Democrat Bob Kerrey finally has a Super PAC in his corner.
A committee called “End The Gridlock” unleashed a round of negative TV advertisements today, taking Republican Deb Fischer to task for her and her family's enrollment in a federal grazing program. Critics allege the program subsidizes a handful of Nebraska ranchers.
The group has strong ties to Kerrey. Its treasurer, Michael Tucker, use to work for Kerrey as his spokesman when Kerrey was the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Its donors also have strong Kerrey connections.
One of the biggest was filmmaker Sidney Kimmel, the guy behind the Afghanistan-based movie called “The Kite Runner.”
Kimmel donated $100,000 to the new pro-Kerrey Super PAC. He is also the man behind the Sidney Kimmel Revocable Trust, which paid Kerrey $800,000 last year in consulting fees to help an Israeli company research cold fusion.
Another donor was Dick Holland, an Omaha philanthropist and key Democratic donor who has supported Kerrey in the past. Holland gave $25,000.
In all, the Super PAC has collected about $230,000.
Kerrey has been hammered for months by two large Super PACS that support Fischer's candidacy, including a Super PAC founded by Republican political operative Karl Rove.
This is the first Super PAC taking aim at Fischer.
It comes a week after Kerrey called upon Fischer to sign an agreement in which both would urge Super PACS to stay out of the Nebraska U.S. Senate race.
Aaron Trost, Fischer's campaign manager, said he believes Kerrey's request last week was nothing more than a “publicity stunt.”
“It's New York-style politics. One week, Kerrey's decrying Super PACs and, the next week, someone who worked for him (Kerrey) is running a Super PAC attacking Deb Fischer,” said Trost.
Kerrey's camp responded that Kerrey had no involvement in creating the Super PAC or its advertisement.
Under federal law, candidates cannot coordinate activity with Super PACs
Chris Triebsch, a spokesman for Kerrey, said Kerrey stands by his call for the two Senate candidates to denounce Super PAC spending in Nebraska.
“Senator Kerrey made a good-faith proposal to end Super PAC expenditures in the state and Fischer rejected it. Senator Kerrey stands by the offer,” said Triebsch.