NDP Chair Jane Kleeb on Tuesday applauded the Nebraska Public Service Commission for voting unanimously to open a formal investigation into the Nebraska Republican Party for illegal calls that falsely claimed legislative candidate Janet Palmtag was lying. The PSC voted unanimously to issue an immediate cease and desist order to the Nebraska Republican Party for these illegal calls.
“The Republican Party has a history of using robocalls in illegal and inappropriate ways. When you do not have strong issues to run on in campaigns, you resort to name calling which is exactly what the Republican Party continues to do in our state,” Kleeb said. “The Democratic Party continues to focus on mobilizing voters to vote early by mail or in-person at their county election office to end the one-party rule in our state that strangles democracy.”
The order will prevent the Nebraska Republican Party from making robocalls in Nebraska until Oct. 20, 2020.
Janet Palmtag filed a complaint with the Nebraska Public Service Commission on Oct. 1.
On Sept. 30, 2020, the Nebraska Republican Party coordinated with the Julie Slama campaign to place thousands of illegal robocalls across Legislative District 1. The robocalls falsely claimed that Janet Palmtag was lying about being endorsed by multiple Nebraska Republican Leaders – including Governor Dave Heineman, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, State Senators Roger Wehrbein and Dave Pankonin.
The Nebraska Republican Party blatantly violated Nebraska State Statute – (1) the required legal disclaimer failed to identify the phone number, web address, or mailing address of the person calling; (2) the NEGOP failed to file a copy of the script with the PSC within 24 hours of placing the calls; (3) the NEGOP did not have a permit to operate robocalls within the State of Nebraska.
“Appointed Senator Julie Slama’s campaign team has again been caught red-handed and is violating laws of the State of Nebraska,” Palmtag said.
The Palmtag campaign has been spending thousands of dollars correcting misleading and false information put out by the Slama campaign and the NE GOP since the primary.
This violation comes on the heels of complaints filed with the Nebraska Accountability & Disclosure Commission regarding illegal coordination of $75,000 in political donations. Investigations into these violations are ongoing.
NOTE: Due to a clerical error with the publishing of the Commission meeting notice for Oct. 6, Orders approved by the Commission at today’s meeting would need to be ratified at the next meeting, on Tuesday, Oct. 13.