“In 2018, Kara Eastman came within inches of unseating Congressman Don Bacon, and this time around she’s ready to finish the job. While Kara has been an independent voice working to serve her community in Omaha for nearly two decades, Congressman Don Bacon has focused only on doing whatever Donald Trump asks, relentlessly pursuing Republicans’ out-of-touch agenda of dismantling our current health care system, undermining protections for pre-existing conditions, and raising taxes on middle class homeowners. On issue after issue Bacon has placed Nebraskans last, which is exactly why they’ll elect Kara to office come November.” – DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos
A recent poll, conducted by the DCCC, shows Eastman leading Bacon 48-47 with Vice President Biden leading President Trump by 11 points (52-41). This is just the latest sign that with her targeted outreach and engagement with voters across the district about the issues that matter most, along with her proven ability to fundraise, Eastman is well positioned to take on and unseat Bacon who will struggle to defend his loyalty to Trump in this swing district.
To: Interested Parties
From: Sarah Guggenheimer, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: March 3, 2020
Subject: The Case Against Congressman Don Bacon
The contest between Congressman Don Bacon and Kara Eastman is a rematch that pits an establishment politician and Trump lackey against a lifelong advocate for hardworking families who speaks directly to the voters in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.
In 2018, Eastman came within 2 points of beating Congressman Don Bacon and is gearing up to run an even stronger campaign in 2020, highlighting Bacon’s record, which has only grown worse as he continues to serve a constituency of two: Donald Trump and corporate donors.
In the 2020 election, Bacon will have to reconcile his support for Trump to his constituents, with Trump on the ballot. In just the past two years, Bacon has proven he can’t be counted on to fight for the people he’s supposed to represent on issues from supporting corporate tax cuts, working to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, to voting against lowering prescription drug costs.
His record stands in stark contrast to Eastman who has spent more than twenty years leading nonprofit organizations and serving local communities. After watching her mother suffer at the end of her battle with cancer because she was unable to afford a $2,500 medication, Eastman decided to run for office to fight for affordable health care for all, affordable college and skills training, and to pass tax cuts that help middle class families, not the wealthy.
Further, a recent poll, conducted by the DCCC, shows Eastman leading Bacon 48-47 with Vice President Biden leading President Trump by 11 points (52-41). This is just the latest sign that with her targeted outreach and engagement with voters across the district about the issues that matter most, along with her proven ability to fundraise, Eastman is well positioned to take on and unseat Bacon who will struggle to defend his loyalty to Trump in this swing district.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Gateway: “NE-02 Congressional candidate Kara Eastman is a breath of fresh air.” [The Gateway, 8/13/19]
Omaha World-Herald: “Last month, Eastman flexed some of her digital advantage by out-raising Bacon from April 1 to April 22. She raised $91,000; Bacon raised $40,000.” [Omaha World Herald, 5/2/20]
Omaha World-Herald: “Republicans, [Eastman] said, are scared that she’s positioned to win in an environment where Democrats and left-leaning nonpartisans want a stronger check on President Donald Trump.” [Omaha World-Herald, 4/28/20]
Omaha World-Herald: “But Democrats turn out in higher numbers in presidential years, and elections elsewhere have shown some Trump-backed candidates losing ground among suburban women, Landow and others said.” [Omaha World-Herald, 1/25/20]
Don Bacon is a Proud Member of the Washington Swamp
BACON’S HEALTH CARE RECORD MAKES NEBRASKANS SICK
From the moment he was elected, Congressman Don Bacon wasted no time working steadily to rip health care away from his constituents. His vote for the AHCA is a permanent black mark on his record that he will be unable to run from with Trump on the ballot.
In the last two years, Bacon has continued to escalate his attacks on Nebraskans’ health care. Bacon voted multiple times to support the lawsuit that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and has refused to condemn the lawsuit even as we face a global pandemic.
Bacon’s refusal to treat Nebraskans’ health care with anything other than disdain or disregard naturally also extends to his refusal to take COVID-19 seriously. Attending public events, taking selfies with TSA agents, and going out when unnecessary, Bacon has exhibited a total lack of leadership during a pandemic that has already impacted at least 8,576 Nebraskans.
Another term of Bacon in Congress, means two more years of a representative constantly on the losing side of the health care debate and more votes to raise out-of-pocket health care costs and premiums, opposition to lowering prescription drug costs for his constituents — even through bipartisan legislation, and continued support of a lawsuit to repeal the ACA.
Meanwhile, Eastman’s entire career has centered around addressing the real problems that face hardworking families. She understands the debilitating costs of our health care system and in Congress will work to lower costs and improve coverage, unlike Bacon.
DON BACON PUTS SPECIAL INTERESTS FIRST
Since he’s arrived in Washington, Congressman Don Bacon has become a reliable vote for the GOP establishment and his corporate special interest donors, even when that comes at the expense of Nebraskans interests.
He’s voted against the Violence Against Women Act, stood silently by while Trump threatens again and again to cut Social Security and voted with Republicans to turn Medicare into a voucher program, voted to cut taxes for billionaires and big corporations while hurting middle-class families who need help, and when Trump proposed slashing funds to clean up Superfund sites, including the superfund in Omaha, what did Bacon do to advocate for his community? Repeatedly voted against funding for the Superfund program.
But this really can’t come as too much of a surprise given how much money that
he’s received $726,741 from corporate PACs in his short career in congress – as well as $339,500 from finance, insurance, and real estate PACs, $165,500 from defense industry PACs, and $207,867 from agribusiness PACs.
Simply put, Bacon is in it to help the rich, not the middle class. And while Bacon is more than ready to rake in those corporate donations, Kara has a proven ability to outraise Bacon without taking a dime from corporations.
THE TRUMP-SHAPED ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
It’s impossible to tell the story of this race without also discussing the bright red elephant in the room – Donald Trump.
Trump has already made it clear he’ll be investing in the district in the general election. RNC staff are already on the ground in Omaha. But given his unpopularity in the district, that’s bad news for Trump and even worse news for Bacon.
With Trump actively campaigning alongside the congressman, Bacon won’t be able to run from the fact that he has voted with Trump 94% of the time, or distance himself from Trump for fear of angering the President and losing his base.
All of this is to say, Bacon won’t be able to hide his attacks on health care, his vote against lowering prescription drug costs, his support of corporate tax cuts, and his blanket opposition to the Affordable Care Act even now.
That puts Bacon in an incredibly tough position, particularly against Kara who has built a reputation for her focus on Nebraskans.
PATH TO VICTORY
In 2018, Kara Eastman proved a real threat to Congressman Don Bacon in this urban-suburban district. And this cycle she’ll continue her focus on the grassroots support and messaging, which brought her within 2 points to victory last cycle, while also hitting Bacon for his ever-worsening record of selling out his constituents with his votes to give tax cuts to the wealthy and cut protections for pre-existing conditions.
The presidential race and Trump’s unpopularity will help Eastman, particularly in the suburbs surrounding Omaha, which Democrats have proven they can flip with a health care focused message. And her high name recognition, ability to raise, and support among Democrats will increase turnout in central Omaha.
These advantages were apparent in recent polling that showed Kara leading Bacon 48-47 and Biden leading Trump by 11 points, exemplifying just how competitive this race is.
In the face of Kara’s strong challenge and Trump’s presence, Bacon will be unable to distance himself from Trump or disguise his own record, setting him up to lose this rematch in November.