The election is less than a month a way, and you can't turn on a TV in Nebraska without seeing the face of either Pete Ricketts or Ben Nelson. Millions of dollars are being spent on attack ads that give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that only public displays of hypocrisy can elicit. Ricketts is the millionaire CEO of Ameritrade, Nelson is the millionaire incumbant and former Governor of Nebraska. Either way, we're getting a millionaire who will likely be a whore for special interests. Nebraskans are being forced to make a decision that many men at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada have struggled with: which whore do you want?
Nelson is barely a Democrat, but he's the closest thing to a Democrat that could get elected in a conservative stronghold like Nebraska. In most states, Nelson would be considered a moderate conservative at best. Ricketts is a bit of a political unknown, but if the early debates between the two candidates and Ricketts position statements on his website are any indication, Ricketts makes Trent Lott look progressive. Ricketts doesn't really have any views that could be considered moderate, whichs is a check against him in my book.
Both candidates have attack ads about how the other guy didn't pay their property taxes, and the facts support both candidates assertions. Both Ricketts and Nelson applied for and received significant property tax breaks, as millionaires have a tendency to do, regardless of their political party. Loyal supporters of both candidates will try to argue with you about tax structure or how both candidates earned their money honestly, so they should get to keep it, but it essentially boils down to the fact that both guys know how to work the system. And if you were in their shoes, you would do the same thing. People who say they wouldn't are liars.
At this point, I am going to reluctantly vote for Nelson. Ricketts comes across as a millionaire conservative tool, because he is. You could pull his platform right off the GOP website, and he obviously will tow the party line if elected. While Nelson is not really a Democrat, aside from his membership to the party, at least his political decisions aren't dictated by his party. I respect this a little bit, since the political process often gets bogged down in partisanship on both sides, and at least Nelson isn't a rubber stamp for his party, as Ricketts would obviously be.