Philadelphia freedom


Polls this morning have Trump leading Hillary. (Though always remember that the most important poll…is the most recent one released on the Twitter.)

All the while, the Dems are coming apart before even being gaveled to order.

And then, there is a long article (on BuzzFeed, but still) about “How Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Movement (And My Heart)“.

But here’s the deal: The Conservative Movement hasn’t been stopped. And it doesn’t even necessarily need to be redefined.

But it’s goals should be spelled out for the public, and should be counted, for or against them, depending on success.

Repeal ObamaCare. Get rid of Common Core. Abolish the IRS. Get rid of just about ANY government agency. End abortion. Stop wasteful government spending.

Is there a significant measure of success on any these issues?
Sure there’s some chipping, but is anyone looking at these and saying, “well Conservatives kicked ass on THAT issue“?

Back in the day, the main goal was stopping Communism, and that seemed an unlikely goal. Then Gorbachev came in and started giving in to Reagan (defined however you’d like, if that helps you). And once Communism was defeated in Europe — and the Chinese moved to a pro-capitalism society — goal achieved.

And now? Whither conservatives, right?

Newt Gingrich nailed it back in 1994 with his Contract for America. He chose things that COULD get done. Can you name ANY of them? But in the end he held up a piece of paper with checkmarks on it, and victory declared.

But what are Congressional Republicans running on today?
Where is their contract?

Maybe its just figurative, but shouldn’t that be something that Paul Ryan puts out?
Something that is EASY to understand and point to?

Quick, what are Trump’s plans?
1) Build a wall.
2) Stop terror.
3) Make America Great Again.

That last one is even more generic than the second, but it is still harkens back to the quote from a lady at one of his rallies months back: “He wants to make America great again! See, it’s right there on his hat!

Point is, Conservatives need to do more than just spell out which philosophers they stand by. And they need to do more than just talk about which values are important.

Again, MORE than just those. Because those are still important, for a base.

But they need an easy LIST of what they CAN accomplish — and then tick those things off the list next year. And they need to be able put them through with a President Donald or a President Hillary.

And they’ll also need to figure out a way to have something that can pass where they can take credit, without getting overshadowed. (Does anyone remember the Senate or the President getting credit for Gingrich’s Contract with America?)

There is a giant vacuum right now for almost ANY Congressional leader to step up and declare what is “Conservative”, give a list of what they can pass, then take it up next year.

Of course it probably should have been done last week, but whaddayagonnado?


Blame it on Rio

Donna Brazile has been suspended from CNN while she is now the “temporary” chair of the DNC, after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was busted for doing what everyone knew she was doing.

But Brazile could have kept her gig at CNN. The REAL reason she was dumped is clear:

Colluding with Republicans.
NEBRASKA Republicans…


And be sure to listen to the most recent interview on The Wheels Down Politics Show podcast, with Nebraska convention delegate Sam Fischer, recorded immediately after the convention close.


Burning down the House

And just for fun, there’s an analysis that shows the Electoral College Vote being TIED 245-245 (a 0.5% chance, but still…).

So suppose the vote goes to the House!

Who do THEY choose in the end?

You could argue that a non-Trump win would mean some sort of revolt. But suppose Hillary wins the popular vote. Then there would be a strong argument for Republicans to pick someone who both sides could agree on.

Alas, this is as unlikely as Trump winning the GOP nomination…


Philly Phanatics

Leavenworth St. will do it’s darndest to keep up with the Dems in Philly. You know with all of the protests and booing and such.

Follow @LeavenworthSt for constant updates, and Like Leavenworth St. on the Facebook, and subscribe (up top on the right) for email updates with every new post.

Because that is how you will stay an expert on the talk of Nebraska politics!

The Wheels Down Politics Show – Sam Fischer, closing the GOP Convention in Cleveland

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Giuliani-FischerJerry Kratochvil interviews Nebraska GOP Convention delegate Sam Fischer, immediately following the close of the Convention.

Sam gives his view of Ivanka and Donald Trump’s closing night speeches, from the perspective of a delegate about 40 yards from the stage. He talks about some of the contrasts that Trump presented and a few of the particular issues, including from the perspective of a law enforcement officer.

Sam talks about some of the VIPs he met along the way at the convention and what it was like to be on the floor for this momentous occasion.

He closes by talking a little about yesterday’s controversy with Ted Cruz, and the perspective of the Nebraska delegation on the Cruz speech.

Carson-FischerOn the web: Meridian Central
Twitter: @MeridianSam
Twitter List: Nebraska GOP in Cleveland


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.

Follow Jerry Kratochvil @WheelsDownPols and @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook to get the talk of Nebraska politics!

RoasTED at #RNCinCLE

Before we get into last night’s festivities, first we must address Nebraska GOP delegate (and Sarpy County Election Commissioner) Wayne Bena’s encounter on the convention floor with Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog (a/k/a Robert Smigel):

So, in light of Triumph’s observation about Mr. Bena, we give you this version of “If They Mated”:




So the media is pretty much ablaze today with Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement speech to the Republican Convention last night.

My thoughts:

Ted Cruz is done Presidentially. I’m not sure I’d bet that he’d lose in a Senate primary, but his calculation last night was poor.

His bet, like many other #NeverTrumpers is that Trump loses badly, and then he rises as the party savior in 2020.

Instead he got the entire convention arena to rally around Donald Trump and boo him off the stage. People used to wonder why so many, if not all, of his colleagues in Washington hate him, and now he summed it up for them.

And Cruz is now seeing how he miscalculated as well. He is telling reporters this morning that he didn’t endorse because Trump insulted his wife and father. So it wasn’t because Trump wasn’t conservative enough? Which is it, Senator?

G’bye Ted.

Other conservative writers are popping up this morning giving multiple huzzahs to Cruz to “sticking to his principles”. But once again, this was a politically calculated speech that Cruz gave. Just like it was Cruz’s political calculation to be warm and fuzzy to Trump, back when Trump was destroying Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

So those, like Jonah Goldberg (one of my favorite writers), wrote

But if the choice is between forgiving Ted Cruz’s obvious political calculation to become the standard bearer of an authentic conservatism or Donald Trump’s lizard-brain narcissism where no principle or cause outranks his own glandular desire to be worshipped, like a conqueror atop the carcass of conservatism, I choose Ted.

Which is an interesting consideration.

But I’ll at least give Jonah the credit for writing “if”.

Because that’s NOT the choice.
The choice is not Trump or Cruz.
It’s Trump or Hillary.

That’s it.
That’s the choice.

So writers like Jonah or National Review’s Kevin Williamson can characterize the choice of Hillary or Trump as “between gonorrhea and syphilis” and har-har at their cleverness. But actual voters will be making that choice for who is President.

As near as I can tell, people like Williamson and Senator Ben Sasse plan to either sit on their hands or flush their votes on Gary Johnson or something. And maybe those votes don’t matter in Nebraska or DC. But they certainly do in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida.

So here’s the question, which I posed to Williamson on the Twitter, and he directed me to his vast volume of writings to dig for the answer:

Are you for Hillary or Trump?

If you say Trump, but only because Hillary would be more awful, fine.
(Jonah Goldberg has said this.)

Heck, I’d even take a version of…

“I am a Constitutionalist, and I think almost any of the other GOP candidates would have been better than Trump. But I know that Hillary will be much worse than Trump, so I will vote for Trump. But I will hammer him every day and on every issue where he is not in line with my Constitutionalist thinking. And I also hope to bring him around to my side. But, assuming he doesn’t change, I will also advocate for the Republicans replacing him in 2020. In the mean time, I know that Hillary would be worse, and will vote Trump…”

Or, if you say Trump is so bad that I’ll gulp and vote for Hillary, and then try to defeat her after 4 years, fine. I disagree strongly with that position, but OK.

But this “neither” territory is a crock (along the lines of Gary Johnson).



From a few there last night after the Cruz speech:

Dirt bag.

From Hal Daub: “He showed tonight why he lost.

Deb Fischer: “Everybody pledged that they were going to support the nominee. It’s too bad he didn’t.

And from an unnamed former U.S. Senator sitting with billionaire Sheldon Adelson (who refused to let Cruz into his suite after the speech): “He’s a piece of sh*t.

And enough of this, “All he said was vote your conscience!” The “conscience” part was Cruz’s code for “Don’t vote for Trump! Wait 4 years and vote for me!

Newt even put a nice spin on it saying, “There’s only one ticket that will protect the Constitution, Trump-Pence.


We ALL scream

And a hearty meat and potatoes speech from Mike Pence.

But here’s another point from a column from Jonah Goldberg yesterday:

He said that in the past, conventions were about everyone coming together and picking a candidate all the party could agree on. Some like strawberry, some like chocolate. But some hate both. So they pick vanilla because EVERYONE likes vanilla.

And a few months back, he was pointing out that Scott Walker was leading the polls (remember that) because he was the vanilla candidate that everyone could agree on.


Now…some in the GOP are saying, “That Moosetracks is actually laced with Ex-Lax.

Others are saying, “No it’s not. And even if it is, we are going to be force-fed ice cream tonight, and the coconut-kale flavor over there is also laced…with cyanide. So I’ll take my chances with the Moosetracks.


Angus farming

Yesterday it was announced that Falls City, Nebraskan Charles W. Herbster was named the Trump campaign’s National Chairman of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee.

Later in the day Herbster sponsored the dinner for the Nebraska delegates in Cleveland.




And a few pics from the Nebraska Twitterers yesterday…


Tweetin’ the night away

The big conclusion tonight!

Follow along on the Twitter @LeavenworthSt!

And follow my Twitter list of tweets from Nebraskan GOPers in Cleveland.

Annnnd Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook and subscribe up top on the right to get updated with every new post!

Because that’s the ONLY way to be part of the talk of Nebraska politics!

Days 2 & 3, Omaha and the FEC

After a tour of the Cleveland Indians’ ballpark yesterday, the Nebraska delegates took to the floor to formally nominate Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

Committeeman J.L. Spray lead the group, and as these things always play out, extolled the virtues of Nebraska during the roll call of the states:

(Courtesy of @KevinThomasKLIN Radio)

If you can’t listen, as Nebraska’s ambassador, J.L. says…

“Nebraska, The Good Life, with Great Opportunity, the home of Silicon Prairie News, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, the number one beef producing state in the Union, a place where people find their happiness from honest work , and where a person’s word is their bond…cast their 36 bound delegates for the next President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”



The whole gang was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this morning…

Nebraska delegation 2016

…after a long night of delegating and cheering.

Various photos during the festivities can be found on Leavenworth St.’s “Nebraskans in Cleveland” Twitter list page, but here are a few as well…

Oh, and Hal Daub photobombing Sam Fischer’s selfie…


Stay tuned for Day 3!


..Finest Place You Ever Saw…

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert unveiled her budget yesterday, and there were more than a few highlights:

  • Lowering Property taxes for the second year in a row.
  • Adding additional police officers to make it 56 more since she entered office in 2013.
  • Putting forward a plan for street improvement (which she released last week) including more money for snow removal as well.

A solid budget to go with Mayor Stother’s solid record.


FEC what I mean…

The quarterly FEC numbers are out, and Democrat Congressman Brad Ashford has filled up his coffers with over $850K in PAC money. As a matter of fact, only 42% of Ashford’s campaign booty is supplied by individual donors. (In contrast, over 60% of retired Brigadier General Don Bacon’s fundraising is from individuals.)

When the Democrat leadership banged the spoon on the table at Brad that he wasn’t raising enough money, he certainly looked up and did what he was told. And of course this was amplified over the weekend when Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — whom Ashford voted for Speaker — came to Omaha to fine-dine with Ashford.

As has been written here for years now, incumbents are difficult to defeat. One big reason is that lobbyists make it rain on Democrat incumbents like Brad Ashford.

The funny thing is that Ashford’s seat is consistently listed as in-flux. Both parties are spending big in this race. And Ashford is raising the big corporate bucks to try to stay in power.

But Don Bacon is a retired soldier and does not frighten easily. And it’s likely that he will have a few big names coming in to support him as well.

This one will continue to be one to watch.


Follow me

Keep following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter for continual updates throughout the day and evening!

Follow Leavenworth St.’s Twitter list of “Nebraska GOP in Cleveland” to get direct updates from Nebraska delegates (and others) on the Convention floor!

And Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook and subscribe to Leavenworth St. (up top, on the right) to get updated with every new post!

Because it’s the best way to stay up to date on the talk of Nebraska politics!

Day 1 at the #RNCinCLE!

To start your Cleveland-centered morning, here are a couple of Separated at Births for you!

First, Nebraska National GOP Committeeman, J.L. Spray… and Morning Joe Scarborough!


And second, Douglas County Republican Party Chair, Jon Tucker…and Wally from Dilbert!



Rod pod

To start you off, here is a very quick edition of The Wheels Down Politics Show podcast from yesterday with Nebraska alternate delegate and political consultant Rod Edwards!

This was recorded between Day 1’s morning and evening session, and it focuses on the controversy (remember that?) about the lack of a roll call vote on the convention rules. Looking back on it now, I’m starting to feel it was a smart move.

In any case, it’s a quick 10 minute interview with Rod to give you an immediate taste of the convention floor itself.


Tweeting LIVE

If you want to follow the convention in real time, you can not only follow MY tweets, but the tweets of almost all of the Nebraska convention delegates via my Twitter List of “Nebraskans at the GOP Convention“. It just puts all of their tweets in one spot, so you don’t have to try to follow an additional 40 people on your regular timeline.

I use it myself. Very handy.


Views from the floor

Senator Deb Fischer on the floor

Some other highlights from last night:

I heard from many of the delegates, and on the Twitter, national pollster Frank Luntz noted that during the “minor” speeches from early last night, delegates were seated, listening to ALL of the speeches.

These were mainly those from Gold Star Mothers (who lost children in combat) and Marines relaying their experiences in Benghazi. But they were followed by others such as Sheriff David Clarke and Senator Tom Cotton.

Senator Deb Fischer also joined the delegation on the floor — though not a delegate herself.

And then there was the over-the-top entrance by the candidate himself, and the fantastic speech delivered by Melania.

Which got rave reviews by everyone, even the most cynical commentators…and then the news broke after the speech.



Picture this…

Here’s the thing about “plagiarism”: It’s only really bad when you’re trying to take a shortcut and not get caught. Say you’re a student, and you’re trying to write an idea about why the Treaty of Ghent was a bad idea. You read an original idea about it in a book, even copy a passage from the author, then claim to your teacher that it was your own: bad.

Joe Biden has pretty much gotten a pass on all of the plagiarism that he did on Nile Kinnock’s speeches, because many people figure he didn’t mean to try to trick anyone. He had cited Kinnock in the past, but then when giving speeches in Iowa during the Presidential campaign, omitted Kinnock’s name. But then, “Biden’s use came under more scrutiny because he fabricated aspects of his own family’s background in order to match Kinnock’s.

Courtesy of Wayne Bena

I have a feeling we are never going to get a straight answer out of the Trump campaign about how Melania’s speech is so strikingly similar to one given by Michelle Obama. But here’s what I imagine happened (or something like it):

Melania wanted, and needed, to write some of her own speech, seeing as it’s her life story. But she has never done anything like this before. So someone said, “Here’s an example of a good speech, I’ve put it through the Google translator into Slovenian so it’s easier for you to read. You put some ideas together, and then someone will help you craft your speech.

And then Melania looked at what was Michelle’s speech, and thought something like, “I like this idea right here. Sounds exactly like something my father would say.” And then she cut and pasted it into her rough draft, along with other ideas. She didn’t think much of it, as the nerd with the bad haircut and no fashion sense TOLD her it was from a “good speech”.

So then speechwriter guy — probably different from the original guy — gets Melania’s notes. He puts them back through Google translator, bucks up the speech trying to use as many of Melania’s ideas as possible, and returns the whole thing to Paul Manafort, who has final say on everything. Speech looks good, and off to put in the teleprompter.

Now this is, at least, political negligence. But it ain’t malicious. In the Biden situation above, he may have at least figured that no one was going to know about a speech from a British politician. But here, it would be (and was) obvious! You could never hide it.

So, even if the above explanation is completely off, there is no way there was any malicious intent.

Just disappointment …that it is now a giant distraction (Manafort is claiming that it wasn’t copied from Michelle’s speech…) from what was otherwise a very well written and delivered speech.


Courtesy of Jon Tucker
Courtesy of Jon Tucker


Well anyway. Considering that the early session on Monday now feels like it was a a year ago, by Thursday, Day 1 will likely feel like 10 years ago.

That being said, there better be some major efforts to end the thing by 10pm CT each night. It was awful that the speakers in the end, like Joni Ernst, were talking to an empty room.

You can’t exactly blame organizers for putting in a speaker after Melania, since who knew she would kill? But three or four (I lost count) more? And it should have been clear to give retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn the hook after five minutes, tops. Did anyone think he’d be a riveting convention speaker?


The ONLY way!

Well, we Leavenworth St. will continue with the coverage — with more full posts throughout the convention. So be sure to come back here, but especially follow along on the Twitter, @LeavenworthSt.

Then to stay updated with new posts and podcasts, Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook, and/or subscribe for emailed updates with every new post (up top, on the right).

Because that’s how YOU keep up with the talk of Nebraska politics!

The Wheels Down Politics Show – Rod Edwards at Day 1 of the GOP Convention in Cleveland

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Rod EdwardsJerry Kratochvil interviews Nebraska alternate delegate Rod Edwards after the contentious morning session of Day 1 at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Edwards talks about the arguments on the proposed roll call vote on the rules that caused a stir in Cleveland. He gives his perspective on the what happened, how it went down and some of the suggestions now being lobbed around by each side.

Edwards also talks about what it might mean to have been “strong-armed” by a Trump supporter to remove your name from a list, and what that might be like on the receiving side.

He finishes up by talking about the atmosphere in Cleveland, and what delegates are most impressed by.

Twitter: @RodLEdwards
Facebook: Rod Edwards


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.

Follow Jerry Kratochvil @WheelsDownPols and @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook to get the talk of Nebraska politics!


Photo courtesy of delegate John Orr

Nebraskans have taken over Cleveland!

Well…along with the rest of the GOP around the country.

And you’re going to hear lots and lots about what’s happening — and not happening. But your best source is always Leavenworth St.

But I awoke to one of my favorite writers already kvetching about the proceedings in Ohio.

I disagree with Jonah Goldberg that the Convention is supposed to be some lineup of every House and Senate member trotting out a prepared speech to the teleprompters — or that the party’s not unified enough.

That is not the modern show, and that’s not what the viewers are looking for.

The angry right keeps chuckling at themselves that Melania Trump and the Duck Dynasty guy are speaking. (Let’s see, candidate’s wife and very popular conservative TV guy. Oh the horror!)

But then here are some other featured speakers tonight:

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

And those are just the top political names. There are a half dozen others who are speaking on a certain theme.

Note they are survivors — and loved ones of those who didn’t survive — from Benghazi and Afghanistan. My guess is they will be a solid speaking group tonight — and through the rest of the week.

So no, this is not going to be a convention about Ben Sasse and Trey Gowdy. And the Bushes and Romneys won’t be there.

But Cruz, Carson, Rubio, Christie, Ryan, McConnell, Gingrich and Pence will be.

I have a feeling that Republicans will get enough of the stalwarts to satisfy them.



The red pantsuit was a dead giveaway…

Hey look who snuck into and out of Omaha on Friday evening!

Democrat House of Representatives Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi! The country’s top liberal!

She swept into Eppley Airfield, unannounced, motorcaded over to midtown and got out of her fleet of black SUVs at the Grey Plume.

And who was there to meet her?

Democrat Brad Ashford.

Now Pelosi and Ashford both say they weren’t raising money.

(And Democrats in town are saying, “They sure as hell have BETTER been raising money!“)

She just jetted directly into town to try the Grey Plume’s $27 Chicken Roulade (with pear, turnip, shallot, feta and english pea). Or possibly the $37 Alaskan Day Boat Halibut (with breakfast radish, ramp, orange, farro tabbouleh and fava bean).

Because she certainly didn’t bring her Secret Service detail into the Big O to meet with the Democrat Union Bosses and their members at a union hall. And she didn’t venture into South O to try the Carne Asada at La Choza and rub elbows with some of her constituency.

Maybe she was just in town to thank Brad Ashford for repeatedly voting for her for Speaker of the House, and for voting WITH her 78% of the time.

You know, just an atta-boy and a pat on the head.

Because it sure as heck wasn’t a visit for everyday voters in the 2nd District.
Who Ashford claims to represent.


No Mistake

Leavenworth St. will (likely) be posting at various irregular times this week with shorter posts coming out of the Republican Convention in Cleveland.

For instance, you may see posts about Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena being interviewed by Stephen Colbert…


Or the Fischers of Valentine, Nebraska taking in the events (notably, Senator Deb and her nephew Sam)…


Or just the regular goings-on of the delegates rummaging through their boxes of swag.


And, Leavenworth St. will do its best to keep you — and the delegates — abreast of all that is happening in the Home of Rock and Roll!

To follow them yourself, click on @LeavenworthSt’s list of Nebraska GOP in Cleveland, to see Tweets they put out themselves.

And otherwise, follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter — for continual updates throughout the day and night — and Like Leavenworth St. on the Facebook and/or subscribe for email updates (up top, on the right) to get notified whenever a new post goes up.

Because THAT’s how you stay up to date on the talk of Nebraska politics!

Hello Cleveland!

First, a little Separated at Birth for you here…


Trucker-hat topped, Western Nebraska Jane Kleeb and… City-fied, smart-busy suited Jane Kleeb.! She’ll be whatever she thinks you think that she thinks you want her to be!


Never say #Never again…

The “Free the Delegates” movement at the Republican National Convention was dealt a likely fatal blow yesterday, when the Rules Committee defeated all of the attempts to open up the convention to counter-Trump candidates.

Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh and her backers had bragged that they had at least 28 pro-Conscience-Voters on the Rules Committee to issue a “minority report” for the entire convention to vote on. Instead they only mustered 12 votes out of 112, and seem to be at the end of their rope.

Even National Review, which has been solidly anti-Trump, and has #NeverTrump leader Senator Ben Sasse as their go-to guy, tweeted this morning:

Sort of a strong statement, especially considering that their gang of Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson and others are still probably in that camp, to say nothing of Sasse.

But it is difficult at this time to see what that group does.

It always seemed that #NeverTrump was born out of a desire to see Trump lose the primary, and a hard stance seemed like the only way to really make the point. Once the primaries ended, it seemed like a futile, and nearly pro-Hillary cause, except that some still held out hope for things to change in Cleveland.

But now that it seems Trump will be the official nominee in a week. Where does #NeverTrump go?


Shoe Shine Regulators Nemesis

Speaking of Senator Sasse, he stepped up to the plate with Senator Mike Lee of Utah and pushed a bill to get rid of regulations on shoe-shiners in Washington, D.C.


Come up Pence!

Senator Deb Fischer had her weekly call with the Nebraska media yesterday, and she noted a few things:

1) She disagrees with President Obama on his recent call to push national standards for local police. She reiterated her position that local communities have a better handle on these types of issues than the feds — that New York is different than Omaha, is different than Grand Island, is different than Valentine.

2) As reported by the Nebraska Radio Network, she supports Donald Trump’s pick of Mike Pence for VP. She noted (to a very intelligent, and handsome questioner) that while she had never personally met Pence, “He is looked upon as a very solid man. He has a reputation of being a good governor for his state. I think he would be a very good addition to our ticket.”


Bringing the Bacon

Retired Brigadier General Don Bacon released his fund-raising numbers for the last quarter, and the news is a dramatic uptick.

Bacon has raised over $300,000 since April — great numbers for a Congressional campaign in the 2nd District. (Much less than $200K would have been a poor showing. Anywhere from $2-300K would be good. Over $300K? Excellent.)

As noted in their presser:

As a point of reference, Bacon’s fundraising during this quarter has surpassed the campaign of Brad Ashford this time two years ago. In 2014, Ashford raised $229,421.75 during the second quarter with $195,829.92 being raised following the 2014 pre-primary report.

This race is still Democrat Brad Ashford’s to lose. But all indications are that it is still neck-and-neck. We should expect this race to be hard fought until the end.


Rock and Roll!

Leavenworth St. will be Tweeting (@LeavenworthSt) the Trump announcements as well as the GOP Convention actions as well. Follow the Leavenworth St. “Nebraska GOP in Cleveland” list on the Twitter where all of the delegates and alternates will be added (eventually). Some tweet more than others, but you can get the gist.

(If you are a delegate or an alternate, and you don’t find your Twitter handle on the above list, please Tweet or email it to me and I will add you!)

Also Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook and/or subscribe up top, on the right to get updated on all new posts! Because keeping up on the talk of Nebraska politics is what you do!

Road work

stothert-roadsBREAKING: Trump will pick Pence for VP.


Straight outta Omaha

A couple of stories of interest outta the OWH today.

First, there is Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s announcement of a plan for street repair. This was a contentious issue, it seemed, for at least a few days.

Omaha Steaks’ Bruce Simon had filed a lawsuit. The OWH reported that he was hopping mad about the plan for resurfacing side streets, or the cost thereof. It seemed to be a big deal.

As a matter of fact, it was SUCH a big deal that State Senator — and much-rumored Mayoral candidate to-be — Heath Mello took to The Facebook to declare that HE had taken “responsibility” (he even looked the word up in the dictionary, to make it official) for fixing roads.

He cited a bill that he pushed through the legislature to help roads, and THAT was his clear marker that HE was going to be the road-fixing Mayor.

Then a funny thing happened.

Mayor Stothert made the announcement about the street repair plan that she’s been working on for months.

And she called Bruce Simon to explain it to him.

And, (whoops Senator Mello!) Simon dropped his lawsuit!
And said “he’s happy with the new plan.”

Here, let him tell it:

“What Mayor Stothert has done is taken a very fair, measured approach to getting this done and doing it in a way that won’t bankrupt the city and still is a really, really fair approach.”

So there ya go.

While Senator Mello was demagoguing the issue to help his nascent Mayoral campaign, the Mayor let him and everyone else in on her PLAN.

Maybe the “responsible” thing for Senator Mello would have been to ask around first.


Harshing your mellow

It is certainly interesting that the 36 year old Mello thinks he has the breadth of experience and knowledge to be the Mayor of Omaha.

His current gig is “Community Affairs and Development Specialist at Metropolitan Community College”. He has been a staffer for elected officials. And he has been in the Legislature.

Not bad experience mind you, but not exactly the level of past Mayors. Mayor Stothert was on the City Council and local school board before being elected. So was Jim Suttle, who was also an engineer. Mike Fahey had years in business. Hal Daub has seemingly done everything. P.J. Morgan was in real estate.

Maybe Mello is still planning on a City Council run to help him make that leap to Mayor. But a jump right to the Mayor’s office for the the 36 year old certainly seems…interesting. (If not hasty.)


Base HIT

Another interesting article on the home page of the OWH is the meeting that took place about the increasing costs of ObamaCare.

The Nebraska Healthcare Alliance’s National Healthcare and Insurance Reform summit at UNO focused on the Health Insurance Tax or HIT that will be re-implemented (it has been delayed by Congressional action) in 2017 if Congress doesn’t take new action.

HIT is a multi-billion dollar tax imposed on health insurance premiums for low and middle class workers, seniors, businesses, as well as Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. HIT hammers those who can least afford it. The $100 Billion tax will be assessed on insurance companies, who will then be forced to pass it along to consumers.

Just another hidden feature of ObamaCare that needs to be eliminated. (And you wonder how many more of those there are…)


New rules?

The GOP Convention Rules Committee meets in Cleveland today, with Nebraska delegates Joyce Simmons and J.L. Spray representing Nebraska.

The letters are still flying with the Kendal Unruh “unbinding” plan to free all delegates to “vote their conscience”. There was word a few days ago that they had 28 delegates on the Rules Committee to submit a “minority report” to the full body for a vote, but that waits to be seen.

And if you’ve listened to The Wheels Down Politics Show podcasts with both J. L. Spray and Platform Committee member Brian Buescher, you’ll know that their views on the success of such a vote are low. (You’ll have to listen to the pods for their reasoning.)

FWIW, #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson today released HIS idea for who the convention should pick after they dump Trump: President Scott Walker and Vice President Ted Cruz. The first guy and the last guy out of the Primaries.

Ya gotta have a dream, I guess.

Tweeting the Convention

Keep updated on ALL the machinations of the GOP Convention by following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter! And I have created a Twitter List, for Nebraska delegates who will be Tweeting during the convention.

It’s still in build stage (with only has the committee members now), but the link will stay the same as more are added for next week: Nebraska GOP in Cleveland.

And you can also stay up to date with every new post by Liking Leavenworth St. on the Facebook and/or subscribing to email updates up top, on the right.

Because there’s no better way to keep up with the talk of Nebraska politics!

The Wheels Down Politics Show – Brian Buescher at the GOP Platform Committee in Cleveland

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Jerry Kratochvil with Brian Buescher
Jerry Kratochvil with Brian Buescher

Jerry Kratochvil interviews Nebraska delegate Brian Buescher, just back from the 2016 GOP Convention Platform Committee meetings in Cleveland.

Brian tells about some of stranger issues that came before the GOP Platform Committee over the past three days, as well as some of the regular topics as well.

He talks about some of the Nebraska focused planks that he was able to address, and he also gives a bit of a view on the Kansas grouse and Hawaiian chocolate covered nuts.

As the first committee to meet in Cleveland, he also took part in some of the first discussions on what might happen with the “Dump-Trump” delegates, and the likelihood of their success.

He notes what has happened at past conventions, and his thoughts on where things may go this time around.

Twitter: @BrianBuescher1
Facebook: Brian Buescher


Also, be sure to listen to the last podcast with Nebraska delegate J.L. Spray, on the very important Rules Committee which meets later this week. He gives very informative view on the various issues that will come up, especially on the Dump-Trump faction.


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.

Follow Jerry Kratochvil @WheelsDownPols and @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook to get the talk of Nebraska politics!