Nebraska Death Penalty Petition Drive Cost More Than $900K

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A group seeking to reinstate Nebraska's death penalty spent more than $900,000 to place the issue on the 2016 ballot.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty disclosed its expenses Monday. The group announced in August that it had collected nearly 167,000 signatures from a petition drive that began after lawmakers abolished capital punishment.

The largest contributions in the latest reporting period were $100,000 from Robert Mercer, a New York hedge fund manager, and $100,000 from the Washington-based Judicial Crisis Network.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and his father, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, have collectively given $300,000 but did not contribute in the latest reporting period.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty reported $10,350 in cash-on-hand. Spokesman Chris Peterson says the group will continue raising money to fight a lawsuit challenging the petition drive.