Ain’t it grand?
Nebraska’s Ben Nelson apparently is better at cutting deals than a Persian bizarre rug salesman. In addition to securing “The Cornhusker Kickback” in exchange for his healthcare vote, it seems Nelson also made sure he obtained some big money to provide himself with political advertising cover. The Democratic National Committee provided $500,000 for Nelson to run a flurry of TV ads in Nebraska to calm down angry constituents.
I am highly suspicious regarding just when the funds were offered / secured. Was it part of the deal brokered in the closed door meeting with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to garner Nelson’s vote?
It’s hard to believe the ad campaign was devised after Nelson decided to vote for cloture, considering word hit the streets here in Nebraska within days of his Saturday, December 19 announcement in D.C. I can’t cite you a source online for that information, but I can make the statement about “the word on the street” as a first hand witness. At least two people who are political activists in Omaha informed me about the scheduled shooting of the commercials by the end of Christmas week. Those activists informed me they were aware of the commercial shoot, had some information about the location, and there were a couple of groups intending to show up to protest. Whether the original information was a deliberate disinformation campaign or the day and location were switched once someone in the Nelson campaign heard of the protests, the day and location were switched and the commercial shot early.
By December 30, the commercials were ready to air and the announcement of the commercial airing during that evening’s Holiday Bowl had hit the Lincoln Journal Star. December 19, Nelson announces he will vote for cloture, Christmas weekend the word is out there will be a commercial shot, and the ad is hitting the air by December 30. That seems like a lot of fast footwork in 11 days considering Christmas fell in between. It’s a bit hard to swallow the idea that the ad money on the order of $500,000 was made available so quickly.
News of the ad money has been floating around for months in story after story. Here are just a few:
As one of Nelson’s constituents, a voter, taxpayer, and American citizen, I’m appalled. The half-mil in Nelson ads was paid for by a political party. It’s just further evidence that the political parties have more control over our elected officials than we do.