HELENA, Mont. - Montana convenience stores have a bone to pick with their own U.S. senator, and they have taken out newspaper and TV ads to tell him about it. The ads criticize Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) for his part in trying to delay for two years the Durbin Amendment, the Independent Record reports.
The TV ads started last weekend, claiming the senator "led the charge for big Wall Street banks" to negate the changes and let the firms up fees. Newspaper ads will hit the streets in a few days. Tester has said the limit would slash revenue unfairly for small Montana banks.
Currently, Tester is battling U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) for re-election to the Senate. However, the Montana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association said that the ad campaign is not about endorsing Rehberg.
"This is about our disappointment in (Tester€™s) support of big bank and credit card companies," said Ronna Alexander, spokeswoman for the association. "We don€™t consider this as getting involved in the race, but raising an issue."
Alexander said Montana retailers believe the new rule is working, with members paying lower fees and giving customers the savings. At issue is the swipe fee€™s ceiling of 23 cents per transaction, which merchants think is still too much.