The Nebraska legislature succeeded in repealing the death penalty in 2015 — overriding the veto by Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. Almost immediately following the repeal, supporters of capital punishment, backed by the governor, launched a ballot drive to put the issue directly before voters in November 2016.
It is unusual for a sitting governor to spend money backing a ballot initiative, but Pete Ricketts has spent $300,000 backing Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, which is campaigning to bring back capital punishment. Meanwhile, his father Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, pitched in $100,000.
The elder Ricketts is a prolific right-wing political spender. His also gave $1 million to a pro-Donald Trump Super PAC in September.
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