Sen. Ben Sasse responds to Fox News report on Sidney, Nebraska
SIDNEY - A segment on Fox News Channel that shed light on the "corruption" behind the Cabela's-Bass Pro Shops merger has grabbed the attention of Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse.
Sasse was a focal point on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday. Carlson reported Sasse had never made a comment on what happened to Sidney. Carlson also said Sasse received the maximum donation from Paul Singer for his 2014 campaign.
Singer's hedge fund, Elliot Management, disclosed an 11-percent stake in Cabela's in 2016. A year later, Bass Pro Shops announced it would purchase the outdoor retailer for $4 billion. The merger was finalized in 2017 and the town of 6,282 people has lost nearly 2,000 jobs since.
“Melissa and I know the families in Sidney and I’ve constantly told companies, including Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, that nobody out-works or out-hustles Nebraskans," Sasse said in a statement to Fox News on Wednesday. "Sidney hasn’t given up and neither have we."
After the sale of Sidney's main employer, the stock price surged and Singer’s hedge fund cashed out within a week. Elliott Management reportedly made at least $90 million.
"There’s a real problem with American communities coming apart and it’s going to require creative policy making," Sasse continued. "This problem isn’t going to be solved by the easy, overpowering big-government advocates on either the right of the left.”
Carlson reports a spokesperson with Elliot Management says the company denies responsibility for the Cabela's sale. The outdoor retailer was exploring a sale before Elliot bought a stake. Elliot did not exert "direct influence on the Cabela’s sale or pressure them into that decision.”
During his nightly show on Wednesday, Carlson said U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission findings contradicted Elliot Management's claim.
"Cabela’s did consider selling before Paul Singer arrived, but in August 2015 they rejected that path," Carlson said. "Suddenly, after Singer’s purchase, they reversed course. They ended the statement with a promise to 'protect and grow their clients hard earned capital.'"
Officials in the southern panhandle town reacted to the national news piece with optimism on Tuesday. Read comments from City Manager Ed Sadler, Economic Development Director Melissa Norgard and Mayor Roger Gallaway HERE.
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