Ruling in Case of Nebraska Campaign Law Violations

ne-supreme-courtOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has revived the case against two utility employees accused of violating campaign laws.

The Northwest Rural Public Power District employees are accused of using public money to pay for radio ads that questioned the cost-effectiveness of wind energy. The ads ran in 2010 after Michael Van Buskirk, a wind energy proponent, announced his candidacy for the utility’s board.

The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission later fined the employees $2,000 each, saying they violated state law by spending public money on campaign ads. The men appealed, and a judge in Lincoln County overturned the commission, saying the ads didn’t mention the election or Van Buskirk’s candidacy.

But the Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday said the judge should consider whether the ads were intended to influence the election.