Elections

Anti-Keystone XL Pipeline Activist Becomes Nebraska’s Dem Party Chair

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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A well-known anti-Keystone XL activist was elected Saturday to the head of Nebraska’s Democratic Party with help from Bernie Sanders.

Jane Kleeb, who gained notoriety for successfully gathering opposition against the Keystone XL Pipeline, was elected the state’s Democratic Party’s chairwoman and is staked with growing the Democratic Party’s numbers. Republicans control four of the state’s five federal offices, as well as every one of the state’s constitutional offices.

Kleeb has accepted Hillary Clinton will be her party’s nominee for president, despite her support for Sanders, who peppered much of his presidential campaign message around anti-fracking rhetoric.

“The Republican Party that champions the status quo is due for a wake-up call,” Kleeb told reporters. “That wake-up call comes in the form of our newly energized Democratic Party, bolstered by Bernie supporters who finally have a seat at the table and Hillary supporters who are on the cusp of history, putting a woman in the White House.”

Kleeb, a Sander’s supporter and a scathing critic of Donald Trump, won the election after a knock-down-drag-out contest against Chuck Hassebrook, who was backed by the Democrat’s old guard and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Kleeb won with 224 votes, while Hassebrook managed 182 votes, despite making inroads with Sanders’ supporters leading up to the election. She took all three of the state’s most populated counties.

The new head of the Cornhusker State’s Democratic Party is also the president of activist group Bold Alliance, which is backed by wealthy left-wing foundations. The group, spearheaded by Kleeb, pushed Iowa’s attorney general into investigating ExxonMobil following reports last year the company allegedly covered up its knowledge concerning global warming.

“Some of our states’ highest legal experts see the clear indications of fraud that Exxon has engaged in over decades, “Kleeb said in a press statement on the group’s website.

She added: “Exxon knew their business model would make climate change worse, affecting everything from Agriculture to where families can live, and yet they continued to hide the science and fund a network of deception.”

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works accused Kleeb’s group of being “an arm of the Billionaire’s Club” in a report it published in July 2014.

Kleeb and Bold Nebraska, according to the committee’s report, are not the grassroots activists – in fact, thee committee stated, they have “succeeded in attracting the attention and deep pockets of the big foundations. In 2012, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation gave it $50,000, and Tides’ San Francisco-based 501(c)(4) group, The Advocacy Fund, gave $15,000. These two donations equaled one-third of Bold Nebraska’s total contributions received in 2012.In 2013, Tides Foundation almost doubled its 2012 grant by giving $90,000.”

Kleeb does share a somewhat sorted connection to the Clintons.

Kleeb’s husband, Scott Kleeb, who lost bids to represent Nebraska in Congress in 2006, was the CEO of an energy company called Energy Pioneer Solutions in 2009. Scott Kleeb owned about 30 percent of the company, as did Kleeb. One of the other investors in the company, Julie Tauber McMahon, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal, was allegedly the mistress of former President Bill Clinton.

The former president reportedly helped the firm in 2010 by touting it to then-Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. The Department of Energy later awarded an $812,000 grant to the company.

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