The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 11, 1996, Page 7, Image 7

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    Expenditure fluid aids GOP
By Matthew Waite
Senior Reporter
Nebraska has become a target
state for the Republican Party's sen
ate campaign strategy, state and na
tional GOP sources said Thursday,
and the attention has touched off a
funding flap.
The national Republican Party
has started to funnel money into a
joint expenditure fund, a legal fund
limited by state law to $140,000,
and has brought in two prominent
senators to campaign for business
man Chuck Hagel's senate cam
The money is being used to buy
television time far Hagel, said Deb
Fiddelke, Hagel’s spokeswoman.
Democratic Gov. Ben Nelson’s
campaign said television ad buys of
more than $78,000 from two Omaha
television stations was Republican
kjuu unjuvj) uovw ivn miivau
ads for Hagel and Rep. Jon
Christensen of Omaha.
But Fiddelke said those expen
ditures were mostly for
Christensen’s campaign against
Democrat James Martin Davis.
She dial countered by pointing
to a Washington Post report and a
USA Today editorial about shady
campaign finance practices used by
the Democrats. USA Today specifi
cally cited Nelson’s campaign.
Advertising buy reports released
by the Nelson campaign do not in
dicate which race ads are for.
The flap has coincided with vis
its to Nebraska by two prominent
Republican senators. Texas Sen.
Kay Bailey Hutchinson was in
Omaha on Thursday and Oklahoma
Sen. Don Nichols was in Grand Is
land on Wednesday. Both were here
to campaign for Hagel.
Hagel said in Grand Island
Wednesday that the attention from
the national GOP was a boost to the
“For me, having no... office like
the governor, this starts to even the
playing field,” he said.
Polls released in the last few
weeks have put Hagel eight points
behind his Democrat opponent,
Gov. Ben Nelson. The polls had a
four-point margin of error.
Nelson spokesman Adam
Branting said they have been wait
ing for Republican soft money —
money coming from the party, not
the candidate — to start pouring
into Nebraska.
“The Republicans have a lot of
money to throw around, especially
soft money,” he said. Branting said
the ads that money paid for prob
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Branting criticized Hagel for
first saying he would not allow
negative ads on his behalf, then later
saying he could not stop third-party
The influx of Republican money
and influence will not change
Nelson’s strategy, which is to talk
about issues, Branting said.
Fiddelke said the Democrats
could do the same for Nelson as the
Republicans are doing for Hagel.
“Hie Nelson camp is getting just
a little bit paranoid,” she said.
John Hibbing, a University of
Nebraska-Lincoln political science
professor, said the GOP attention
was a good sign for the Hagel camp.
“It means the important players
think he’s got a chance to win,”
Hibbing said.
Hibbing added that Republican
assistance this late in the campaign
was typical of the party, which tra
ditionally has more money than the
Sen. Nichols said Nebraska is a
key state in the GOP’s bid to keep
the majority in the senate.
He said Wednesday that Hagel’s
conservative vote was crucial in the
Republican senate, since several is
sues the GOP has opposed have
passed by one vote.
“We have so many important is
sues that are so close that I hope that
people realize that this election is
important,” Nichols said.
Nichols, who has served as the
Republican Senate Campaign Com
mittee chairman, said the party
looks at states that have good can
didates and a political climate
geared towards die GOP.
Forty-nine percent of
Mphraslffl’e rp»ictprpH vntpro in
— — - —0-- — ’
1996 are Republicans, 38 percent
are Democrats and 13 percent are
Nichols said that without Hagel,
the Senate may be run by Washing
ton liberals, such as Ted Kennedy
of Massachusetts.
“I don’t think Nebraskans want
With key issues such as social
security, Medicare, defense spend
ing and taxes on the agenda, a con
servative senator from Nebraska is
important, Nichols said.
“We almost want to shake
people and say, ‘lode at what’s at
stake here,’” he said.
But even with all the attention
of the party, Hagel said, the race is
still between two men.
“This race is going to come
down to the difference between Ben
Nelson and Chuck Hagel.”
Nelson s budget plan
hot topic for public
By Chad Lorenz
Senior Reporter
When 1,000 Nebraskans called the
Nelson for Senate campaign office re
questing a copy of the the governor’s
proposed federal budget plan, the cam
paign staff knew they were on to some
“This is a topic people are desper
ately interested in,” Adam Branting,
press secretary for U.S. Senate candi
date Ben Nelson, said.
And Nelson’s campaign has re
sponded by focusing on satisfying Ne
braskans’ interest in the issues.
“If there’s any strategy, it’s to give
people the information they want and
need,” Branting said.
Nelson’s budget plan, dubbed “The
Plan You Can Count On,” has been
prepared and made available for any
one to see, Branting said.
Nelson’s opponent, Chuck Hagel,
has not been as accommodating,
Branting said.
“When you ask for a copy of his
budget plan, it’s not forthcoming.”
For instance, Branting said, Hagel
has said he would cut 29 regulatory
agencies from the federal budget but
didn’t specify which agencies.
Nelson, however, told voters ex
actly what cuts he would make to bal
ance the budget. Hagel has said he
would balance the budget, but did not
say specifically where, Branting said.
“I think Nebraskans are tired of
that,” Branting said. “They want some
body to lode them straight in the eye
and tell them exactly what they’re go
ing to do.”
Nelson has earned Nebraskans’
trust by giving them those straightfor
ward answers during his six years as
governor, Branting said.
Among his endorsements are the
Omaha Federation of Labor, the Na
tional Committee to Preserve Social
Security and Medicare, the Nurse’s
Association, Professional Firefighter’s
Association and the Fraternal Order of
Ken Pollard, president of the Ne
braska Professional Firefighters Asso
ciation, said Nelson earned the
association’s endorsement by giving
public safety officers the tools they
need to work.
“The firefighters and police offic
ers risk their lives each day for the
people of this state,” Pollard said.
“What Ben Nelson has brought to the
table was that what’s good for public
safety officers is good for the public.”
TTiP! Fraternal fhvtpr nf Pnlirf* pot
dorsement came one day after Nelson
announced the start of construction for
a new state juvenile detention center.
The center will reform Nebraska’s
hardest youth criminals, who are re
sponsible for an increasingly high pro
portion of crime, Nelson has said.
“In order to stop the alarming in
creases in juvenile crime that are con
fronting the rest of the nation, we here
in Nebraska are taking bold steps,”
Nelson said this week.
“We have chosen to tackle the prob
lem now so we will not have to pay
dearly for it later.”
The support of a wide range of
groups and clear stands on issues are
crucial to the campaign now, Branting
“At this point, people are making
their final decisions. They’re looking
at the candidates closely,” Branting
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Vans wi shuttle students to and from tfie Lancaster Building starting at 930 pm until 200 am
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East Canpus - Continuing Education Btidng (comer of 33rd
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