LINCOLN — The organization that successfully collected signatures for a voter referendum on Nebraska’s death penalty raised and spent more than $900,000 on its petition drive.
A group that opposes capital punishment, meanwhile, collected and spent about half as much to combat the petition drive.
Nebraskans for the Death Penalty raised $261,000 from July 28 to Sept. 21, according to a report filed Monday with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. The sum was on top of the $652,000 it had raised earlier.
The largest donors during the most recent reporting period were the Judicial Crisis Network and Robert Mercer, who gave $100,000 each.
The network also gave $200,000 in early July, making it the largest overall donor to the petition drive. The Washington, D.C.-based group describes itself as “dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice” with a commitment to limited government, the rule of law and a fair and impartial judiciary.
Mercer, a New York hedge fund manager with a $12.5 billion fortune, has frequently put his money to work for conservative causes.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, who made a fortune as an executive with his family’s company, TD Ameritrade, earlier gave $200,000 and ranked as the largest individual donor. His father, Joe Ricketts, who started the company, earlier gave $100,000.
The pro-death penalty group raised $913,000 since the petition drive started in early June. It spent a little more than $903,000, leaving about $10,000 in cash on hand, according to Monday’s report.
Source: omaha.com, September 29, 2015
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