After Bank Bailout, Tester Raises Money From Partner of Silicon Valley Bank’s Law Firm

Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.) and aides / Getty Images
March 14, 2023

Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.), who bills himself as a "strong advocate for rural America," attended a fundraiser Monday cohosted by a partner at the law firm that represents Silicon Valley Bank.

Michael Danaher, a cohost for Tester’s Palo Alto, Calif., fundraiser, is a partner at the firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, which represents the bank and other Silicon Valley ventures, the New York Post reported. Other cohosts for the event—which cost between $250 and $6,600 to attend—included Greg Avis, the founder of venture capital firm Summit Partners, and Matt Glickman, a tech entrepreneur who cohosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton with disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in 2016.

Tester’s attendance will likely draw unwelcome scrutiny as he prepares for a contentious reelection campaign. Tester, considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in the 2024 cycle, has faced criticism from liberals for his vote for a 2018 bill that cut regulations for mid-sized banks like Silicon Valley Bank, whose collapse last week is the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has not addressed his vote for the bill.

The Biden administration is under fire for bailing out depositors in the bank, which had more than $200 billion in assets. The Treasury Department said it will fully cover deposits at the bank, even above the $250,000 covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The administration claims that taxpayers will not foot the bill, but it is widely expected that banks will jack up fees on customers in order to pay for higher insurance premiums brought on by the bailout, which has been described as "socialism for the rich."

The fundraiser is the latest example of Tester’s campaign activity contradicting his image as a champion of rural values and "Montana’s unique way of life." The Washington Free Beacon reported that Tester’s campaign spent $1.2 million since 2006 on catered events and restaurants, including a Beltway haunt that caters to "celebrities" and "powerbrokers," and another that enforces a "strict upscale dress code" for its patrons.