May 27, 2014 -- Lincoln Journal Star
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chuck Hassebrook on Monday asked Republican nominee Pete Ricketts to join him in a pact to attempt to "stop hidden donors from assaulting Nebraskans with mudslinging ads."
In a letter to Ricketts, Hassebrook also sought agreement that each candidate limit his general election campaign spending to $3 million.
Hassebrook said his proposal seeks to limit negative advertising to statements that he or Ricketts make themselves during the campaign.
"We just endured the ugliest campaign in recent history," Hassebrook said.
"In the last two weeks, I've been in communities all across the state and, without fail, people approach me about the excessive amount of spending and negative advertising that we saw."
Hotly contested Republican gubernatorial and Senate primary clashes turned sharply negative in the final weeks leading up to the May 13 election, with the majority of TV attack ads being funded by special interests and political action committees outside Nebraska.
"No candidate can unilaterally disarm and survive," Hassebrook said.
"So I will not pledge to take these steps alone," he said in a statement outlining his proposed "clean elections pact."
Nebraskans deserve a campaign focused on issues, one that does not insult their intelligence, Hassebrook said.