By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog.
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