An investigative article in the Nebraska Examiner reported that a national group led by former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss spent $710,000 in selected legislative races to elect candidates who would favor creating a system to divert money from the Nebraska treasury that could fund public schools to private and religious schools in the state.
The money was donated to a Nebraska organization, the Nebraska Federation for Children.
“The Nebraska Federation for Children spent more than $800,000 on nine legislative races during the 2022 election cycle, including the $710,000 sent from the national group, according to Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission year-end reports,” the article by Aaron Sanderford noted.
“Among the year’s highlights: The group spent $119,000 to help State Sen. Brad von Gillern of Omaha win his race against Cindy Maxwell-Ostdiek. It spent $57,000 to help State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha win and $115,000 against Kauth’s opponent, Tim Royers,” according to the article.
The “group also spent $124,000 against State Sen. George Dungan of Lincoln and $64,000 to boost his opponent, Russ Barger. Dungan won anyway. And it spent $54,000 against legislative candidate Angie Lauritsen in Sarpy County, who lost to State Sen. Rick Holdcroft,” the article noted.
The LWVNE supports: “Public financing of elections, either voluntary or mandatory, in which candidates must abide by reasonable spending limits; enhanced enforcement of campaign finance laws that includes changes to ensure that regulatory agencies are properly funded, staffed and structured to avoid partisan deadlock in the decision-making process; abolishing Super PACS and abolishing spending coordinated or directed by candidates (other than a candidate’s own campaign committee); and restrictions on direct donations and bundling by lobbyists, which may include monetary limits as well as other regulations.”
The LWVNE encourages Nebraskans to ask the senators who are co-sponsors of this bill (listed at the top of this post) if they know about the large amount of outside money spent in races designed to garner support for LB753.
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