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NE: PACs push for Kerrey in Nebraska

By   /   September 17, 2012  /   10 Comments

By Deena Winter   | Nebraska Watchdog

Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska governor and senator, is running against Republican state Sen. Deb Fischer, a Valentine rancher.

LINCOLN — A new progressive political action committee is asking people to choose from five U.S. Senate candidates “running strong campaigns” to help decide where to target its money — and one of the choices is Bob Kerrey.

The former Nebraska governor and senator is running against Republican state Sen. Deb Fischer, a Valentine rancher.

The Progressives United PAC, launched by former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold — who was ousted from his seat after conservative groups spent millions supporting his opponent — aims to fight the influence of corporate money in state government and politics.

But with seven weeks until election day, the PAC wants to focus its resources and is asking supporters to decide whom of the five candidates to zero in on. Kerrey’s campaign manager, Paul Johnson, urged supporters to vote for Kerrey, saying in an email, “With all the money pouring into this race from the Koch brothers, Karl Rove‘s shadowy groups, and more, we need to take every opportunity to beat the secret money.”

“Bob’s not going to get any help in this race from unaccountable billionaires,” Johnson wrote.

Fischer’s campaign manager, Aaron Trost, responded, saying Kerrey’s campaign is “floundering,” but his positions will probably capture the imagination of liberal Democrats on the coasts.

“I fully suspect that liberal Bob Kerrey will win the Progressives United contest and be the preferred candidate of out-of-state liberal Democrats,” Trost said. “With enthusiasm like this from liberal activists, I’m perplexed why his near-bid for New York City mayor didn’t get more traction.”

The voting ends at midnight tonight.

Meanwhile, the Fischer campaign says a superPAC is making another heavy media buy across Nebraska. End the Gridlock has already spent a half million dollars attacking Fischer in TV and radio ads as a tax-hiking “welfare rancher.”

Trost sent an email today asking for donations to counter the attacks.

While Kerrey has spoken out against super PAC spending, he has connections to the super PAC, whose treasurer is a former Kerrey spokesman. And one of the PAC’s big donors, Sidney Kimmel, hired Kerrey as a consultant last year.

Reported by Deena Winter, [email protected]. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog.

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • “Bob’s not going to get any help in this race from unaccountable billionaires,”


    Except for Blumenthal, Kimmel…

  • Leslie_R

    These people blame it all on the “billionaires” but they get plenty from there own millionaires. Note to Kerrey et al… it’s all the same and the blow back is coming! My check is in the mail Mr. Trost. I’m ready to fight Mr. New York Progressive and his DC pals too!

  • Rodney

    It may surprise Mrs. Fischer’s campaign spokesman but there ARE progressives in Nebraska. Lots of them. To say Kerrey’s campaign is floundering is laughable. Perhaps there are no progressives in these kinds of venues, where the Tea Partiers revel in the Good Old Days of Elvis and Edsels, but there are progressives in every city and burg in Nebraska. Kerrey doesn’t have Rove, Koch, Cheney and other names behind him, but he’s a good man, a man of deep intellect and someone who has proven that he’ll work both sides of the fence to get this country moving, unlike his opponent.

  • Pat Boyle

    Leslie, what are you fighting? I’m not for Fischer because she doesn’t have the working people of Nebrasks on her radar. She’s already signed the Norquist pledge which means she’s been bought. We don’t need another Lee Terry, we need leaders in the senate.
    I get that your against the liberal agenda as much as I’m against the conservative agenda. There are something I totally disagree with Dems on like the gun control-I’m for concelled carry laws. Kerry has a record of voting against his party and will represent the people before his party. I’m sure my words will have no effect because if you gave me a “pep-talk” like this I’d be the same way.
    Anyway, if you’re going to fight, make it the good one.

  • Anonymous
  • jazzee

    Sorry Bob been there done that..nice while it lasted but when the first person you go visit is harry ignorant reid no thanks tells me you’re like old ben and will talk BIG back home and then vote leftie as usual…go back to new york please

  • OmaSteak

    It’s no surprise to anyone there are lots of progressives in Nebraska. It’s also no surprise that most progressives are unsuccessful government moochers whose only interest is how much more they can get by using government to take money from others and give it to them. Cosmic Bob is a suitable champion for moochers and it’s why he loses in the end, despite all the “help” from outside progressive PACs.

  • resistwemuch

    Pat: Please cite one instance that BK voted against his party. Talks cheap. Back it up with some facts. Your obsequiousness for BK knows no bounds.

  • Dan

    Pat, i see you are too big of an ingoramus to know that lib democrat ben nelson signed the norquist pledge so kindly stfu.

  • Dan

    And gerard, don’t forget about barbara streisand and ana wintour of vogue just to name a few more.