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Regulators ratify order for Nebraska Republican Party to stop robocalls in legislative race
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Regulators ratify order for Nebraska Republican Party to stop robocalls in legislative race

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The Nebraska Public Service Commission again ordered the Nebraska Republican Party to stop contracting with a Missouri company to place robocalls in a contentious legislative race.

State regulators Tuesday unanimously ratified the cease-and-desist order against the Nebraska GOP and its auto-dialing contractor, Kansas City-based Remington Research Group, on Tuesday, one week after initially approving it.

The second vote was necessary because of an error in publishing notice of the Oct. 7 meeting.

Earlier this month, District 1 legislative candidate Janet Palmtag filed a complaint claiming a robocall placed by the Nebraska GOP falsely claimed Palmtag was lying about endorsements from several prominent Republicans, including former Gov. Dave Heineman and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.

Nebraska Republican Party ordered to stop robocalls in District 1 legislative race

The state commission found the robocalls placed on behalf of incumbent state Sen. Julie Slama — appointed in 2018 to the Legislature by Gov. Pete Ricketts — violated state law because they did not disclose the phone number and address of the person operating the auto-dialing service.

The commission also said there was no script of the call filed with the commission before it was made, as is required by state law.

Slama-Palmtag legislative battle grows more toxic

The cease-and-desist order only applies to Remington Research Group and does not prevent the Nebraska GOP from working with other contractors to place robocalls in other races.

Slama easily won the May primary over Palmtag and Dennis Schaardt. Voters in the extreme Southeast Nebraska legislative district will choose between Slama and Palmtag in the Nov. 3 general election.

Slama-Palmtag legislative battle ignites Republican fireworks

The 2020 Journal Star general election Voter's Guide

Your guide to Lincoln-area and statewide races and ballot questions that will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Click on a race name to see the candidates and learn about their views on the issues.

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Forty-nine women and men serve in Nebraska's unique, one-house Legislature.

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The State Board of Education sets state education policy and regulations, and oversees the Nebraska Department of Education.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS

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