When we last left off, the Shane Osborn for Senate campaign had taken a blow from the local newspaper for a memo he sent them regarding the Hainan Island incident. The memo was drafted on Navy stationery, but had not gone through official channels.
Osborn has now issued the following statement about the memo:
As was noted in the Omaha World Herald and confirmed by my chain of command, I followed my directives and saved the lives of my 23 crewmates.
Now questions are being raised about a memo that sought to explain the matter in an unclassified manner and the directives we followed each day in service to our country. This was a response to attacks against my record of service to our nation of which I am very proud.
While the facts in the memo are correct and it was intended to clarify the issue, the manner in which it was handled was regrettable, and I take full responsibility. I look forward to a spirited campaign in the coming weeks focused on issues and the clear differences between the candidates in the race for U.S. Senate.
This comes along with an interview of the then U.S. Ambassador to China, Retired Admiral Joseph Prueher telling the papers:
“I ought to have the best view of almost anyone with experience running those missions and being there when the event occurred,” Prueher said Tuesday night during a telephone interview from California.
“What Shane did was make a series of good decisions, and they were in accordance with Navy guidance, to land the airplane.
“It’s peacetime and we’re not at war with China,” Prueher said.
“Given the circumstances, he did exactly the right thing (and) subsequently led the crew in doing a good job while they were detained” on Hainan Island.
While Prueher’s statement may generally mellow the debate of “should he have ditched”, we doubt that his statement will stop the third parties from slamming Osborn for the memo.
And because of the way it was originally drafted, it is unlikely the full story of who wrote it will ever come out. The Sasse forces at Breitbart and the Weekly Standard have already focused on it, along with much of the national media, and our guess is this isn’t the last you will hear about Memo-gate.
But it may also cut both ways. The feeling is that the text of the memo is true, and that generally helps Osborn, and keeps the discussion on his heroics. If that is the main topic of discussion, that generally will not hurt him. If there are more parts to the memo story or if a particularly crafty ad takes place, things could change. But in the end it could all be a wash.
This is going to get more interesting.
In the Governor’s race, the attacks on Jon Bruning have begun.
See the ad (which at this point, we believe only to by on the YouTubes) here:
Now, as you can see, this spot by “American Future Fund” dredges up the same accusations that went up against Bruning in the 2012 Senate race, generally by Joe Ricketts’s group, “Ending Spending Action Fund”.
Remember that ad? Well, here it is:
There is also a full-on website called, “The Bruning Record“, paid for by a group called “Citizens for a Sound Government”. There is a radio ad there and apparently a TV spot on the way.
So, the question now becomes, Who paid for the new ones?
Not so easy to answer.
First off, American Future Fund (“AFF”) recently did a positive ad for Beau McCoy. It was believed to have been paid for by Charles Herbster. Both McCoy and Herbster immediately contacted Bruning to let him know that they had nothing to do with the new anti-Bruning ad, even though it came through AFF.
AFF is generally understood to be a clearinghouse of sorts, where anyone in the conservative movement can get a 3rd party ad placed. So just because the anti-Bruning spot comes through AFF, it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone else associated with AFF had something to do with it.
So the Bruning camp essentially accused the Pete Ricketts camp — via Joe Ricketts — of creating this ad. It is visually and audibly similar to the 2012 anti-Bruning ad, even quoting the same OWH article. And since most candidates are trying their best to be 100% positive, it would make sense that Ricketts would use another group other than Ending Spending to take another shot at Bruning, in a race where his son is a candidate.
For what it’s worth, there is an extensive article out about how Joe Ricketts and his son Todd want to be the new Koch Brothers in the political PAC movement.
Does any of this specifically implicate Joe Ricketts? No.
And while McCoy and Herbster claim they had nothing to do with it, the Ricketts camp claimed that it was “clearly the work of a group supporting McCoy”.
You can be the judge.
All we know, is that we are just glad that this is the last negative ad we will see in this campaign cycle.
Speaking of Ricketts, Pete for Governor has THREE new spots up that we assume you will see on your telly soon. The first has him talking about taxes.
See it here:
The next two are Agriculture spots from ag guys.
Here is #2:
Now, just to point it out, apparently the editor of the ad is not used to the term, “ethanol”.
We assume this will be fixed within the next few minutes or hours. Not a big deal, but you hate when those things happen.
**UPDATE — they fixed it, and we have updated to the new ad**
These spots seem fine, though we aren’t real sure what the guys are saying, other than, “I’m an ag guy, and Pete would be real good for ag, because I talked to him about ag stuff.”
Well produced spots otherwise.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the Sasse campaign’s recent media flurry with Ben’s “Constitutional Brackets”. FOX has covered this at least 4 times now — it seems that for some of the anchors, it is the first time they’ve seen a variation on the basketball brackets.
Here is one of them:
(Wait a minute! FOX has a blonde female co-anchor now??? When did this happen???)
Nonetheless, the amount of free national media coverage that Sasse has received during this campaign has been astounding. While some might question how much influence the Washington cognoscenti has on the average Nebraska voter, you still have to admit that lots of them watch FOX.
We doubt that any of the other campaigns would pass up that kind of coverage.
Breaking away from the campaigns, we have watched a number of the vids from conservative spokesman Dennis Prager and his “Prager University“. They are a series of short videos from conservative speakers talking about various issues, in well produced short pieces.
We particularly liked this one from Jonah Goldberg, taken from a chapter of his recent book, regarding the term, “Social Justice”.