Senate Conservatives Fund invests $227,000 in Sasse

Nebraska Watchdog

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN, Neb. – A national conservative group that is working to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has invested nearly $227,000 in Republican Ben Sasse’s campaign so far.

Midland University President Ben Sasse

The Senate Conservatives Fund announced Friday it invested $2 million five U.S. Senate campaigns in the last quarter of 2013, with Sasse receiving the fourth-biggest haul.

Sasse’s total includes nearly $118,000 donated directly to his campaign, and nearly $109,000 in independent purchases, with most of that being spent on direct mail so far, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins said the fact that the group raised $2 million in less than three months shows how determined people are to elect “true conservative leaders who will stand up to the big spenders in both parties.”

“Our members in Nebraska and across the country are very excited about Ben Sasse and they’re working hard to help him get his message out,” Hoskins said via email.

The SCF was founded by Tea Party leader and former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and often endorses underdog challengers rather than incumbents or establishment candidates. The group has been locked in a bitter feud with McConnell, who has criticized its strategy for fighting Obamacare, which led to a government shutdown. According to the National Review, Sasse was berated by the minority leader in November for working with SCF and for accusing Republicans of failing to lead in a campaign video, specifically calling out McConnell. McConnell has accused SCF of giving conservatives a bad name and being counterproductive.

Last year, SCF spent $1.4 million on the Nebraska Senate race, supporting State Treasurer Don Stenberg, who finished third in the GOP primary race, losing to darkhorse state Sen. Deb Fischer.

Sasse is also benefitting from help from another outside group, the Legacy Foundation Action Fund, which reported spending about $24,000 on billboards (including one on 10th Street in downtown Lincoln) saying Sasse would bring conservative Nebraska values to Washington, according to FEC records.

The Iowa-based group says it educates the public on fiscal issues, the creation of an entrepreneurial environment, education, labor-management relations, citizenship, civil rights, and government transparency issues.

Contact Deena Winter at deena@nebraskawatchdog.org. Follow Deena on Twitter at @DeenaNEWatchdog

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