Briefly

Progressive group launches campaign to ‘unrig’ the economy, targeting U.S. Rep. Don Bacon

By: - April 2, 2022 11:00 am

Rep. Don Bacon, campaigning in the 2020 election cycle. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

A campaign called “Unrig Our Economy Nebraska” launched Saturday, saying it wants to educate voters about how those in power favor corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working people.

The group is part of a national effort that plans to spend more than $1 million in Nebraska to educate voters, according to Kevin Cass, the group’s campaign manager. 

It is aiming its publicity campaign at positions taken by U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, a Republican who represents the 2nd Congressional District. The group cited his votes for decreasing corporate income taxes and against the American Rescue Plan Act, which Unrig our Economy says will help middle-class families and avoid a recession.  

‘Corporate cronies’

“The big Republican elephant in the room is Representative Don Bacon’s complicity with his corporate cronies to rig our economy against working Nebraskans,” Cass said in a news release. “The working people of Nebraska deserve a leader who stands up for working people.”

Unrig Our Economy Nebraska announced its campaign Saturday morning during a news conference at Omaha’s Turner Park.

As a 501(c)4 nonprofit political group, the organization does not have to report its donors or report its expenditures, maintaining that they are “educating” voters and not calling for a vote for or against a politician. Cass declined to say who is supporting Unrig the Economy Nebraska.

Similar campaign in Iowa

A similar campaign that launched Thursday in Iowa lists labor unions and progressive groups as supporters. The Iowa group is targeting decisions of U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican who represents a northeast Iowa district.

Cass said progressive economic policies are widely popular with Americans, but they do not realize that their elected officials are not backing them with votes in Congress.

Since 2017, Bacon has represented the Omaha-area’s 2nd District, which is seen as a swing district that could go Republican or Democrat. In 2020, for instance, 2nd District voters backed Democrat Joe Biden for president, while voting for Donald Trump in 2018.

Bacon is opposed in the GOP primary by Steve Kuehl of Gretna. The Democratic Party has two primary election candidates, State Sen. Tony Vargas and Alisha Shelton.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.

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