For Immediate Release                                                                                 October 28, 2020

Contact: John Hansen 402-476-8815 or john@nebraskafarmersunion.org

Our Nonpartisan and Independent Legislature is Being Drowned in Partisan Spending

Lincoln, NE-Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) is sounding the alarm over the tidal wave of unprecedented partisan spending on nonpartisan races on everything from the Legislature to public power races.

NeFU President John Hansen said “In our judgment, the size and scope of partisan funding of nonpartisan races in the Legislature and for public power boards undermines the nonpartisanship and independence of both our unique Nebraska Legislature and our public power system. Nebraska has been extremely well served by keeping the blinding bitterness, dysfunction and gridlock of Washington style partisanship out of nonpartisan races for the Legislature and public power. We think most Nebraskans would be alarmed if they knew how much partisan money was being dumped into these races.”

According to the NADC’s (Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission) latest report, Governor Pete Ricketts and his parents are using their personal checkbooks to support Republicans in nonpartisan races up and down the ballot at an unprecedented rate.

During the last two year election cycle, Governor Ricketts has directly contributed $124,500 to Republican incumbents and challengers for the Legislature, $7,500 to Republican NPPD candidates, and $5,000 for the Republican candidate for Lancaster County Commissioner for a personal total of $137,000.

Governor Ricketts has given the Nebraska Republican Party $240,000 during the last two year election cycle, and each of his parents has given an additional $100,000, for a total of $440,000 from the Ricketts family. The Ricketts family has given a total of $577,000 to support Republican candidates and organizations during the last two year campaign cycle.

In turn, the Nebraska Republican Party who operates under the direction of the Governor has spent $548,700.60 supporting their candidates or opposing their opponents for the Nebraska Legislature. By comparison, the Nebraska Democratic Party has spent only $81,685.65 on all Legislative races. The Nebraska Republicans spent a total of a $139,893.62 in Legislative District 1 alone. They spent $112,188.71 for Julie Slama and $27,704.91 against her opponent Janet Palmtag, also a Republican.

In a new development, the state Republican Party has spent $51,741 on two nonpartisan public power races supporting Republican candidates. They spent $41,256 opposing Mary Harding for NPPD Board of Directors, and $7,522 supporting her opponent Todd Calfee. In addition, Governor Ricketts recently personally donated $5,000 to Calfee. The NPPD position is nonpartisan.

For more NACD information: https://nadc.nebraska.gov/cf/index.html  Click “View Campaign Filings”.

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Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 4,000 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities.  Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives.

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