Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ricketts Raises the Stakes

by Kyle Michaelis
Building off this prior post, Pete Ricketts' decision to open up the floodgates on his personal fortune to his Senate campaign more than six months before the primary has changed the rules of the game for his competitors as well.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:
Omaha multimillionaire Pete Ricketts has upped the ante in Nebraska's U.S. Senate race.

Ricketts has pumped nearly $1 million of his own money into the campaign, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

His personal loan triggers the so-called "millionaire's amendment" under federal law, giving his opponents the right to collect a lot more money from donors.

It also sets the stage for what could be one of the more expensive primary battles in the state's history....

Ricketts lent his campaign $950,600, according to the FEC reports. That amount kicks in the millionaire's amendment, approved by Congress in 2002 and designed to level the playing field for a wealthy candidate and his opponents.

Under the law, Kramer and Stenberg can now apply to the FEC for the right to collect up to $12,600 from individual donors. The regular limit is $2,100 per individual....

Ricketts has said he would not place a limit on his personal spending....

Stenberg said the millionaire's amendment will have a limited effect on his campaign. "I don't know a whole lot of people who have enough money to write checks that large," Stenberg said of the $12,600 figure.

Poor Don Stenberg. First, he gets forgotten entirely by an important tracking poll that shows Ben Nelson with a SIGNIFICANT lead over his if he doesn't even exist. And now, despite all his work for large corporations attempting to screw-over state governments and the citizens they represent, he can't get any of them to pony-up to his campaign.

Alas, these folks know a bad investment when they see one.

As for Ricketts' spending bonanza, I've already seen him in the dailies several times and word is his smiling chrome dome has made the pages of most small communities' weekly newspapers as well. Last week, he was a constant presence on the nightly newscasts, and his ad even made an appearance during Monday Night Football.

I don't remember seeing a Ricketts ad during last week's Desperate Housewives, though. We'll see if this slight is corrected tonight. What's the matter, Pete? You're not getting cheap on us, are you?

Ahh...let me guess...some focus group or strategist he paid way too much for decided DH doesn't jive too well with all Ricketts' talk of Nebraska values. That's nice; I'm going to watch the show now.


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