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Kleeb and Fahleson duke it out on Twitter

Jane Kleeb

Bold Nebraska founder Jane Kleeb

Twitter adds a whole new dimension to partisan bickering: Today, the news came out that prominent Democrat Jane Kleeb paid a whopping $50 fine for mistakenly filling out campaign finance forms.

Mark Fahleson, chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, was quick to pounce — probably even quicker than usual, given the Democrats’ going after Republican Jon Bruning for what they say are campaign violations.

GOP chairman Mark Fahleson

In her settlement agreement with the state Accountability & Disclosure Commission, Kleeb said the Hastings school board race was her “first political campaign” and that she had a “mistaken belief” as to what state campaign finance laws required. Fahleson wasn’t buying that; he noted Kleeb has held national partisan campaign positions since 2003 and her husband Scott Kleeb ran unsuccessfully for federal office in 2006 and 2008.

“Jane Kleeb either willfully ignored the law in this case or was recklessly uneducated about it, simply to achieve a political goal,” Fahleson said.

Republicans also noted that she didn’t just fail to report an expenditure correctly, she failed to properly register her committee, properly file required campaign statements and failed to properly report late campaign contributions.

“We can focus on the size of the fine, but at the end of the day she would not be nearly as dismissive if Heineman or Bruning were fined $50 by the FEC as a result of the bogus Bold Nebraska complaints that were recently dismissed,” said Jordan McGrain, executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party. “She would claim victory and condemn them for breaking the law. They did not, she did.”

But duking it out in the press wasn’t the end of it: Fahleson tweeted a message to Kleeb saying he was “Reading with interest a (sic) FEC dismissal of one of your frivolous complaints. Not a good day for u or Sen.BenNelson.”


Kleeb replied by saying it was a $50 fine and asking if Fahleson would be sending it out as a “top press release” for “bruning, Heineman or others?”

Kind of weird to see party leaders throwing punches on Twitter.


More layoffs in newspaper industry

Yesterday, Gannett Co. laid off 700 employees — including one of my dear friends who got the news this morning. Ugh.
Read about it here.
It’s said to be the largest single round of of newspaper layoffs since July 2009. Gannett is the largest U.S. publisher, in terms of circulation, and owns USA Today.
My friend was one of 13 people laid off in the newsroom of the Des Moines Register.

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