Well, new news on the Cornhusker Kickback! You thought it went away? Oh, it will never go away…
But we’re using the term “Cornhusker Kickback” to describe the entire process of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s vote for ObamaCare just before Christmas of 2009.
Now you may remember, but let’s go back to that chilly Saturday of December 19th, 2009…
Ben Nelson decided to vote for ObamaCare — after he said he’d been listening to Nebraskans who didn’t want it. But something convinced him to back his Democrat President and Democrat colleagues.
One thing was the promise of a Cornhusker Kickback on Medicaid only for Nebraska.
But the other thing was cover for his vote.
Political cover in the way of TV ads.
And then you saw the TV ads, most clearly during the Holiday Bowl on December 30th when the Huskers beat Arizona.
Here it was:
And while it’s a little fuzzy in this version, you can see at the end that the ad was “Paid for by the Nebraska Democratic Party“.
Well, not really.
You see, the Nebraska Democrats may have made the initial layouts for that ad and for the ones forthcoming in January. But the real money came from some where else.
Well, the Hotline on Call tells us:
On Jan. 11, just after the Senate voted on Christmas Eve to pass the bill, the DNC transferred $809K to the NE Dem Party, according to reports filed with the FEC. A month later, on Feb. 11, the DNC transferred another $169K to the party.
Wait, what was the cost?
NE Dems used the money to run ads defending Nelson’s reputation. The state party bought $779K in airtime in Jan., enough to blanket the state with pro-Nelson ads for weeks at a time. The party spent about $95K to produce those ads with Dixon/Davis Media Group.
Wait but couldn’t the Nebraska Democrats have just paid for the ads on their own?
The money was a huge influx for the NE Dem Party, which historically hasn’t been a major fundraising powerhouse. The party raised just $190K during ’09, according to FEC reports, and only $206K during ’08. Aside from the DNC transfer, the state party has only raised $29K this year.
Now that alone should tell you that Nelson had to have been offered the cover of these ads right around the time negotiations went down. (You’ll remember his hug to Senator Barbara Boxer to seal the deal.)
Sure he didn’t see the blow up over the Cornhusker Kickback coming. He thought he would be praised for that deft move.
No, he knew that Nebraskans wanted him to vote “No”.
So he got the cover from the national party to give him the funds to make these ads happen.
Oh, and by the way:
We have it on good account that feelers went out long before the Holiday Bowl to be sure that air time was available on ESPN for the spots.
Round about December 19th.
The day Nelson decided to vote with President Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Quid pro quo? You be the judge, kids.
All we can say is that the Balgojevich trial was based on quid pro quo offers.
And it didn’t even have a catchy moniker.
Oh, and by the way…
“ …a new state study that estimated federal health care reform will saddle Nebraska with $526 million to $766 million in unfunded Medicaid costs over the next decade.”
Well, how about that.
Who woulda thunk it?