FreedomWorks jumping into Nebraska GOP Senate battle
September 26th, 2011
04:01 PM ET
3 years ago

FreedomWorks jumping into Nebraska GOP Senate battle

Washington (CNN) - A leading conservative grassroots organization is taking sides in the Republican Senate primary fight in Nebraska, in the battle to try and defeat Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson next year.

CNN has learned that FreedomWorks will endorse state Treasurer Don Stenberg, one of two well established candidates making a bid for the Senate nomination. Stenberg, who launched his campaign in March, is a former Nebraska attorney general and the GOP's 2000 Senate nominee in the state. He is making his fourth run for the Senate.

"Over the past few months we have been speaking with our members and allies in Nebraska and two things are clear: they are going to work hard to beat Ben Nelson, and they want Don Stenberg to be their next Senator," says Max Pappas, Executive Director of FreedomWorks PAC, in a statement obtained by CNN.

"Nebraskans described Stenberg to us as 'tea party-minded before we had tea parties' and noted 'based on his record and life, he is a constitutionalist,'" adds Pappas.

FreedomWorks is a major DC-based conservative grassroots group that has provided much of the organization behind major tea party events, and that among other things, supports fiscal conservative candidates.

The other major candidate in the GOP nomination battle is Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning , who has been running for nearly a year. The Tea Party Express, a major national tea party organization, has endorsed Bruning. State Sen. Deb Fischer is also considering a run. Nine others have either launched campaigns or are considering bids.

Nelson, a moderate to conservative Democrat who was first elected to the Senate in 2000, is running for a third term in office. The non-partisan Cook Political Report and non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, two of the top political handicappers, both characterize the race as a "toss up."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ben Nelson • Nebraska • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. thomas

    Tea Party = Brown Shirts

    When they start burning crosses and books it will be a little too late for a lot of good folks !

    September 26, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    He's a republican anyway. No great loss. Hope they run him out on a rail. DINO! Liar. Hypocrit. Fake Christian.

    I can't even think of enough bad names to call the snake. He's almost as bad as Grassley of Iowa.

    Vote them ALL OUT. No matter which party.

    Independent, in U.S.A. We need people working for us not against us. NO MORE.

    September 26, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Who pays FreedomWorks' bills? How do conservatives know that the organization isn't being funded by a foreign government. It is bad enough to have corporations control the ebb and flow of our elections, which as a result of lost resemblance to Democracy.

    September 26, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ben Nelson, huh? OK, then. Pretty sure he was out the door long before the GOPers set their goals on him. BTW: Why is CNN and others still trying to differentiate the Grand Old Party from the Tea Party? They are one in the same. Always have been, always will be. Just ask Karl Rove. Uses them the same as he uses all Republicans to do his dirty work. Rove's been trying to throw the TeaPers under the bus now for months ... while taking every dollar they send, no questions asked.

    September 26, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Chrisg

    Freedom Works is not GRASS ROOTS

    September 26, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Why would they do this? Nelson is a Republican in Dem clothing if ever there was one.

    September 26, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Obama/Biden 2012 -- Because 4 years of FAILURE just isn't enough

    Sounds like a great opportunity to throw another Democrat out to the curb. He must be one VERY lonely guy if he's a conservative in the Democrat Party!

    September 26, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. DAK

    Doesn't matter if Nelson wins or not, he is NOT a democrat in anything other than on the ticket. He wouldn't know a true Democrat if he saw one so it doesn't matter who wins unless Nelson is challenged by someone on the D side of the isle.

    September 26, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Obama/Biden 2012 -- Because 4 years of FAILURE just isn't enough

    Who pays FreedomWorks' bills? How do conservatives know that the organization isn't being funded by a foreign government. It is bad enough to have corporations control the ebb and flow of our elections, which as a result of lost resemblance to Democracy.
    ==============================================================================================
    Who pays all the leftists bills? How do we know you all aren't bought and paid for by the Chinese, Castro or Hugo Chavez? And if your ideas and solutions are so superior, why are you afriad of others' speech?

    September 26, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Joe The Plumber

    I'm still trying to figure out why this group calls itself 'Freedom Works."

    September 26, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Whatthe????

    More meddling by Tea Party. What's new?

    September 26, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Liz the First

    Freedom works is NOT A GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION!!! it is funded by the billionaira Koch brothers, America's own Bond villians. this org. is basically a fascist goon squad. people need to be made aware of how much money polluters are throwing into these elections so they can keep killing our kids with their filth!

    September 26, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Obama/Biden 2012 -- Because 4 years of FAILURE just isn't enough

    Chrisg – Freedom Works is not GRASS ROOTS
    ======================================
    Right, because in your narrow mind, the left has cornered the market on all grass roots movements....

    September 26, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So "Freedom Works" is supporting a three-time loser for Senate, against a "Tea Party Express" favored candidate. I'm gonna love watching this one to see who tries to come out as the more conservative! They keep doing this and move to the right of Genghis Khan almost handing the elections to the Democrats.

    September 26, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Richard T.

    Freedom Works is absolutely not a "Grassroots" organization. Just ask Dick Armey and his right-wingnut co-conspriators who is paying them. It is a false front for the GOPers that are strictlt for corporations, millionaires and billionaires.

    September 26, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. NoTags

    Nelson's nose looks like in got stuck in the bourbon bottle last night.

    September 26, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. annie s

    Why do they need to beat Nelson? He's as big an obstructionist to Democratic ideals as any Republican.

    September 26, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Sorry...shoudl correct myself...mistyped something:

    "Furthermore, it's mathematically impossible for someone paying in the highest bracket to be paying an effective rate higher than your average middle-class individual. "

    Should have read:

    "Furthermore, it's mathematically impossible for someone paying in the highest bracket to be paying an effective rate TWO TIMES higher than your average middle-class individual."

    "TWO TIMES higher": that was the claim I was addressing.

    September 26, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Drogo, who bit the dust

    How many times does this idiot have to lose before he gets the message?

    September 26, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |