Ex-senator to remind voters of real-life connection to 'American Hustle'

With American Hustle contending for Best Picture and other Academy Awards, a Senate candidate in South Dakota hopes to take advantage of the eyeballs on Sunday's broadcast.

Former senator Larry Pressler has bought two 30-second local spots during the Oscars — typically one of the most-watched events of the year — to remind South Dakota voters that he did not take a bribe during the Abscam scandal, according to the Associated Press. Pressler, who served as a Republican for three terms, is running for his old Senate seat as an independent.

American Hustle — starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner — is loosely based on the Abscam public corruption scandal of the 1970s. The FBI videotaped politicians taking bribes with the help of a convicted con man (Bale's character) and a fictional Middle Eastern sheik seeking political favors.

A senator, several congressmen, state and local politicians were convicted. Pressler was the "one senator who would not be bought," The Washington Post reported in 1980.

Pressler, 71, is running for the Senate seat of retiring Democrat Tim Johnson. Pressler was defeated for re-election by Johnson in 1996.


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