Nebraska Senate candidate Shane Osborn seems to have made a habit of, one might say, overreaching during this campaign.
First, there was the misrepresented memo: In an effort to defend his military service, Osborn had a friend in the Pentagon write up a memo saying that Osborn was authorized to land in China, put it on official Navy letterhead, and release it without proper authorization. As the Omaha World-Herald reported, Osborn’s campaign then circulated that memo as if it were an official Navy document. Osborn has since apologized.
Now, Osborn is claiming to have the support of 51 economists from across the country. But as the World-Herald notes, it appears that many if not most of those economist aren’t aware of their endorsement.
The World-Herald writes:
“One of the economists denied giving such an endorsement, according to Club for Growth, a national conservative group that supports Osborn opponent Ben Sasse.
“The World-Herald reached eight other economists listed. Of those, two confirmed their endorsements of Osborn. Another acknowledged ‘implicit’ support.
“The other five denied endorsing Osborn. They said they believed they were endorsing free-market principles in general and the policies of former President Ronald Reagan.
“The two that confirmed their endorsements: Douglas Frechtling, a professor of tourism studies at George Washington University, and Susan Feigenbaum of the University of Missouri-St. Louis department of economics.”
Osborn has spent much of the campaign running controversial attack ads against Sasse, the candidate who has been endorsed by Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Mike Lee, and Sarah Palin. The principal beneficiary of Osborn’s attacks appears to have been Sid Dinsdale, a mostly self-financed candidate — he just put $1 million of his own money into his campaign — who is vying to become the wealthiest man in the Senate. (He would beat out Virginia Democrat Mark Warner.) Dinsdale has emerged as a late threat to win the race at the wire, but it remains to be seen how Nebraska GOP voters will react to his Pinnacle Bancorp PAC’s having given money to Senator Ben Nelson’s campaign after Nelson provided the 60th and deciding vote for Obamacare in connection with the Cornhusker Kickback.