Last weekend, we touched on Sen. Tester's failure to give back, immediately, out-of-state campaign contributions raised by the Democratic felonious fundraiser Norman Hsu. We pointed out yesterday that even Hillary Clinton knew what to do.
Tester originally announced that he would give back the donations if found to be improper or illegal. Of course, what would anyone do with donations found to be illegal? Nothing special about Sen. Tester's ethical standards as far as anyone can tell on this point.
Today, we learn that Tester is now giving the contributions back. Was anything found to be improper or illegal? Doesn't sound like it.
Tester is echoing Clinton's announcement yesterday when his own spokesman said that Tester was going to "err on the side of caution and return the donations from Mr. Hsu's associates..."
Quite interesting that a few days ago, Tester's well-honed ethical sense told him he should "await a ruling" on the donations, as the Billings Gazette headline put it. (A ruling from whom? No-one said.)
So what stopped Tester from leading the way, and "erring on the side of caution" when the story first broke? Do we know anything more about the donations or their questionable source? Not really.
Apparently, the ruling that mattered was neither Sen. Tester's personal ethical caution nor an official "ruling" from law enforcement or the FEC.
What mattered were the political winds blowing from the Clinton Presidential campaign. A very proud day for Sen. Tester: leading the ethical way in Washington, showing us a new kind of politics.