Short Takes

If you missed the debut of Nebraska’s first campaign commercial of the 2014 season during Saturday’s Chiefs-Colts game, the 30-second spot is set to air again during Monday’s national championship game between Florida State and Auburn.

Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, there’s a link to a sneak peak at Republican Ben Sasse’s campaign Facebook page that will take you there.

Sasse, president of Midland University in Fremont, announced an ad buy for the BCS championship game last month. The campaign said it was working with conservative media guru Fred Davis, who is known for his unconventional ads.

Davis, nephew of Oklahoma Sen., James Inhofe, grabbed national attention for turning immigration-friendly Arizona Sen. John McCain into a tough-talking anti-immigrant superhero during a difficult primary race. More recently, he produced unsuccessful Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” commercial.

Fortunately, Sasse’s ad is more along the lines of the McCain ad. It’s called “The Outsider” and tries to position Sasse as an outsider to Washington politics, even though he is the only Republican candidate for Senate who has actually worked in Washington — a city where he’s held a number of jobs in government.

It’s an attention-getting ad that suggests towing the US. Capitol behind a Mack truck to Nebraska, the land of common sense, free from “influence peddlers.”

Sasse leads the Republican field in fundraising, with substantial out-of-state donations from big-dollar super PACs, like Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.

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Recently retired Army Col. Tom Brewer of Gordon is hoping to replace Rep. Adrian Smith in the 3rd District. Brewer is 36-year veteran who served six tours in Afghanistan and earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star there.

While most candidates for the 3rd District vie to be the most conservative of the field, Brewer’s campaign positions have turned out to be refreshingly mixed. He supports  the expansion of Medicaid to insure the poor, but says the rest of the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Brewer also questions the safety of locating the proposed Keystone XL pipeline so near the Ogallala aquifer.

Seinfeld character Frank Costanza created Festivus as a holiday for the “rest of us.” Maybe Brewer will be the candidate for the rest of us.

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Finally, kudos to Republican Senate candidate Bart McLeay for following his end-of-year fundraising email with a “thank you” email, even sending one to people who did not donate.  Candidates flood inboxes with pleas for money as the quarterly reporting deadlines loom. It’s nice to see one who hasn’t forgotten his manners. McLeay has his own new video, and you can see it here.

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