As pols across
Like Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein, “follow the money”. In order for Bruning’s campaign to have any legs he has to have some initial strong financial support. Who better than the chairman and CEO of MidAmerican Energy and one whom many speculate to be Warren Buffett’s heir apparent at Berkshire Hathaway? Sokol was Jon Bruning’s finance chairman for his 2002 campaign and you may remember financed the poll that Bruning took of Nebraskans back in January. So what is Sokol’s stake in all this, and why take on someone like Hagel? Well, first off, he probably likes and believes in him. But also consider that the all the big-wheels in
Don’t think that loss to Heineman still stings? Osborne bet his brief political career that he could cruise into the Gov’s office last spring. Unfortunately for him, he hemmed and hawed when making his decision, and by doing so, cost himself a major endorsement in one Senator Chuck Hagel. When Osborne couldn’t decide, Hagel made the decision and went with Dave Heineman and never looked back. You’ll remember the shot of Hagel and Heineman arm in arm the day after the primary, and TO does too. Also remember who was an Osborne backer in the primary: one Attorney General Jon Bruning. So TO can pay back Bruning for his support and pay back Hagel for that hatchet in the back.
How much influence does the retired publisher of the Omaha World Herald have these days, beyond his Sunday vanity column? Tough to say. But the member of Augusta National will have a rolodex filled with folks who may be able to open their wallets for the A.G. So what’s Andersen’s beef with Hagel? Well, he has never been keen on Hagel’s anti-Bush stance, and expressed that back in one of his Sunday columns back in 2004. And Hagel’s response to Andersen? “With all due respect, Harold Andersen does not know what he is talking about.” You think that one-liner doesn’t stick in old Harold’s craw? Don’t’ think we haven’t seen the last of Andersen’s columns on this topic.
This one’s easy. Heineman is a veteran of
We throw in Gottschalk, current publisher of the Omaha World Herald, as the foil to Harold Andersen, but with an entire newspaper in his hands, instead of just a Sunday column. Hagel has always gotten strong support from the OWH, and that won’t change as long as Gottschalk is involved. Also keep in mind that it was Gottschalk who introduced Hagel to his now long-time business associate, confidant and campaign treasurer, Mike McCarthy of the McCarthy Group (and formerly with Hagel at AIS) . Never underestimate how much the OWH likes to be THE king-maker in
The Money Men
Mike McCarthy, chairman McCarthy Group, and Hagel bud is Hagel’s main money man. And Hagel should still be able to pull all the PAC funds he needs. But how about this Murderer’s Row of Nebraska lined up for a May fundraiser, hosted by Governor Dave Heineman:
- Walter Scott, chairman of Level 3 Communications;
- Jim Young, president Union Pacific;
- Ken Stinson, chairman and CEO Peter Kiewit Sons;
- Bruce Lauritzen, chairman First National Bank;
- Gary Rodkin, CEO ConAgra Foods;
- Richard Bell, chairman HDR;
, CEO Valmont; Mogens Bay
- Howard Hawks, CEO Tenaska;
Do you think this group could provide a few duckets into the Hagel coffers? Think Bruning could ever come up with a fund-raising base like this?
Ahhhhh the wild card in this whole matter. As we noted in a previous post, it was interesting that when Bruning polled about the Senate race back in January, he did match-ups against Daub, Ricketts, Fortenberry, and Terry – but not against Mike Johanns. Again, in his recent poll, he matched himself against Hagel and Daub, but not Johanns. Why, you may ask? Because it’s pretty clear that if Hagel dropped out and Johanns jumped in, it would be Johanns’s race to lose. Because some have suggested that maybe Chuck Hagel doesn’t really want to campaign again across