, and on March 13, Tester’s campaign committee received $1,000 from the Boeing PAC — its first donation to his campaign since 2011. Tester met with Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Ted Colbert the following day.

During the first quarter of 2023, Tester received $10,500 from lobbyists for Boeing, including three actively lobbying on FAA issues, getting $6,600 from Subject Matter’s Steve Elmendorf, who is working on the FAA reauthorization for Boeing; $2,900 from Subject Matter’s James Ryan, and $500 from Crossroads Strategies’ Marc Numedahl, who is among a team of 10 lobbyists at the firm working for Boeing. He also received $500 from former Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.), another lobbyist for Boeing.

What is more is that Tester, who pleaded to post details of his public schedule, did not disclose a meeting he had last October at a Boeing facility in Arizona that one of the company’s registered lobbyists attended.

Politico reported:

But even though Tester has vowed to post his public schedule online to ensure transparency (one of the only senators to do so), the meeting was not mentioned on his public calendar for that month. At the meeting, according to a LinkedIn post about the event, was a state-registered lobbyist for Boeing: Mark Gaspers, senior manager for government operations at the company, along with other registered lobbyists for other entities.

Washington ultimately withdrew his nomination in late March after Tester and Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema did not publicly support him. The Washington Free Beacon at the time said Tester and Sinema “scuttled” Washington’s nomination.

However, Tester’s office maintains the Montana senator privately told the Senate Commerce Committee in mid-March he would support Washington’s nomination.

On the Boeing event in Arizona, Tester’s office told Politico it was not included on his official schedule because his office did not organize it.

“This event was not organized by Senator Tester’s official office. Sen. Mark Kelly organized the event and Tester attended at his request when he visited Arizona last year,” Tester spokesperson Sarah Feldman told Politico.

A Boeing spokesperson told Politico the company “never lobbied on Phil Washington’s nomination.”

“The Mesa Chamber of Commerce hosted Sen. Tester at its Mesa Industry and Defense Council meeting to discuss trends in defense, workforce development and veterans issues,” the Boeing spokesperson said. “Boeing provided a venue for the Chamber’s gathering and was not involved in event planning or coordination.”

“While Boeing never lobbied on Phil Washington’s nomination, we can confirm Sen. Tester did not express any concerns to us regarding the nomination,” the spokesperson continued.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter.

Authored by Jordan Dixon-Hamilton via Breitbart July 19th 2023