As of March 22, Senate candidate Pete Ricketts has already donated $2.5 million of the family fortune to his campaign for the Republican nomination to take on incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:
Republican Senate candidate Pete Ricketts has plowed another $500,000 into his campaign, bringing his personal contributions to nearly $2.5 million.
Ricketts, who stepped aside as chief operating officer at Ameritrade to seek the GOP nomination, has shattered personal campaign funding records in Nebraska.
In 2000, only 188,000 voters cast ballots in the Republican Senate primary won by presumed 2006 front-runner Don Stenberg. Ricketts' trying to buy that pool of voters with a $2.5 million personal check comes down to more than $13 per vote. And, in the Ricketts family, there's plenty more where that came from.
Of course, this year's high-profile gubernatorial race is likely to pull in a higher turn-out for the GOP primary. But, Ricketts is still likely to have spent more than $12 per voter...with enough zeroes next to his name that he's sure to add to that total before all is said and done.
Eventually, you have to start wondering if just cutting a check - or sending a $20 bill - to voters might not have been a better use of all that money than the unprecedented six months of advertising over TV and radio. Still, it's his money (or his daddy's) - who am I to question?