Kleeb and Fahleson duke it out on Twitter
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.
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.