Joe “Papa Cub” Ricketts, whose Ending Spending Super PAC has spent $10 million on ads supporting Mitt Romney, is now trying to bail out a Republican Senate candidate in Nebraska with a last-week ad campaign.
Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade owner who bought the Chicago Cubs for his middle-aged children, is a crusty right-wing billionaire devoted to Republican causes. He’s also a native Nebraskan, so he takes special interest in the fortunes of Deb Fischer, the Republican nominee for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson.
Fischer, a rancher and state legislator, is running against former governor and senator Bob Kerrey, who ran for president in 1992, and, before that, dated Debra Winger when she was still really hot. They met when Winger was filming Terms of Endearment in Lincoln. When asked about the romance, Kerrey -- who lost a leg in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL -- responded, “What can I say? She swept me off my foot.” (Kerrey is now married to a Saturday Night Live writer he met when he was a senator. He subsequently moved to New York City, where he served as president of The New School.)
Given that Kerrey moved back to Nebraska after 12 years in New York, and given that Nebraska -- always a Red state -- has become even more conservative in the interval, he wasn’t given much of a chance to win back his old Senate seat. But polls now show him trailing Tea Partier Fischer -- who beat an establishment Republican after an endorsement from Sarah Palin -- 49 percent to 46 percent.
That’s why Ricketts stepped in. Writes the Omaha World-Herald:
More money is pouring into the U.S. Senate race in Nebraska.
Joe Ricketts, the former Omaha entrepreneur, has dumped additional dollars into the race to help Republican Deb Fischer.
Ricketts is funding $200,000 for a television ad in which three Nebraskans — including Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood — defend Fischer against criticism from Democrat Bob Kerrey. Fischer and Kerrey are running for Sen. Ben Nelson’s seat.
In all, Ricketts’ super PAC, known as Ending Spending, has spent $690,000 on the race. In the general election alone, Ricketts has spent $420,000 on television advertisements supporting Fischer or opposing Kerrey.
This may be a good sign for Kerrey. As we’ve noted before, the fact that Ricketts bought the Cubs demonstrates he doesn’t know how to pick a winner.