Kintner gives a “maybe”

KLIN's Coby Mach & Karl Rove
KLIN’s Coby Mach & Karl Rove

State Senator Bill Kintner was on the Drive Time Lincoln show on KLIN with Coby Mach yesterday and talked about what his plans are after he receives the letter from the Legislature’s Executive Board regarding their request (demand?) that he resign.

Hear it here:

Interestingly, Kintner says — three times — that he hasn’t made up his mind on what he will do, and wants to read the Executive Board’s letter.


Unknown. But it is certainly interesting that the Board decided to send him this letter and he in turn has expressed a willingness to “listen”. It would almost seem as if there was an understanding from each side that things were still in motion.

Of course, if they are, Senator Colby Coash is out of the loop as he simply stated that it was no use trying again with Kintner.

As noted here before, if Kintner does resign sometime before the 9th, it would mean his seat would go on the ballot, but purely to write-in candidates. If after, it’s the Governor’s appointee.

The fact that Kintner would not give a definitive “no I won’t resign” when asked, with the Board sending a letter containing nothing new, makes it a head scratcher.

If he DOES quit, I’m betting on 7pm Saturday…


Ice wagons and yard signs

The WJS today has a story about the Trump campaign’s staffing since he secured the nomination. The gist is that while the Clinton camp is doing the usual ground game, Trump has nearly ignored it in many states — for instance still getting County Chairs in the swing state of Iowa.

But interestingly enough, Trump may also be winning Iowa — or it seems it will be close, at a minimum.

Of all the things people don’t like about Trump and the way this campaign has gone, in the end it could shed some light on a new way of using campaign resources, while still being effective. On the one hand, campaigners may look at how important a ground game is in someplace like Virginia.

But they may also look at how to spend valuable resources on areas they think they can eke out — or choose to spend in other ways.

Of course Presidential campaigns are much different than down-ballot races, and no one would suggest going door-to-door in a city council race is outdated. But if Trump has any success, candidates are likely to take a look at what should be updated in a system that has had a certain mindset for a long time.

Of course, if he gets demolished, it will simply be, “told ya so”.

Be sure to whack a kid on the shoulder and let them know what they are witnessing this season.

First time EVAH

Republican 2nd District Congressional candidate, Retired Brigadier General Bacon, received endorsement of Nebraska State Troopers Association this past weekend.

These endorsements are nice, but what makes this one unusual is that this is the first time the Association has ever endorsed a federal candidate.

They said Bacon has, “dedicated his life to serving the citizens of the United States, much like members of our organization have, so there’s definitely a kindred spirit there. We think he can do good things in DC so we want to step forward and endorse him.

Not a bad pick-up.


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Ill advised

Executive_BoardThe Legislature’s Executive Board hearing today provided another opportunity for state Senator Ernie Chambers to flail and wave and talk himself in circles — without anyone interrupting him.

If you missed it, first of all state Senator Bill Kintner did not show up. His attorney, J.L. Spray, wrote to the committee:

It is unclear to me what authority the Exec Board has, or perceives it has, as to these issues. Without knowing what action might be taken, or even the procedure for doing so, an informal discussion on the record is ill advised.

So this is essentially a lawyer telling his client, keep your mouth shut. It is not clear what good Kintner could have done at the hearing anyway, except get bashed for not quitting.

And then some others spoke and suggested that the Leg shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money on a special session.

Chambers took quite a bit of time extolling the issue of charging Kintner with a crime for Skyping on a government computer. Not the online sex-chatting, mind you. But simply using a government computer for non-government use.

But there was just one difference between what Kintner was doing online in Boston and what Chambers was doing for minutes on end up on the legislative board dais: Kintner’s version of self-gratification was subject to extortion.

And that is the issue that should be focused on.

Sure many, many people feel he should resign. Duh. Thanks for the input at this point.

But if they are going to talk about impeachment or expulsion, the issue isn’t some misuse of a government computer. Who cares about that?

The issue is whether Kintner was so grossly negligent in his actions as to subject the Legislature — and the Governor’s office where his wife worked — to criminal extortion.

Now whether that rises to the level of impeachment is another story — though the level for expulsion is certainly lower (non-existent?), even if the vote standard is higher.

And the funny thing is, while no one is going to say Kintner’s use of Skype was for a government purpose, Chambers’ use of the government copiers to send out caricatures of Kintner is very arguably not under a government purpose either.

Ah, but that’s just Ernie being Ernie…


Brenda being Brenda

And a correction came in from a local Democrat that Chambers did call for Brenda Council’s impeachment back in the day — but only if she beat Chambers in the election.

In the mean time he did not demand that she resign.
And he did not demand her expulsion from the Legislature.
As a matter of fact, he said, “the Legislature would have not much choice in the matter of impeaching her.” Again, not a call for the Legislature to act.

Splitting hairs? Know that words matter very much to Chambers.



And here are a couple of strange Tweets immediately following the hearing:

So it would seem that Krist is trying to…what?
Guard Senators from taking questions from reporters?
Stop reporters from reporting?

Just so he is aware, here is what the rulebook says:

“Executive sessions shall be open to members of the news media who may report on action taken and on all discussions in executive session.”

Someone let the Politburo there know that Senators don’t have to talk, but if they do, Americans can hear what they say.



And after all that, Fred Knapp at Nebraska Radio Network reports…

Woohoo! The Nebraska Legislature in action!

And here’s the thing: If’n Kintner DOES resign after Thursday, but before September 9th, it means his seat will be on the ballot, but the winner will be by write-in vote.

One can only hope…


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Hillary scares away Brad…again

Democrat Brad Ashford was on KMTV, making pizzas at Willie Theisen’s old place.

And the reporter asked him if he, Hillary Clinton’s campaign CHAIRMAN in Nebraska, was going to campaign with Hillary.

His response?

That’s not my role at all.


Really? Because actually, as Hillary’s campaign co-chair, that is EXACTLY HIS ROLE. That is the definition of his role — to campaign for Hillary.

Otherwise, you don’t take the job.

So, let’s just summarize Democrat Brad Ashford:

When asked who he supported for President, he said he liked Bush and Kasich — after he had already signed on to be Hillary’s chairman.

When asked what party he was in, he told a constituent, “whatever you want me to be.”

In the middle of the campaign, he can’t make time to appear at a rally, in his district, with Hillary Clinton…because he’s on vacation.

And now he denies his responsibility as a campaign chair to his Democrat nominee.

And here’s the thing: The Clintons, literally, keep lists on this stuff.

If you think Hillary will win the White House, you can forget about her doing any favors for Brad Ashford. He has essentially denied being a supporter or hers three — now four — times.

And of course Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t going to be doing him any favors.

Ashford as characterized himself as a “man without a party”. And that would be great if Washington was run by a bunch of independents. But it ain’t.

If Brad Ashford is in Washington, forget about the 2nd District having any clout from him.

Thankfully, voters have an excellent alternative, in retired Brigadier General Don Bacon.


#NE02 in top races in the country

Speaking of the 2nd District, The Hill reports that #NE02 is the #7 most expensive House race in the country.

The NRCC is spending almost $2.4 million on Don Bacon, a retired Air Force Brigadier General. The DCCC spent some money trying to meddle in the GOP primary, and they’ve committed a total of $2.4 million to defending Ashford.

The Congressional Leadership Fund is adding another $720,000 in an effort to defeat the freshman Democrat. The House Majority PAC will drop $672,000 on ads in the Omaha market, which Romney won with 53 percent in 2012.

The NRCC is pouring in money.
The DCCC is pouring in money.
Nancy Pelosi has visited.
Paul Ryan has visited.

The only poll that we have seen says the race is neck-and-neck.

They say that the average voter only starts tuning in after Labor Day.

Time for the race to begin.


Deaf ears

After the latest Nebraska prison mini-riot, Governor Pete Ricketts seemed to strike the right tone in suggesting that better pay and retention of guards would and should help ameliorate some of the problems around the issue.

Unfortunately, the guards union chief then spoke up and noted that he has been trying to address this exact issue for months, but that it has “fallen on deaf ears.”

At this point it is…surprising that this is still happening. It has been clear that there are problems in the Corrections Department, and one would have thought that these types of issues would be at the fore of the Governor’s agenda.

No one thinks that this is an easy issue, but it is a bit of a shock to hear that exactly what Ricketts says is at the top of the list, was pushed away over and over.


Open it up

And because it is a beautiful Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday, fee free to dive into the comment section on your favorite political topic — or sound of on something written here. As the great Jim Rome says, Have a Take, Don’t Suck, don’t cut and paste (that’s me, not Rome) and keep away from the personal.

Oh, and please tell a friend about, @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Leavenworth St. on The Facebook. You will see their face light up when they hear about the talk of Nebraska politics, and they will fill your pockets with Silver Dollars upon you making them so happy. Because that is the kind of friend you are…

And have a great weekend!

Write-in campaigns?

Write-inHere’s a twist for you on the whole Senator Bill Kintner saga:

As you may know, many have suggested to Kintner that he not only resign, but resign BEFORE September 1st. Why? Because if he is out by September 1, the ballot would be opened up for a vote, and anyone who wants to get their name on would have “time” to collect signatures to have that done.

(Of course, note that the deadline for 1,300 signatures is September 1st, no matter what — and one can’t start collecting until the seat is offically open. So good luck with that…)

But here’s a quirk:

Let’s say Kintner resigns AFTER September 1st, but BEFORE September 9th. Then, the open seat would be on the ballot, but without any candidates listed. So a candidate could then only win by write-in vote.

Think what kind of chaos that could potentially be. Sure a well known person could step up and get their name on the airwaves and internets. But equally, a simply ORGANIZED person could potentially do the same, and get in by whatever plurality could win it.

Of course, the Legislature or Governor could take the issue out of Kintner’s hands if they could call a special session and expel Kintner within the next 7 (to 14) days.

A week’s pretty tight though, eh?

If only they had seen this coming.
By, say, a year.
If only…


Independents Day

If you’re not a Lincolnite, you probably haven’t been following the budget standoff in the Star City between the Republican controlled City Council and the Democrat Mayor.

Much of it comes down to whether the Council has “the right to pass a tax rate lower than required by the mayor’s budget.

There are legal implications for that, and possibly a court fight.

So in the middle of all this, the LJS editorializes on who is really at fault. The clear answer?

KLIN’s Coby Mach.

The LJS describes Mach as a “Republican Party operative” who is stirring up his listeners to “egg on” the Council in their fight. Wow, the power that Mach has during his Drive Time radio show!

And he must REALLY be making the big bucks being employed by the Nebraska GOP!
(Oh, he’s not?)
(Them neither?)
Uh…well…he was a Republican delegate, so he MUST be controlled by the GOP, yeah?


But here’s how the LJS concludes their editorial:

In the city of Lincoln, a fast-growing political affiliation is nonpartisan. Last we checked on active voters in the Capital City, there were 64,646 Republicans, 60,942 Democrats, 1,254 Libertarians and 34,228 nonpartisans.

In other words, about one in five active voters in Lincoln is registered nonpartisan.

When the conversation turns to government, those are the folks we want to sit with at Saturday morning coffee, see on the next bar stool and chat with on the church steps after services. May their numbers continue to grow.

So instead of the 80% of voters who have core beliefs and the backbone to actually choose their party, the LSJ pretends to waiver with the 20% who can’t make a decision (and oh by the way, don’t get to vote in the partisan primaries).

And of course, the hilarious part is the LJS trying to pretend that THEY’RE independent, when they’ve been rock-solid SHILLS for the Democrats for years.

Rock. Solid.

So, nonpartisans, know that when the LJS sidles up net to you at the bar for that chat their dying to have, there’s a great chance they’re going to suggest that YOU pay the bill.


Interview prospects

Oh, and hey, speaking of the LJS, funny that they haven’t come forward on this story:

Of course, in order to successfully cover this story they’d have to…

1) Waive their Democrat bias towards Hillary
2) Pretend that Hillary wasn’t pro-Pipeline before getting hammered on it
3) Waive their declaration against political party leadership and interview Democrat Chair, Jane Kleeb, while she pretends to be an “independent” observer

And then, Jane is in an conflicted place herself.

On the one hand, she hates pipelines. And she was a Bernie Bro during the election — going so far as to have her people flex their muscles, (it’s been said) at the convention to get her spot as chair.

But on the other she IS trying to get Hillary into the White House (in theory, anyway).

What are the LJS and Jane to do???

Maybe they can call into Coby Mach’s show and plead their case…



Sidewalk-less debates

Leavenworth St. has received word from the Don Bacon for Congress campaign that retired Brigadier General Bacon has accepted offers to two debate — one from KMTV and the OWH and the other from 1290 KKAR.

No word yet on whether Democrat Brad Ashford has or will accept these offers to talk directly to the voters of the 2nd District.

We know Brad likes to show up unannounced on sidewalks to deny he is a Democrat who votes for Nancy Pelosi and Co-Chairs Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Hopefully he will show up on the air to smooth through all of his positions.


That’s how

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Special Session on Kintner has around 20 votes, needs 33 (or just Ricketts)

Nebraska state Senators Heath Mello & Bob Krist. (AP / Nati Harnik).

The word ’round the Capitol in Lincoln is that there are approximately 20 or so state Senators so far who would vote in favor of holding a Special Session of the Legislature to address the Senator Bill Kintner cybersex extortion scandal.

They need 33 to call the session.

Apparently state Senator Bob Krist and his bud Senator — nay, Mayoral candidate! — Heath Mello are itching to jump into the mosh pit.

Or, Governor Pete Ricketts could convene the Legislature by proclamation. And the word is that he is inclined to do that — though he may wait for Senators to decide on their own.

But this is a risky venue for Ricketts. Because at this point, we pretty much know everything about the scandal…involving Kintner. The State Patrol has reported times and dates and emails and threats and confessions and pretty much all of your scandal info short of a car chase.

But one issue is still out there:
What did Pete Ricketts know and when did he know it?

All indications are that Governor Ricketts had all of the pertinent info — offically or not — less than a week after the dirty deeds were done. That was August of 2015.

And after that, with Ricketts having — at minimum — a very good idea of what took place in the Boston hotel room and afterwards, he still kept dates with Kintner. He still showed Kintner his support. And Ricketts even put Kintner on his slate of delegates for the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland.

This is a hairy situation for all involved.

Many in the Unicameral — not just the Governor — will be asked what they knew and when they knew it. And then they will be sitting there while their fellow Senators cluck their tongues at them.

There is only one real answer to all of this.
It is unclear however if all of the parties know how to get there.


Forever young

Speaking of Heath Mello, he was on KFAB yesterday with Gary Sadlemyer.

He had a few interesting lines…and Sadlemyer didn’t really let him get away with much.

Mello said he wants Omaha to be a “city of the future”.
And Sadlemyer drolly responded that he didn’t know what that meant.

Mello scrambled a bit and talked about biomedical research and technical education. And Sadlemyer immediately shifted to the issue of how Futurama would get built: raising taxes.

And here is where Mello’s experience in politics helped him: he wouldn’t answer the question.

But Mello did note that he is “a young father” and that he is in office “at a VERY young age”.

Yet, it isn’t exactly clear why Mello wants to emphasize his relative youth and inexperience for the job of the City’s top executive.


Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena and Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse talk early voting.
Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena and Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse talk early voting.

Wayne Bena: anagram for “Ya, new bean!”

Douglas and Sarpy County Election Commissioners Brian Kruse and Wayne Bena held a presser earlier today, noting an information card they are sending out, as well as some pertinent upcoming dates:

September 1, 2016: Deadline to file for office by petition.

That means that, per the above conversation, if Bill Kintner resigns before 9/1, applicants could still file to get on the November ballot. After that, too late.

But Kruse and Bena also hit a few other notes:

They’re sending a mailing to all registered voters in Douglas and Sarpy, which includes an early-voting ballot application. They’ve made it pretty easy — including taking a photo of the application and emailing it back to the election office. (Saves you for whatever a stamp costs these days.)

And to cut any confusion, while Kruse suggested a “selfie” of the ballot application, one does not actually have to include their face in the photo back to the commissioners.

Vote early, vote often!


Where it’s at

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Making choices

Carhenge, near Alliance, will be a prime spot to view the FULL solar eclipse in August 2017...
Carhenge, near Alliance, Nebraska, will be a prime spot to view the FULL solar eclipse in August 2017…

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has said that he will not call a special session to address budget issues from the apparent tax shortfall this year.

So now, if state Senators want to call a special session to deal with Senator Bill Kintner…it will only be about Kintner. There had been some talk that a special session could deal with multiple issues — which would mean that they wouldn’t all be trudging back to Lincoln to just talk about cybersex and extortion.

In the mean time, it appears that Senator Kintner has his heels dug in, and still refuses to resign. And it seems apparent that Speaker Hadley isn’t going to let this sit until January.

This would seem to be one-a-them Mexican standoffs.

And (dumb as this type of source is), here is the wiki def:

“A confrontation between two or more parties in which no participant can proceed or retreat without being exposed to danger. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it.”

The emphasized italics there is added.


Bucket lister

Weird Tweet from OWH reporter Paul Hammel:

“He’s an Omaha guy”?
As opposed to…whom?
Or what?

OK Paul, I’ll bite:
I am surprised that Mello, with no experience with the city of Omaha’s budget, no significant work experience in the private sector, and no significant plans for the city, thinks a) the current, successful Mayor, Jean Stothert, should be removed and b) thinks HE is the one who should replace her.

So, yeah, color me “surprised”.

(Hate to harsh too hard on Hammel here, for what is probably a benign tweet. But these kind of things always leave me shaking my head…)


“Blue Steel”

After the pro-Death Penalty folks put out this new ad…

(That narrator’s voice is the guy from “Law & Order“.)

The Anti’s put up this one, starring Colby Coash:

And OK, I’ll bite, Ryan Horn (who is doing the ad work for the Antis):

Why Coash?
I mean, he’s fine and all, but is he your spokesmodel?
And I don’t mean “spokesman”, because he can probably deliver a quote to Don Walton anytime you need.
I mean “spokesmodel”.

His wife and mother no doubt think he is a very handsome gentleman. But there is a reason there are models and spokespeople on TV.

Sure, you want to have an ACTUAL soldier, when talking about military issues. Or an actual mother, when you’re addressing motherhood.

But this is just about who favors something.
ANYONE could be speaking. And there are lots of Republicans you could choose from, since that seems to be the draw.

And so you went with…Coash?

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.48.11 AM
Hey, you’re the professional…



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Bucket List: Run for Mayor!

Omaha Mayor Jean Sothert, over the weekend, “Raising money for research at the JDRF Walk with Sadie’s Superstars and Anna’s Rock Stars.”

So Heath Mello is finally, offically going to run for Mayor of Omaha.


Because he was term-limited and, Hey there’s a gig no one else wants to run for!

Mello is only 37 years old.
He has himself a bachelors degree from UNL as a Poli Sci major.
And he is finishing up serving in the Legislature.

The most recent actions he had there was authoring a budget that apparently causes shortfalls and may be in need of a special session to address it.

The funny thing is, nearly any of the Democrats on the City Council would be more experienced to run for Mayor of Omaha than Mello.

But then, they’re not term limited, like he is.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert had a nice response to Mello running:
She is focused on the budget for Omaha, improving infrastructure, cutting taxes and making the city work.

As opposed to just spit-balling pretend-ideas about nothing.

Not too many months away!


Ring Leader

The Executive Board of the Legislature had a meeting about a meeting on Friday, where they complained about the meeting that they may or may not have.

Well, some of them anyway.

Apparently it was important to get on record the actions of Senator Bill Kintner — though that seems like the sort of thing where a report could be issued and everyone says, “Aye.”

But then there would have been little theater.

Of course at the end, Senator Bob Krist complained that the person who wasn’t invited wasn’t there speaking.

Apparently only those invited would be speaking.
Apparently Bill Kintner was not invited and was told that he did not need to be there.

So of course Bob Krist complained that Kintner wasn’t there speaking.
Uh huh.

Krist also said, “We can’t carry this circus on!
And then told reporters, “Whatever phone number (Kintner is) using to talk to God, I want it.
Ho ho ho! What a card!

Because he doesn’t want it to be a circus…


“State Business”

“State Business”

ICYMI, Andrew Sullivan, a frequent commenter on Leavenworth St., and a Leavenworth St. post contributor, was the one who filed the complaint against Senator Ernie Chambers for mis-use of government property for his “Ernie-grams”.

Chambers does things like drawing caricatures and writing poems to make political points against opponents in Nebraska government, including Governor Ricketts and Senator Kintner.

Chambers defended himself during the Executive Board hearing, saying, “his memos/poems/drawings against Kintner deal with state business.


Sullivan also questions who is running Chambers’ Facebook account.



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Matt Hansen’s OWH push poll

Burke’s Bulldog is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.

MattHansen_edited-1In my political background, I’ve had to explain to people multiple times what a “push poll” is. Essentially, a voter will get a phone call from a candidate’s campaign or interest group and it will go something like this:

“How do you feel about Candidate X? Favorable or Unfavorable.”

If the voter says “favorable” the caller will then say something along these lines:

“Thank you. And if I were to tell you that Candidate X has a history of failing to pay his taxes, hates puppies, and thinks rainbows should be outlawed, would that change your favorable opinion?”

Basically, these phone calls are designed to hurt Candidate X.

Thanks to the OWH’s Matt Hansen, I can now simply carry a copy of today’s “opinion piece” with me as an example.

It was, literally, a push poll. Mr. Hansen called an ethicist at Creighton and asked which is worse, engaging in cybersex on a state computer (à la Bill Kintner) or a DUI like assistant football coach Keith Williams. Surprisingly, the ethicist correctly pointed out that while what Kintner did was bad, what Williams did – putting other people’s lives in danger – was worse.

But wait, said Hansen, what if I told you more about Kintner! He then listed eight “negatives” – at least three of which were taken out of context. He then reads a list of positive attributes of Williams.

Not surprisingly, the Creighton prof said, essentially, “Well, yes, it sounds like Kintner has a history of being a jerk and Williams is a good guy.

Which is the exact results you want from a push poll.

Mind you, this wasn’t in the opinion section. Oh no. It wasn’t even in the Midland’s section. This was on the front page of the paper above the fold.

I guess when the OWH finally just admits that they are the Democrats’ mouthpiece, Matt will have a leg up on his new career as a pollster.

Author: Goss told “Bald-Faced Lie” on the Cost of the Death Penalty*

*Note that this post has been updated below with a response from the anti-Death Penalty group.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.20.58 AMThe Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, who was quoted by Creighton professor Ernie Goss in his analysis of the legal cost of the death penalty, says that Goss told a “bald-faced lie” when quoting him in his analysis.

Kent S. Scheidegger wrote on his blog that…

“Opponents (of the death penalty) are not above outright lying when they think they can get away with it.

A whopper has just come to my attention from the state of Nebraska, where the people are going to vote on whether to abolish or retain the death penalty.”

Well, there is a start.

It seems that Goss quoted Scheidegger in a portion of his analysis:

“(Goss and his team are) not saying that this is their interpretation of my results. They are saying that these are my exact words and my interpretation. This is a bald-faced lie.”

The gist?

Goss claims that — nay, QUOTES Scheidegger that…

“There is no credible evidence that replacing the death penalty with life without parole will result in significant added trial costs…”

But Scheidegger says he wrote the exact OPPOSITE of this, and moreover, there is of course no quote from him that Goss could have used to make such a statement.

Scheidegger actually found that, “counties with the death penalty disposed of 18.9% of murder cases with a plea and long sentence compared to 5.0% for counties with no death penalty.”

And by the way, he notes this comes from “the only other study on the subject I know of from an independent source.


Couple this whole thing with Goss’s use of out-of-state statistics to come up with the numbers they are throwing around, the state of Nebraska’s analysis which disputes this and the Attorney General’s statements…and this analysis comes further into question.

It will be interesting to see how often that $14M number from Goss gets used by the press between now and Election Day.


Leavenworth St. received a response from Dan Parsons at “Retain a Just Nebraska”, the anti-death penalty group which paid for the Ernie Goss study.

Parsons states that Goss misidentified the quote referenced by Kent S. Scheidegger above, and has sent an apology to Mr. Scheidegger. Parsons states that the quote should have been attributed as follows:

48 Arthur L. Alarcón and Paula M. Mitchell, Costs of Capital Punishment in California: Will Voters Choose Reform this November?, 46 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. S1 (2012). Accessed at

This source has been updated on Goss’ study that is on the RaJN website.

Now HERE’s the irony:

Scheidegger’s version of this analysis is exactly the opposite of the analysis Goss references in the updated version.

In other words, someone in Goss’ office was reading the Scheidegger version, and seemingly was so fixated on it, they actually cut and pasted the reference to that version in their report.

And note, again, what Scheidegger says: an INDEPENDENT study says, “counties with the death penalty disposed of 18.9% of murder cases with a plea and long sentence compared to 5.0% for counties with no death penalty.”

So, in the end it was kind of Goss to point people to this INDEPENDENT study that contradicts the study paid for by the anti-death penalty group.



And the folks against the death penalty like to present their polls of people who are now against it as well.

Funny they didn’t show this report, from Cal-Berkeley:

“California voters oppose an effort to abolish the death penalty and strongly support a competing measure that would streamline procedures in capital cases…”

That’s CALIFORNIA voters.
And the study is from Cal-Berkeley. What are the odds of arguably the most liberal educational institution in the country overstating their study? These are the people who don’t like a flag flying on the back of a fire engine.

It will be interesting to see, when November rolls around, whether the Unicameral is in-step or out of step with Nebraska voters on this issue.


Executive session

The Executive Board of the Unicameral meets today to discuss what to do with a problem like Senator Bill Kintner.

It would seem that the main issue before them is whether to hold a special session to deal with it, or to wait until January. The guess here is that they won’t wait.

And if they do call for the Special Session, the ball will be back in Kintner’s court. One would assume that they will only call a Special Session if they have the votes to either expel him or impeach him. Why call the session of they don’t have the votes, or are just going to slap his wrist?

And if they DO have the votes, Kintner will have to think whether it is worth it to him to fight this. Because of his actions they did a year-long investigation. Because of his actions he has brought this embarrassment upon the state, the party and his family. And Kintner is not arguing the facts of the case. What would be the point of fighting what would be a sure thing?

Of course if they DON’T have the votes, no matter what double-secret probation they bring down on Kintner won’t really matter. And then they’ll still have to deal with Ernie Chambers bringing it up every day starting in January.

Someone better start counting.


Invoking Senator Curtis

OK, OK, it’s a Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday, so dive into the political topics you so desire in the comments.

If the Board comes out with something momentous, there may be another post up here today. Otherwise, keep up by following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter.  And Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook and/or sign up to for email updates (up top on the right) to get notified whenever there is a new post up.

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Have a great weekend!

Ryan stumps for Bacon, Bacon stumps Ashford

Ryan-Bacon-081716Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan was in Omaha yesterday, raising money and stumping for Republican 2nd District Congressional candidate, retired Brigadier General Don Bacon.

Reportedly, the event brought in $150K for the Bacon campaign against Democrat Brad Ashford.

But Ashford wasn’t content with reading about the event afterwards. He thrust himself right into the thick of it…and came out flustered.

After the Ashford campaign was reportedly calling around furiously to find out details about the impending visit by Ryan — the details of which were withheld on the direction of the Secret Service — a “surprise” occurred.

Ashford magically appeared at the exit of the event, and right into the arms of the local media.

And Ashford took the opportunity to challenge Bacon on his plans in Congress. As it would happen, Bacon was more than prepared.

Reportedly, Ashford first denied voting for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, twice. This would be surprising were it not for the fact that Ashford has recently…

Denied being a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s…

Denied being a member of the Democrat Party…

And being a no-show at the Omaha rally for the candidate for which he is a co-chair…


But Ashford also wanted to brag that he has “only” voted with Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi 72% of the time. “Only”!

Bacon quickly responded that 72% would be a low in someplace like Madison, Wisconsin or San Francisco…but not in Nebraska.

And then this exchange occurred:

It’s no wonder that Ashford wanted to high-tail it outta there.

KMTV reported that the Cook Political Report has the 2nd District race as a “Toss-Up”.

Don Bacon said on The Wheels Down Politics Show podcast that those polled, who knew both Bacon and Ashford, give Bacon a double-digit lead. And Bacon is not even on TV right now.

In the mean time, since Brad Ashford is clearly so fond of debating, Don Bacon has proposed 9 debates to Ashford between now and Election Day. While a week has passed, Ashford has yet to respond. (Must still be at the gym swimming laps.)

This is going to be a much more interesting race than many had figured. Both sides are putting an emphasis on it — with both Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan making visits to the district to give their support.

Hear the entire podcast interview with Don Bacon on The Wheels Down Politics Show here:


Unfit, or not?

An interesting development in the saga of state Senator Bill Kintner:

Governor Pete Ricketts and Speaker Galen Hadley sent Kintner a public letter yesterday asking him to resign again.

But that wasn’t all.

They also proposed that Kintner resign immediately, and then run for his seat again in the fall. They propose that if he resigns now, he can get signatures to place his name on the ballot to then be re-elected, if the people choose. State Senator Bob Krist made the same suggestion.

But that suggestion strays from a point that many had made at the outset of this scandal: That, because of the scandal, Kintner is unfit to serve in the legislature.

That’s unfit, “period”, as the Governor would say. Not unfit because his constituents don’t think he can serve. Unfit because he embarrassed and endangered the legislature by allowing himself to be an extortion victim while using government property.

That is the reason for either expelling or impeaching him. By the suggestion from the Ricketts, Hadley and Krist that he should be able to run — AND SERVE — if the voters decide, they cede any suggestion that he should NOT serve, and therefore be expelled or impeached.

Once again, the whole business of suggesting that he run again, or that he should serve — but without a staff or an office or a parking place — puts all of this opposition in a murky place.

Either Kintner should resign (“period” as it were), or he should be expelled or impeached. Any other suggestion muddies the discussion so it is not clear what it is about Kintner’s actions that they are objecting to.


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