New #NE02 and #NEGOV spots!

by Street Sweeper on September 17, 2014

Lee Terry has a new TV spot out.
See it here:

This is Terry’s 3rd testimonial ad and again, it is solid.

The Veteran speaking makes it clear that he backs Terry and all of Terry’s work for Vets.
And we are sure that Terry has other ads ready to roll, but we would suggest that he cannot go wrong with an ad showing his support for the military. It is a no-brainer, and these days, we would also suggest that Lee letting other people do the talking ain’t a bad idea either.


Chuck Hassebrook, who early on had promoted his idea of an all positive campaign has his SECOND negative ad out against Pete Ricketts.

See it here:

The funny thing is all of this has already been refuted by Ricketts. You look to see what he has proposed and what is on his website and it’s none of this stuff. Hassebrook feels he has some sort of ace in the hole with the Platte Institute stuff, but it won’t fly.

We will let the Ricketts camp continue…

False Claim #1: Chuck’s ad says Ricketts is making false attacks.Fact: Ricketts has yet to run an ad mentioning his opponent. His radio and television ads have focused solely on his own qualifications for being governor and why he has earned the support of groups like the Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Cattlemen.

False Claim #2: Chuck’s ad says Ricketts “avoided paying taxes.”

Fact: Ricketts has never tried to avoid paying his taxes. On two occasions in the past, he challenged the assessment of his home as thousands of Nebraskans do every year. The Douglas County assessor agreed that Pete’s assessment was too high and the valuation was reassessed.

False Claim #3: Chuck’s ad says that Pete “will raise taxes on family farmers and 80 percent of Nebraskans and lower taxes for corporations like his.”

Fact: The ad cites Platte Institute policies Ricketts has refuted, and an OpenSky Institute report on LBs 405 and 406, tax bills that Ricketts opposed. Tax reform for the benefit of all Nebraskans has been a main tenet of the Ricketts campaign. Ricketts has released detailed plans for property tax reform, which would be the top priority of a Ricketts administration.

False Claim #4: Chuck’s ad says Ricketts wants to “lower taxes for rich people like him.” The ad cites a newspaper report on LBs 405 and 406.

Fact: Again, Ricketts has publicly denounced the two bills in question, stating their impacts on Nebraskans and the state’s largest industries, agriculture and manufacturing, would be detrimental to the state. Instead, he wants to focus tax reform efforts on lowering the tax burden for all Nebraska farmers, small businesses, and middle-class families.

Now, on the other hand, if the Dems want to run someone, we are ready to get behind this Melvin Luetchens of Murdock, Nebraska!

Mel Luetchens

He seems like the kind of Democrat who is not afraid to stand up in front of a red barn and speak his piece! Will he say whatever the Hassebrook people tell him? Yes he will!

So there ya go, voters. It’s Ricketts vs Luetchens.
May the best actual candidate win.


Speaking of the Gov’s race, we still aren’t sure what will happen with that ballot stuff.
We would say, it’s federal law regarding getting the ballots out by Friday.
If there was a ruling, and then a Supremes ruling, boy that’s not giving the printer much time.


Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret dismissed the case, saying Secretary of State John Gale had no clear legal duty to refuse the request to substitute Mike Foley’s name for Lavon Heidemann’s, so she could not order him to reverse the decision.

No word yet on an appeal.


Oh, and in case you were following all of the Neil Young – Daryl Hannah news, you can now note that Neil’s real beef with the Keystone XL Pipeline is all about how he thinks tar sands oil production will affect Alberta, Canada.

It ain’t got nothing to do with Nebraska landowners, no matter how many times Neil tells you how much he loves farmers and/or Rockin’ in the Free World.

(And Daryl Hannah? Really? We could see Daryl Hall, or even John Oates. But her with Neil???)


Whither the ballot?

by Street Sweeper on September 16, 2014

Seal_of_Nebraska.svgThe LJS today features a personal letter written by Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers to Secretary of State John Gale concerning Gale’s decision to put Mike’ Foley’s name on the ballot as the Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate.

Chambers spent 13 pages on his IBM Selectric (we are assuming he has an electric typewriter) quoting humor writers, state statute, Lewis Carroll, the Bible and the state Constitutution among others to convince Gale to change his decision.

(You can read his whole letter, linked by the LJS, here.)

He even notes that “time is of the essence” in his letter.

And that, Ernie (assuming someone will tell him about the internet) was for what?

Gale has made his decision.
This isn’t a court brief.
And there are basically two issues: does Gale follow the state constitution — and have leeway in that — or does he strictly follow state statute?

We were interested in the competing views of Creighton and University of Nebraska law professors on the topic.

Creighton’s Mike Fenner (also President of the state Bar Association) says:

…the Nebraska Constitution does give Ricketts the right to name his running mate, but he also said the Legislature clearly has the authority to set election deadlines.

But UNL law professor Anthony Schutz says:

...Gale has the authority to consider all the factors in this case, including state law and the unusual circumstances surrounding Heidemann’s sudden request to have his name removed from the ballot.

In any case, this could all be relevant, since while Democrat candidate Chuck Hassebrook has decided not to challenge the decision, Libertarian candidate for governor, Mark Elworth Jr., has taken the issue to Lancaster County District Court.

How quickly this could get booted up to the Nebraska Supreme Court is unknown, but ballots are supposed to go out to the military by this Friday.

We do not know the odds of this getting flipped, but it may just keeps things bubbling for another week or so.

Even if Ernie’s letter was a waste of his and our time.


Oh, and that poll by the New York Times and CBS from last week that showed Pete Ricketts slamming Hassebrook?

Yeah, the local Democrats have decided that now they’re not so into the New York Times and anything other than calling people on landlines.

So for now on, we will ONLY consider polls taken at the State Fair, next to the Pork Palace, using the traditional drop-your-poker-chip-in-the-pickle-barrel method.

It’s just good science.


Democrat State Senator Jeremy Nordquist wants Congressman Lee Terry to support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But he also wants Terry to support raising the Nebraska minimum wage to $8 an hour.

Why Nordquist has decided to be so chintzy to Nebraskans is unclear.

But Nordquist believes that minimum wage workers in Beemer, Nebraska and Old Market, Nebraska and Hollywood, California and Manhattan, New York should all get the same wage.

And that employers won’t be affected, in who they hire or fire or the number of hours they give employees, by doing this.

Except that most employers — the ones who create jobs — disagree.


Another awesome Nebraska Senate debate that no one watched.

And Jim Jenkins — who INSISTS that he is a millionaire! — wants to have some MORE debates.

Look Jim, we understand your desperation, but one can only be scowled at by Dave Domina for so long.
We are sure you understand.


As we tweeted, you can read a glowing story about the Ben Sasse campaign in the Weekly Standard.

Though there it was, the cartoon image of Ben Sasse talking to a pig.
Because, you know, Nebraska.


Yeah, we get it: Sasse is willing to talk to ANYONE, including a pig on a farm.
Just makes us cringe a little.


Polls: Sasse and Ricketts with solid leads

by Street Sweeper on September 11, 2014

New polls commissioned by the New York Times / CBS News / YouGov Battleground Tracker for the 2014 Nebraska Senate and Governor’s races show Republicans Ben Sasse and Pete Ricketts with solid leads.

Here are the topline results:



More to come…


Our takeaways:

Ricketts and Sasse both lead in every age group and in the two genders that are identified.

Also, both lead among “Independents”.
But both are behind among “Moderates”.

Which leaves us to believe that most who register as “Independents” are actually conservatives.
And most self-ID’d “Moderates” are actually Democrats.

Which sounds about right.


New TV, radio and Lieutenant Governor

by Street Sweeper on September 11, 2014

Lee Terry and Brad Ashford each have new TV spots out — Ashford his recent negative spot, and Terry TWO TV ads.
We are going to intersperse them through this post, lest they get too cumbersome for you to handle in a bunch (sort of like going back and forth to bring the groceries in).

First the new Terry TV spot, here:

This is the second spot in a row featuring a testimonial from a constituent. This one, talking about how Terry has helped to create the local radio act (the last being the Veterans ad).

While this one isn’t quite as powerful as the last one (helping “everything” might be just a little bit of hyperbole), it is still a very good spot on the positives Terry has done in Congress.

It is always better to have someone else sell you.

We are now looking forward to Terry’s negative ads on Ashford!

(Terry also has a radio spot up based on this ad. You can hear it here.)


People don’t vote for Lieutenant Governor any more than they vote for Vice President – — and frankly much less. And realistically very very few people even KNOW who the Lieutenant is, let alone think about them when they vote.

That being said, there was certainly potential for this one to be screwed up.

Had Lavon Heideman’s name been left on the ballot as Pete Rickett’s choice for Lieutenant Gov, Ricketts would have needed to constantly say, “No! No! It’s really Mike Foley! And you KNOW Mike Foley!”

With Secretary of State Gale’s decision to put Foley’s name on the ballot, Foley will go back to being that one guy who did a lot of press conferences. And then there is that other guy running for Governor who probably has a Lieutenant Governor candidate as well, but damned if I know his name.

(It’s a her? Huh. How about that. Well there ya go.)

Frankly right now, we would be curious to know Chuck Hassebrook’s name ID. In this Governor’s race, people are voting For or Against Pete. The concept of Chuck Hassebrook is sort of just floating out there.

That being said, if Heideman’s name was still on the ballot, that would have created a bit of a screwy issue people would talk about. The Foley pick was a good move to head that off. Now it is not an issue.

And we know people want to talk about what a great or horrible guy Foley is or was or will be, etc. etc. Knock yourselves out. But just know that voters will be choosing the top of the line. Any help or hurt Foley would provide will likely be a wash.


Hey Brad Ashford went negative right away in his race to represent the 2nd District in Congress.
See it here:

Oh look, he went after the government shutdown thing! WHO could have seen THAT coming???
It is already a tired repeat.

The other stuff? Meh.
Does ANYONE think Terry is out there actively fighting against Veterans?

Ashford is out there cherry-picking some vote where Terry wanted a different version of a bill, so voted against this one. The idea that he voted to “cut veterans care” is high school student council race stuff.

Of course the best thing about this ad is that we don’t have to get the POV of jogging behind Brad.
And for that, we say, Thank You State Senator Ashford.


Terry also has ANOTHER new TV ad up.
See it here:

Nice summary of stuff Lee has done. Voters like to tick off reasons in their head to vote for someone.

This ad putts a bullet point list in their brains that they will go through when their standing in the booth with a Number 2 pencil in their hand. This is good stuff with more to come.


And we see that former Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle endorsed Brad Ashford.


But this line from the OWH story is the one that cracks us up:

Ashford, who has changed parties several times in his three-decade political career, subsequently became a Democrat and is now challenging Republican Rep. Lee Terry.

Several times.




Lt Gov

by Street Sweeper on September 9, 2014

Foley  - semiformal 02FWIW, we are hearing Mike Foley for the new Ricketts pick.

Could be off, we’ll know in a half hour (1:30pm CST).

Stay tuned.

**UPDATE at 1:30**

And Pete confirms it.

Oh, and our suggestion is now let Foley and his brood live in the McMansion in Lincoln…


Running behind

September 8, 2014

As we noted on our Twitter feed on Friday (which we know you follow, right?) the Republican Governors Association has a new ad up knocking Democrat Nebraska Governor candidate Chuck Hassebrook. See it here: Here’s the thing: We expect to hear Hassebrook complaining about this ad and Who paid for it? and, oh they are [...]

Read the full article →

Hassebrook goes negative

September 4, 2014

Democrat Nebraska Governor candidate Chuck Hassebrook wasted no time going negative against Pete Ricketts. See his recent ad here: Hassebrook rolls out a bunch of talking points that Ricketts knocked down, one by one, in the debate that no one watched. So we will let the Ricketts camp plow through those again below. But let [...]

Read the full article →

Debates are the best!

September 3, 2014

**UPDATE at 3:50pm** Politico reports that a Republican pollster has told them that Lee Terry and Brad Ashford are currently tied at 41%. No info on when the poll was taken, the sample, or anything else. But it does confirm what we’ve said about it being very close. (We still think Terry will begin to [...]

Read the full article →

Dirty Half-Dozen

August 28, 2014

So we fired up the Leavenworth St. RV and headed out to the State Fair on Monday afternoon. We were in the back, throwing back Jolt Colas, and singing the song, “Are ya lookin’ for fun? A fun affair! Come on down and join in the fun! The Nebraska State Fairrrrr!” So we roll into [...]

Read the full article →

Ricketts on the air

August 18, 2014

Pete Ricketts is on the air with his first new ad for the general election for Governor. See it here: Rapid fire messages here, likely hitting all of your subliminal receptors. That final line cracks us up a bit: “If it works in the REAL WORLD, it’ll work in Lincoln.” We always DID feel a [...]

Read the full article →

Terry on TV

August 13, 2014

Congressman Lee Terry is up on TV in his race against Brad Ashford. See it here: This is a nice piece by Terry, touting his work for veterans. *** This follows up on Ashford’s contention that Reps should spend more time in Washington. Yes, MORE time. On the face of it, you’d think, “Yeah, they [...]

Read the full article →