Thursday, August 24, 2006

Who Dumped Whom?

by Kyle Michaelis
For most of this summer, Pete Ricketts, the Republican challenger to incumbent Senator Ben Nelson, was listed on the front page of Stop OverSpending Nebraska's website as one of their "Coalition Supporters."

Looking at the page now, however, you'll see a blank spot below the names of the supporting organizations where it previously listed Ricketts as having endorsed SOS Nebraska's sham spending lid Amendment.

Of course, we all know that any true listing of "Coalition Supporters" would list the entire network of out-of-state money men and influence peddlers who are truly orchestrating this effort - along with the anti-family Humane Care Amendment that will also be appearing on the November ballot - having flooded Nebraska with $1.7 million through the Howard Rich-Americans for Limited Government-America At Its Best pipeline that has spilled into our state from deep within the bowels of American democracy.

Well, until a few days ago, Pete Ricketts - a man who is similarly counting on the idea that democracy can be bought by the highest bidder - was front and center amongst SOS Nebraska's rag-tag band of Right-wing supporters. But, suddenly, that's no longer the case.

One can't help wondering what happened behind the scenes to force Ricketts' removal. With Gov. Dave Heineman finally coming out against the spending lid after months of hiding from the issue, maybe Ricketts just realized he didn't want to be the headliner for an extremist group threatening the future of education and our care for the sick and the elderly in the state of Nebraska.

Another possibility is that SOS Nebraska - desperate to seem legitimate - never had Ricketts' permission to claim him as one of their supporters. I know Ricketts went on record supporting the petition effort and the Spending Lid Amendment's being on the November ballot, but he may simply have wanted to reap the political benefits - as intended by Howard Rich & Co. - of this Amendment's bringing the anti-government, anti-taxation fringe to the polls this November.

But, for Ricketts, exploting all that out-of-state money and hoping to make it work for him is a very different proposition than actually supporting the disastrously simplistic formula that would be imposed on state government should the people of Nebraska actually make the horrible mistake of voting for it. Recognizing that there is no real grassroots support for this intiative -it is all smoke and mirrors being orchestrated by people located in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin and Montana - he may just be getting out while he can before the facts about this disaster-waiting-to-happen reach the ears of Nebraskans.

There is one final possibility - that SOS Nebraska looked at Pete Ricketts' 52% disapproval rating and decided that attaching his name to their cause was doing them more harm than good. I mean, seriously, with numbers like that, the guy isn't too far from earning the nickname "Poisonous Pete" for all the people of Nebraska think of him.

Still, having already adopted gubernatorial fringe candidate Dave Nabity as SOS Nebraska's unofficial spokesman, after receiving 5% in May's Republican primary, Ricketts would have to have sunk pretty low indeed to get kicked out of this so-called "coalition."

Who dumped whom? Who in this short-lived marriage of political convenience finally realized that the other really didn't have anything to offer. Honestly, both SOS Nebraska and Pete Ricketts have proven themselves such self-serving and manipulative scoundrels by the methods they have employed in their respective campaigns that I could see "the split" being instigated by either party.

Kind of sad, really. They practically seem made for each other....even if what they share most in common is how bad they would be for Nebraska.


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