Yesterday, the Nebraska Sierra Club called for an investigation by the United States Attorney into campaign contributions by TransCanada to Nebraska elected officials in the wake of published reports that Governor Dave Heinemann and Attorney General Jon Bruning had returned potentially illegal campaign contributions they received from TransCanada.  

“Since TransCanada appears to be a foreign company making contributions to Nebraska elected officials, we believe it is important to find out whether federal campaign laws were violated by these contributions,” said Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club lobbyist.  “Since state elected officials were the recipients of these contributions and federal election laws are involved, the investigation needs to be conducted by federal officials.”

The Nebraska Sierra Club stated that the investigation should include whether TransCanada had made contributions to other Nebraska candidates and office-holders and whether they had used third parties to make contributions to candidates or officials.  Winston stated that the issue of TransCanada’s contributions to elected officials is of vital importance given the fact TransCanada is seeking to have a pipeline to transmit tar sands oil across some of the most valuable resources of the State of Nebraska.

“Protecting the Ogallala aquifer is at stake, and with it, much of Nebraska’s future. We need our elected officials to ask hard questions about the safety of the pipeline without any implications that their judgment might be influenced by the financial contributions of a foreign company.  We also need to know whether TransCanada’s political contributions are legal or are in violation of the law, because that will help Nebraskans evaluate the kind of neighbor they might be.” 

We agree with Ken and the Sierra Club.  We have some other questions too that need to be answered and wrote about them on our Wimp Wednesday post.


Keep the pressure on, if you have not yet signed the Nebraska Pipeline Petition, please do so today.

You can also submit a Letter to the Editor of your local paper raising questions about what other laws may have been broken when it comes to state elected officials and the foreign company TransCanada.