Democrat Bob Kerrey has made the boundary dispute Republican Deb Fischer had years ago with a neighbor the centerpiece of a new television advertising campaign in their United States Senate race.
Kerrey toured the state today to unveil the ad and criticize Fischer for taking Les and Betty Kime to court in a dispute over who had the rights to 104 acres between their two ranches. Fischer and her husband, Bruce, lost the lawsuit in 1997.
Kerrey, during a news conference in Lincoln, state the land dispute discloses a weakness in Fischer’s character.
“You hear the promises and you say, well she’s got to keep those promises, but the promise that’s most important to her is the promise she made to Grover Norquist; never to support a tax increase. And, as a consequence, she’s not going to be able to keep the promise. She’s not going to be able to do for Nebraska citizens what she says she wants to do,” according to Kerrey. “And, I do think it’s likely as a consequence there’s going to be a great number of Nebraskans feel a bit like the Kimes as a consequence.”
Kerrey tied the boundary dispute to Fischer’s signing of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to not support tax increases of any kind. Norquist, a Washington lobbyist, is president of Americans for Tax Reform. Kerrey contends Fischer cannot keep her pledge to not raise taxes and keep her promise to support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would restrict federal spending to 18% of Gross Domestic Product. He says it will take a combination of budget cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit. Fischer contends a reinvigorated economy will produce the tax revenue needed.
Kerrey insisted the issue is relevant to the United States Senate race.
“It demonstrates the kind of decision-making that Sen. Fischer has made,” Kerrey stated. “I mean, you don’t sue a neighbor who has been kind to you. You don’t sue neighbors who have extended a favor.”
Kerrey insisted the issue is something for voters to consider in the United States Senate race, because it discloses something about Fischer’s character.
“But, most importantly for me, it’s connected, because the behavior of telling Nebraskans, don’t worry, I’m going to be good to you, if you’re a senior, if you’ve a veteran, if you’re a military person, if you’re a farmer, don’t worry I’m going to take care of your interests. That promise can’t be kept, because she’s got a promise to Grover Norquist that takes precedence against every promise she’s making to Nebraska,” Kerrey stated.
The Fischer campaign dismissed the charge as an act of desperation.
“It’s truly pathetic that Bob Kerrey is now resorting to character assassination to revive his flailing campaign. He’s revealing the disturbing depths he’ll stoop to in order to win,” said Fischer campaign spokesman Daniel Keylin in a written statement issued to the news media.
“Before the Fischers sold a parcel of their land, their lawyer advised them to clarify the land boundaries through the legal system. Mr. Kerrey’s reckless disregard for the truth and his desperate personal attacks are the epitome of what’s wrong with Washington. Rather than focus on the issues or his record, Mr. Kerrey is turning to the politics of personal destruction. Mr. Kerrey should be ashamed of himself for bringing gutter politics to Nebraska. ”
Click here for a link to the latest Kerrey ad.
AUDIO: Democrat Bob Kerrey holds news conference on latest TV ad. [4 min.]