05/15/2012 06:53 pm ET Updated May 15, 2012

Late Returns: Will Big Money Buy A Cornhusker Primary?

You probably haven't been paying much attention to the Nebraska GOP Senate primary (there is one, and it's tonight), because feh, Nebraska. But over at the Plum Line, Jonathan Bernstein has a good take on how the campaign finance orgy unleashed by the Citizens United ruling could bite back on the GOP's hopes of picking up Ben Nelson's old seat.

Right now, there's a three-way race brewing among Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, state treasurer Don Stenberg, and the previously unheralded Deb Fischer, who represents the 43rd District in the Nebraska State Senate. As Bernstein noted, the x-factor in the race is a cool $200,000 that Fischer received from Joe Ricketts, who owns the Chicago Cubs. Cubs money isn't traditionally associated with the concept of "people winning things," but in this case, the most recent polls have Fischer up on Jon and Don.

Per Bernstein:

This is exactly the kind of contest that people concerned about the wide-open spending associated with the Citizens United decision should be worried about. Big money isn’t apt to make much of a difference in presidential campaigns, because of diminishing returns and the large amounts of money and press coverage that those races receive. Nor is it likely that big money will matter a lot in congressional races this November; while it could sway some votes on the margins, party identification, and not advertising, drives most votes in November.

But a Senate primary is exactly where someone should theoretically be able to show up, write a check, and buy himself or herself a Senator.

Whoever wins this primary will go up against former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey. Overall, it's a tough environment for Kerrey to run in, but you can bet that the Nebraska GOP would probably prefer that Bruning prevails.


Eric Griego Goes There: Griego, a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Mexico's First Congressional District, minces no words in his new ad: "I'm Eric Griego and I approve this message because I won't stop until Wall Street bankers who broke the law go to jail." As Greg Sargent notes, Griego's is "perhaps the first to campaign on a call for jailing bankers." [The Plum Line]

Seems Like An Awful Lot Of Effort To Just Interview Nancy Pelosi: Nancy Pelosi is so confident that the Democrats will take back the House that she agreed to be interviewed by Jonathan Karl whilst "power-walking" with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, behind a camera-laden pedicab. [ABC/Yahoo News]

Can The Government Be Run Like A Business?: No: “The presidency’s unique requirements mean that everyone who holds the office needs some on-the-job training, something Romney has done before. Still, the White House would bring unfamiliar constraints. There’s no equivalent in the corporate world to the separation of powers that often thwarts a president’s will. And the job demands political savvy more than managerial excellence." That's from Bloomberg News, who I hear have considerable expertise in the business world.

Listicles Aren't All Bad, Part One: Brad Phillips, otherwise known as Mr. Media Training, gives us 10 questions that all candidates should be able to answer at all times. And yes, he says it's OK to not know the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan. [Mr. Media Training]

Listicles Aren't All Bad, Part Two: And Buzzfeed's Rebecca Elliot gives us "7 Very Bad Predictions About Americans Elect." These are mostly LOL-worthy conjectures that Americans Elect would be the Amazon or iTunes of politics. The only genuinely risible statement comes from John Avlon, who insists that critics of AE are just "people trying to defend the status quo." No, John, some critics just didn't think the solution to the two-party system is some dopey Internet thought exercise ran by shady weirdos. [Buzzfeed]

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