Johanns blasts outside groups doing ‘dirty work’ for campaigns


By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN, Neb. – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns won’t be endorsing anyone in the GOP battle for his seat, but did weigh in on the influx of outside groups’ nasty ads flooding the airwaves in Nebraska.

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns

“Some of the stuff you see on TV it’s like, ‘My goodness,’ ” he said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Johanns said he never ran an ad that even mentioned an opponent because “I just never wanted to do it” and “it seemed to serve me pretty well over time.” He doesn’t draw a distinction between campaigns and outside groups that “do the dirty work” for them – candidates who get a group’s endorsement and then benefit from the negative ads they buy.

“It’s all part and parcel of the same campaign,” he said, without naming names. “At the end of the day, you’ve sought the endorsement.”

He thinks Nebraskans are “extremely discerning” and know the massive investment of money by outside groups to defeat or support candidates is “not without consequence.”

“Of course those making the investment expect something in return,” he said. “It’s so obvious to every Nebraskan.”

Johanns said Nebraskans are “the most discerning voters in the United States of America” and will “sort this out.”

“They don’t need me to tell them which direction to go,” he said.

Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, Midland University President Ben Sasse, Omaha attorney Bart McLeay and Pinnacle Bancorp President Sid Dinsdale are vying for the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s primary election. The winner takes on Democrat David Domina in November.

Contact Deena Winter at Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog

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