Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert today took issue with candidate Heath Mello who recently accepted $25,000 from the Omaha firefighters union for his campaign. Mayors negotiate directly with the firefighters union for their city contract, and Mayor Stothert has consistently refused to accept any campaign contributions from an entity with whom the city negotiates.
“During last night’s candidate forum hosted by the Omaha Downtown Improvement District, I pointed out that one opponent has accepted $25,000 from a single municipal union, the firefighters. This is an inherent conflict of interest and that’s why I have not taken any contributions from unions who negotiate with the city administration on contractual matters,” Stothert said.
The Omaha World-Herald noted that Mayor Stothert questioned “how Heath Mello could be unbiased in future contract negotiations” after his campaign finance report to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission listed the $25,000 donation from the union.
Mayor Stothert’s campaign has raised over $1.7 million for this election, breaking the record set by former Mayor Mike Fahey for an Omaha city election. Her campaign has received contributions from 1,230 small donors since finance efforts began in late May 2013.
By comparison, over one-half of the $136,775 in itemized donations reported by the Heath Mello campaign earlier this month came from just seven well-heeled donors.
The primary is this Tuesday, April 4th.