I want to tell you a story. It’s a true story. It’s a fact-checked, researched, and important story. And it has a hell of an ending. If, by the time I’m finished, you feel comfortable with Pete Ricketts potentially being governor and are okay with the GOP in general, then we have very different sets of moral values.
The story doesn’t start in Nebraska. It starts in Indiana. Charlotte Lucas and her husband own Lucas Oil. Their name is on the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium, if you’re not familiar with any of their other products. They are huge GOP supporters. Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which gives corporations the right to donate as much as they like to whoever they like, these billionaires have the ability to use their money to change the course of elections. They are ripping elections from the hands of the people and putting them in their pocketbooks.
And they’re doing that now in Nebraska.
You’ve seen those nasty ads attacking Chuck Hassebrook, a good man who would do this state proud; some of those are bought by a group known as “Protect the Harvest.” The ads they run are the dirty ads, the ones that politicians know all about and refuse to call out because they are glad someone is running them and bloodying their opponent’s good reputation.
Charlotte Lucas, who may well have never set foot in this state, is a huge donor to “Protect the Harvest.” A quarter of a million dollars has been given from her company to prop up the PAC running nasty, negative ads against Chuck.
This is not the end of the story.
It could be. It should be enough that billionaires who don’t live here are trying to sway an election in a way that’s beneficial for their company. But that’s not where the story ends…
On October 2, 2014, Charlotte Lucas went on Facebook and posted the following:
“I’m sick and tired of minorities running our country! As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think that atheists (minority), muslims (minority)n or any other minority group has the right to tell the majority of the people in the United States what they can and cannot do here. Is everyone so scared that they can’t fight back for what is right or wrong with this country?”
Her subsequent “nonapology” apology consisted of her saying she expressed herself “clumsily.” She did not distance herself from the content, only its presentation. A billionaire who is paying for Pete Ricketts’ attack ads posted a racist rant she stood behind.
And where’s Pete on this? Where is he standing up for the minorities who live in Nebraska? Where is he saying “Thanks but no thanks. If you’re going to mock, ridicule, and insult people I am trying to represent, I don’t want you to run ads on my behalf.”
Every election cycle, I get emotionally invested. That is almost always followed by crushing disappointment, as the political machine does something gross and people throw up their hands like “what can you do.” I’ll tell you what you can do: You can vote for Chuck Hassebrook. You can vote against Pete Ricketts. You can tell people like Charolette Lucas that her billions don’t give her the right to disparage millions upon millions of Americans.
If there is one position I am constantly blasted about by conservatives, it is my indictment of the GOP for rampant, unchecked racism. I am told time and again that “not all Republicans” are racist. To which I often counter, “no, but almost all racists are Republican.” And at the highest levels, the top dogs, the kingmakers who fund the campaigns and choose their candidates, those people are racists sometimes too. I’ve often explained the relationship of the GOP to racists like this: Say you throw a party (a grand old party). 500 people show up. And 10 of them walk around saying racist, awful shit. If I’m at that party, I do one of two things. I either get those people to leave or I leave myself. That’s what I’ve always demanded of the Republican party: Make the racists leave or you should leave the party.
Do you want a governor who would stand with this woman? Do you want a governor who has so little to run FOR that he is counting on outside money running AGAINST his opponent? Chuck Hassebrook is a good man with good values. Pete Ricketts is a coward who won’t stand up for minorities and who gets in bed with people who don’t care at all about you so much as they care about their bottom line.
So I ask you now the question I referred to at the beginning. At the end of this story, can you possibly feel comfortable with Pete Ricketts being governor or with the GOP in general, knowing their biggest donors are so full of hate?