**UPDATE at 3:00**
Freedomworks is pulling their endorsement of Shane Osborn and switching it to Ben Sasse. This could be a relatively serious blow to Osborn and a boon to Sasse.
“At this point, it is clear that Shane Osborn formed allegiances with Mitch McConnell and the K Street lobbying class. For us, that progression away from the grassroots has tipped the balance. FreedomWorks PAC has a responsibility to endorse the most reliable candidate for liberty, and after following the evolution of this primary, it’s clear that Ben Sasse is the man for the job.”
We aren’t sure that Nebraskans follow these out-of-state endorsements too much, but this sort of switch is liable to make voters who care about this take notice.
**UPDATE at 5:25 pm**
Osborn fires back:
“Today, the contrast in the race for U.S. Senate in Nebraska has crystallized. I am the proven conservative candidate who will fight Washington, D.C. and Ben Sasse is the candidate of Washington, D.C. Sasse has garnered the support of Washington, D.C. special interest groups because of his long history living and working in the city.
“FreedomWorks has decided to endorse a candidate who they have attacked for months over his lack of conservatism and record of championing big government policies. Sasse is selling himself as the ObamaCare nemesis, but nothing could be further from the truth.
“Nebraskans aren’t looking to Washington to choose their next Senator. The choice is clear for Nebraskans. I will remain focused on Nebraska voters and continue to discuss my plans to defend the Constitution and protect our conservative values.”
FWIW, here is what FreedomWorks wrote about Sasse, when they decided to endorse Osborn:
But there’s a problem. Mr. Sasse, a wealthy former business management consultant with a long list of health industry clients, is positioning himself as a staunchly “anti-Obamacare” candidate; but that doesn’t square with his past record, a careful review of which reveals four things:
He supports the basic principles of Obamacare, if not all the details.
While Obamacare was being drafted, he offered its authors advice on how to improve it.
After Obamacare became law, he prospered by advising health care companies how to implement it.
He wants to replace it with what may fairly be described as “ObamaCare Lite.”
What makes me think this? His record.
What are the basic principles of Obamacare? 1) A societal goal of universal health insurance coverage; 2) a government mandate (or other form of coercion) on all individuals to obtain health insurance coverage; and 3) generous taxpayer-funded “premium support” subsidies to hide the true costs of the goal from the insured.
Sasse supports all three of these things.
**Update at 6:30 pm**
At this point we would be remiss if we did not point out the other U.S. Senate endorsement announced today:
Mayor David Black of Papillion
Sarpy County Attorney, Lee Polikov
Mayor Jim Timmerman of Gretna
Mayor Doug Kindig of LaVista
Sarpy County Commissioner Don Kelly
Hmm. You could argue about who you would really want to endorse you…
We were looking for a Joe Ricketts pic for this post, and realized instead that Pete Ricketts’s brother Tom, Chief among the Ricketts kids as head of the Chicago Cubs, has himself a political doppleganger:
So a Separated at Birth of Tom Ricketts and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!
(Except for the ears, that one’s sorta scary…)
While we wait to see what the 3rd party ad fallout will be to the Osborn Navy memo in the Senate race, things have heated a bit in the ad war in the Governor’s race.
“Who is this outside group? Who contributed to their campaign? I think we deserve to know what’s going on here.
If you want to talk about the issues and you want to run a contrast ad, OK, so be it, but tell us where you’re getting your money because that’s going to make a big difference to Nebraskans.”
At this point, the Bruning campaign has pointed an arrow directly at the Pete Ricketts camp, particularly Pete’s dad, Joe Ricketts. Ricketts pounded Bruning in the 2012 Senate race with similar ads.
Bruning sent out an email message saying,
Pete Ricketts and his dad have funneled more than $2 million in attack ad dollars to Nebraska races since 2010.
And the groups running these misleading attacks against Jon Bruning have some interesting connections to the Ricketts family.
In fact one of the so-called “independent” groups running these ads – American Future Fund – recently gave more than $500,000 to another Ricketts’ front group, Ending Spending.
Do Nebraskans really believe that the billionaire Ricketts family – with an indisputable history of secret funding for negative attacks – is simply going to sit this race out with Pete on the ballot?
At this point, the Ricketts campaign has denied any involvement — though they would not likely have any official direct input on a Joe Ricketts ad anyway.
Well, like we said, this is probably the last of these we will see…
We cracked up at a Tweeter by the Chuck Hassebrook for Governor campaign, bragging that they had the “lead” in an online poll for Governor. Seems Hassebrook had been included along with Bruning, Carlson, Foley, McCoy, Ricketts and Slone — as well as a few of the fringe candidates.
Hassebrook had the “lead” in the online poll with 23%. You do the math from there, Nate Silver.
And onto the new ads!
First, Shane Osborn has a new TV ad.
See it here:
You will note that Osborn does not mention his military service at all in this one. If we had to guess, we would say you probably won’t hear much more about that until right before Election Day for the closer.
Though 3rd party ads may also force his hand on the subject.
Also, enough with Osborn, Sasse or any of the rest of the pols dropping the “g” on any word that ends with “ing”. (“Runnin’ for Senate” in this case.)
Sasse does this as well. Dinsdale and McLeay may do it, we’d have to go back and check (which we’re not into at the moment.) Jon Bruning is the arguable king if this. They aren’t the first pols to do it, but can we just say, it doesn’t make you sound more “Nebraskan”. You don’t sound like “folks at the coffee shop”. It sounds lazy, and maybe just a little condescending.
Next a new $280,000 TV ad buy for Ben Sasse by the South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund.
See it here:
This spot focuses on the various endorsements Sasse has — including former Nebraska Governor Kay Orr.
Our only complaint would be that other than Orr and maybe Sarah Palin, it is difficult to follow who those faces are at the end. Does anyone in Nebraska really know Utah Senator Mike Lee or Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn just by their faces? (And the labeling was very quick in the middle of the ad.)
In any case, decent enough “action” ad. We will be interested to see if Sasse tries to spell out his SasseCare plan in a 30 second spot.
Sasse continues with his “issue” YouTube spots today.
See this 2 minute one, with an intriguing title, here:
We more of less follow what he’s saying.
But more than anything else, we like that Sasse is taking advantage of easy social media to talk about the issue of the day. It’s a video press release, more or less, and other candidates would do well to follow Sasse’s lead.
(If you’re Bart McLeay or Tom Carlson, why not do one of these every other day? They’re free!)
We hear from Joe Duggan on the Twitter that Jon Bruning will NOT be endorsing any candidates for Attorney General in the GOP primary — though we will guess that he would for the General.
Wise move for a candidate who does not really want to piss off any supporters.
We added a new blog to our roll over on the right.
“The Way I See It“, by former Creighton Law School Dean, Pat Borchers.
Borchers considered running for Senate early on this cycle, but decided against it. He has since sided with Shane Osborn, and a number of his posts concern that race, but he also discusses various and sundry other stuff.
Well written and worth your view.
And we are not sure if we mentioned it before but “Uncle Wiggly” is back, under “A View From the Middle Border“.
You can find both on the list at the right.