After the show there was an overtime segment in which Maher takes questions from viewers via the Internet. I recorded it below just to highlight the lightweight status of Bill Maher, who usually only finds out after a guest leaves that s/he lied or dissembled. In this case, Maher could easily have confronted Tester with the fact that he was a beneficiary of Citizens United, and owed his reelection to dark money, and is doing the Baucus shuffle, claiming not to know its origin.
But unlike his supporters, Tester does admit that dark money does indeed have an agenda. At least he concedes that. Most interesting however, is that Tester does not favor overturning Citizens United. He need not have said more than that to give us a gauge on who he truly is.
Bill Maher (reading question from viewer): If Citizens United was to be overturned in the near future, how would that affect the election process?
Jon Tester: Well, I can tell you what happened in Montana this last election cycle. We saw more money spent in Montana than ever before by far, more ads run between June and election day …
Maher: You’re talking about on the senate race?
Tester: I’m talking about on our senate race, on my senate race.
Maher: Who did you run against?
Tester: I ran against a congressman name of Dennis Rehberg. And I can tell you the bad part of all of this is … I believe in transparency in government, I think we should have as much sunlight as possible* on all levels, legislative, executive, judicial, the whole works. Elections are a part of government. This money comes in, we don’t know where it’s come from, we don’t know if it’s corporations domiciled in this country or outside this country which would be patently illegal. And they continue to put in money to try to, in my case, make me into something I’m not.*
For example, one of the ads had five fingers on my left hand. OK. Those babies been gone for 47 years. But truth is they didn’t care about the facts, they try to define you as something you’re not*, I don’t think it resulted in a better informed voter, in fact, a less informed voter. I think this is proof of the fact that they didn’t do their research because they didn’t care. There was a lot of other stuff too that was far more heinous than that. …
Maher: It isn’t the number of fingers you have – “He‘s got all his fingers – I’m not voting for him!” What a terrible attack to make on you Jon, accusing you of having ten fingers. We should not put up with that in this country.
Tester: But the fact is that there is so much money coming in to these elections and we don’t know where it’s coming from and there’s agendas behind all of it and it ought to be transparent at the very least. That doesn’t mean we have to overturn Citizens United , just make it transparent so you know which corporations are putting in money, just like the folks who donate to me.*
*Unintentionally revealing of his own lack of self-awareness, or just plain lying.