Politics

05.16.12

Fischer vs. Kerrey in Nebraska

Well, the Mama Grizzlies aren't dead yet. Deb Fischer's win in Nebraska upsets the cart, insofar as her victory was totally unexpected. So the Democrats have no idea how to run against her, right?

Maybe not so right. A press release arrived from the Democrats this morning touting this very interesting Omaha World-Herald story:

As a rancher, Fischer has benefited from a federal program that environmentalists and others describe as an expensive subsidy that needs to be trimmed or eliminated.

The Fischers lease 11,724 acres of federal land in north-central Nebraska for about $4,700 for seven months — paying about $110,000 less than the market rate for private land in Cherry County.

Fischer defended the federal grazing program, saying ranchers help the government manage federal land. She also said the family follows all federal regulations and doesn't have a say in how much it is charged.

Yeah, yeah. They always have excuses why their situation is different. But she can't go around saying this is a common thing. Only 136 of Nebraska's 20,000 or so beef ranchers hold similar grazing rights.

In a late March poll, she was running about 10 points ahead of Bob Kerrey and was close to 50. Kerrey hasn't exactly blasted his way out of the starting gate. Is the raid on Than Phu, evidently completely forgotten about, going to be an issue? I can't see how right-wing Republicans are going to make a deal out of that, since random and wanton killing of foreigners has been their policy for the past decade. But Kerrey will have his work cut out for him just getting that big-city smell off him and learning to speak Nebraskan again. But she looks like a weak candidate, the Embarracuda's endorsement aside (or, perhaps, implicated).