In Nebraska race, it’s all about N.Y.C.

April 13, 2012

By DAVID ROGERS | Politico

To hear Republicans tell it, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey is so poisoned after a decade in New York City that he can’t go home and run again.

But one of the biggest financial backers of these attacks is billionaire David Koch, who grew up next door in Kansas and then relocated to, well, New York.

Indeed, Kerrey and Koch, born just three years apart, are both Midwest transplants lured by the Big Apple. And it was Koch who first arrived on the Manhattan scene in the late 60s, when Kerrey was off losing his lower right leg in the Vietnam War.
But that isn’t stopping Americans for Prosperity, often a political arm for the Koch family, from pounding away now with ads lecturing Nebraskans not to trust this Democrat “straight from New York City.” Karl Rove’s American Crossroads set the anti-New York tone early, even before Kerrey announced in February. But AFP has picked up the hammer, committing as much as $648,000 in media buys already this year.

That’s a huge sum for a state like Nebraska so early in an election cycle, and all the more striking since Kerrey was dismissed by Republicans as a hapless underdog in what’s become a more conservative state.

Issues like health care and cap-and-trade climate change legislation are spliced in but the underlying message — together with pictures of the Manhattan skyline — is the same: that “after living in New York City for over a decade,” Kerrey is coming home to alien corn.

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