Outsider refuses to pull anti-Osborn ad, ups the ante as well


Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Despite some key blowback a six-figure TV attack ripping GOP Senate hopeful Shane Osborn remains alive and well.

Ben Sasse (left) and Shane Osborn (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Club for Growth, a national anti-tax group which is running the commercials and backing Ben Sasse in the May 13 primary, has no plans to pull the ads which criticize Osborn’s stint as State Treasurer.

“Why would we pull an ad that is completely factual,” Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller tells Nebraska Watchdog.

According to the ad, “Nebraska’s Republican State Auditor repeatedly cited Shane Osborn for mismanagement, waste, and unreasonable spending…”

But that same State Auditor, Mike Foley, has been attacking the attack ad.

“(Osborn) served both his office and Nebraska taxpayers well by cutting budgets, eliminating waste and implementing transparency in government,” Foley said in a statement. “I am disturbed by the tone of the advertising paid for by outside groups that is blanketing the airwaves across Nebraska.”

Initially asked by Nebraska Watchdog to substantiate its claim that Osborn bungled the state job he held from 2007-2011, Club for Growth pointed to Foley’s 41-page 2010 audit of Osborn’s office but did not note which items in the audit the ad is specifically targeting.

Later, while defending it’s decision not to pull the ad, the Club for Growth spokesman pointed to a follow-up Foley audit done shortly after Osborn left office which notes that 26 “prior findings” from the 2010 audit still exist.

Osborn’s campaign—standing by Foley’s statement that Osborn ”took our audit findings seriously and made improvements”—would only add that Club for Growth, one of Sasse’s “deep pocketed D.C. friends” is continuing to distort Osborn’s “exemplary” record.

Osborn, Sasse, Sid Dinsdale and Bart McLeay square off in the May 13 primary with the winner to face Democrat Dave Domina in the fall.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

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