$tatehouse sale: One Omaha seat alone costing more than $300,000


Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

It pays $33 a day—it’s costing 9,000 times that much— more than $300,000, to land.

Sen. Burke Harr

“It” is District 8 of the Nebraska State Legislature—in north-central Omaha—where incumbent Democrat Burke Harr is spending twice as much as his GOP challenger Gwenn Aspen, as both cash out in order to cash in at the polls on Election Day.

aspen and stothert

Gwen Aspen with Mayor Jean Stothert

Harr has spent $200,000. Aspen $100,000.

An outside group has shelled out $16,000.

In addition Harr and Aspen, both looking for that $12,000 a year Unicameral salary, are ready to launch at least another $40,000.

And those numbers are 11 days old putting $400,000 clearly in sight.

According to the latest state campaign finance reports, here’s more specifics.

Harr has spent $198,091 with $27,141 cash on hand.

Aspen has spent $102,528 with $14,423 in the bank.

That outside group, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, has shelled out $16,667 in a couple of mail pieces attacking Aspen.

Among Harr’s largest contributors:

  • Nebraska State Education Association (teacher’s union) $12,500.
  • Nebraska Realtors: $8,000

Aspen’s contributors include:

  • Republican State Leadership Committee (Washington D.C.): $10,000
  • Gov. Dave Heineman-R: $3,000
  • Attorney General Jon Bruning-R: $1,000
  • Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert-R: $1,000

By the way Aspen need not feel singled out by Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, it has targeted several Republicans running for the legislature.

Brent Smoyer (District 26, Fremont): $33,000

John McCollister (District 20, Omaha): $31,500.

Joni Craighead (District 6, Omaha): $25,000

Laura Ebke (District 32, Crete): $16,666

Brett Lindstrom (District 18, Omaha) $16,666

Based in Lincoln, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, has raised over $230,000.

Among its contributors:

  • International Association of Fire Fighters Local 644, Lincoln: $75,000
  • NSEA: $48,500
  • Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys: $40,000

The final numbers— for outside groups and candidates—won’t be known for several weeks.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday morning at 7:40, KLIN in Lincoln every Tuesday morning at 7:35 and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

To subscribe to news updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no charge, click here