“And fellas this all stays here…”

by Street Sweeper on December 18, 2014

BurningBridgesFamous quotes from people who (maybe) did not think or know they were being recorded.

“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”


“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.”

And then…

“The guy, you guys saw him, the guy’s a total pussy. I mean, he is. He’s a total cunt.”

I have no doubt you will give your takes on the latest Bo Pelini rant, and have at it.

But for all those who are saddened or disappointed Pelini was taped, know this: when speaking to a roomful of, say, a HUNDRED college kids — every one of them with a combination camera/tape recorder/video camera in their pocket — just assume that ONE of them will hit “record”.

Or, you know, just don’t call your former boss a pussy, cunt and (worst of all) a “fucking lawyer”.

I chuckled out loud at “And fellas this all stays here…”


Not that this is any sort of surprise, but we grind our teeth just a tad whenever we hear Jane Kleeb spout (regarding the latest chapter in the never ending Keystone XL Pipeline saga):

“This is not about money. This is about their family legacies, their land and protecting their water.”

Oh really Jane? So if the Canadian Tar Sands oil was transported to the Gulf by dipping individual beavers into each barrel of oil, loading them into a solar-powered hovercraft, taking them NORTH, over the pole, through Russia, China, India, across the South pole, then back up through the Atlantic and eventually up to the Gulf, then ringing them out into double bagged container in Louisiana, you’d be FOR it?

Well, of course not.
But you won’t find any reporter who will give her that follow-up question.


Interesting piling on of late onto outgoing Governor Heineman.

We have read the articles contending that Heineman’s “legacy” is going to be Nikko Jenkins.
Amazing that such an analysis comes from a Democrat. I have no doubt that Senator Steve Lathrop and all of his buddies at the “Holiday” party nod their heads and agree with each other.

So maybe it is just me, or I missed it somewhere, or it has otherwise been discussed, but…hasn’t the conclusion by Lathrop and the Omaha World-Herald and all of the low-level administrators and everyone else been that the whole reason for all of the prison mess is because of overcrowding?

And if that is the case, then the answer, apparently, is a new prison, yes?

So along with the multi-page list of “recommendations” in the Committee report, we did not see the suggestion for building a new prison. Should that not have been “suggestion” Numero Uno?

And enough of the “oh the Governor has to be the top lobbyist on the THAT issue…“. Oh right. The legislature can tell the Governor who to hire and fire and whether or not a prisoner should be in solitary, but HEAVEN FORBID they suggest how to spend tax dollars on a giant project. Oh, that is much too touchy.

And even if it is specifically not part of the recommendation, shouldn’t that issue at least be addressed, saying “no we don’t think a new facility should be built“?

Again, I did not go through the report with a fine tooth comb with my team of staffers after interviewing everyone from the Governor to the janitor. But if anyone wants to jump in, feel free.


And then there is Democrat State Senator Burke Harr who told Watchdog that the unicameral should not make public votes for Committee chairs, because, it would “hurt people’s feelings.

Yes, you read that correctly.

And then there’s this:

“Transparency is good until it isn’t.”

You got that, public? Transparency is awesome…until it is bad for Democrats.

It is a wonder we have recorded votes at all, yeah?


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Another #NE02 name as Ashford makes a move

by Street Sweeper on December 11, 2014

Gen Don Bacon 01We have the name of a new person interested in the 2016 GOP nomination for the 2nd District gig! Actually we have known about this person for a while, but we have heard it from enough sources now that we are comfortable that it is common knowledge by local politicos:

Brigadier General Donald “Bits” Bacon.

Brig. Gen. Donald Bacon is the Commander, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping six groups and 32 squadrons executing worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic attack; command and control; presidential support; and treaty verification missions. He is also responsible for base support to 50 associate units, including U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Weather Agency, and more than 57,000 active-duty members, civilians, family members and retirees.

(Click to read his full bio.)

We don’t know if he has made a firm decision one way or another, but we are certain he is thinking about it.

One has to think that a Brigadier General has some almost automatic qualifications for a gig in Congress. That being said, we are a little surprised that a General (let alone the Brigidier part) would want a lowly House gig.

Then again, if you want a very strained comparison, you could look at…Tom Osborn. When he left his gig, he was the top college football coach in the country. He was the head of a hundred or so men, big staff, multi-million dollar facilities.

Then he became a Frosh in Congress.

We were never clear on how much he did or didn’t hate working in Washington, but it is interesting. Maybe the two have chatted.


Speaking of First-Class-Brad Ashford, Some have made the point that “Hey, 2nd District Republicans! You are already talking about who is going to run against Ashford?! How about giving him a chance before you start running against him!”

And then this comes in the email from First Class Brad:

Ashford Hoops Invite 01

So you see that while many don’t think the GOP should be gearing up now, Brad certainly thinks it is time to get the campaign trucking. Oh, and at a $1,000 a pop to watch the Jays? We suspect there will be slightly cheaper floor seats that night — even for Uber-Fan Mike Fahey.

Now, sure, we get it. That is the nature of the political game. But please stop with the Holier than Thou statements.

Ashford officially waved the green flag on #NE02 2016.


Former Nebraska Senator — and member of the 9/11 Commission — Bob Kerrey’s comments on the Democrat “Torture Report” were a bit surprising. He slammed the report for its Monday-morning quarterbacking on this big issue. Most remember the period after the 9/11 attacks as “we will use every means necessary to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Now Senate Democrats want to spin the era in their favor.

But the main thing that we take from the report — and Kerrey and Senator Deb Fischer both made this point — is that it is ridiculous that this turned into a partisan fishing expedition by the Democrats. This is a serious report that has worldwide implications, and the Dems decided to use it to score political points. They decided the result they wanted and wrote the report around that.

This is not a game, yet the Senate Democrats turned it into one.

(Oh, and for those of you keeping score, Democrat Congressman-elect Ashford toed the Democrat party-line.)


In our discussion of the DCRP meet last week, we left out the Resolution passed calling for “open votes” for Unicameral committee chairs.

Currently those votes are kept secret.
And in the past session Democrats chaired 9 of 14 committees.

Many statewide Republicans, who note that Nebraskans voted in a majority Republican legislature, don’t see the sense in that.

“Oh but Sweeper! You’re so wrong! The legislature is non-partisan, and that’s what makes it awesome! Nebraskans don’t vote party!”

…say the Democrats who want you to believe that.
Isn’t that adorable?

And if the Democrat truly believe that, then please, do like Ernie and don’t register with either party. Then again, you could just pull a Congressman-elect Ashford and juggle your party affiliation depending on what your mood-ring tells you.

We chuckled at the quote in the Watchdog story from Democrat Chair Vince Powers, “The Nebraska Democratic Party believes strongly that state senators should vote for a committee chair who is best suited to serve Nebraska, regardless of party.”

Said the party Chairman.
Who wants to keep a secret vote.

Wait, we thought light was the best disinfectant???


Mazel tov to 3rd District Rep Adrian Smith (who took over for the aforementioned Dr. Tom) and Andrea McDaniel on their recent nuptials!

Adrian and Andrea 01



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Top Secret Meetings

by Street Sweeper on December 3, 2014

PX*5342204We will get our Husker talk out of the way here first:

We always believed Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst had his pick in the bag at least by the day he fired Pelini. And that is for one main reason: He will not pull another Steve Pederson — Dave Wannstedt/Houston Nutt/Bill Callahan — type of decision.

If he does, I will personally sell officially licensed torches and pitchforks to the mob out to get him.


The Douglas County Republican Party met last night, and…WAIT! Come back! Where are you going?! No this won’t be boring!

Meeting in a conference room at the Comfort Inn at 72nd and I-80 they…ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.

Mmmph. Hey. What?
OK, there is no way to save this.
They’re ALWAYS boring! They aren’t sexy! That’s just the way these things roll!

But here is what we learned:

The Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party is still making its move to stay in power. Brian Baumgart may be leaving as DCRP Chairman, but Jon Tucker — a 2012 Paul Convention Delegate — is gunning to take his place.

Standing in his way is Brandon Petersen, a former statewide chair of the Nebraska Young Republicans. The word we hear is that Petersen has the votes…unless he fudges it up (except I didn’t say fudge).

We generally hear that Petersen is the type who is much less likely to criticize a sitting Nebraska Republican Congressperson on Facebook or hem and haw when asked whether he voted for a local Republican.

Also, we hope he — or Tucker, if he pulls it out — will appreciate the importance of a girthy early voter program.

Oh, and they better know how to raise money.
Word is there’s $250 in the bank.


Also seen at the DCRP meet:

  • Franklin Thompson (not always there…)
  • Pat Borchers
  • Brian Buescher
  • Aimee Melton (less likely to run for #NE02, we hear)
  • Sam Fischer
  • Mike Kennedy


  • Dan Welch
  • Jordan McGrain
  • Garth Glissman
  • John Murante
  • Bryan Slone
  • Chip Maxwell
  • Jim Tressel


A shout out to Senator Deb Fischer pushing through a new law...

…the E-Label Act, which would allow for companies to meet the FCC’s demands for certification labels by placing digital stamps on a device’s software as opposed to etching information on hardware. The senators argued that the changes would allow manufacturers to save money and pass savings onto consumers. This was followed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) loosening its rules for labeling, stating that manufacturers could bypass etching FCC labels on their devices in favor of labeling by alternative means.

Three cheers for some deregulation! What a pleasant breeze to have government changing, ever so slightly, with the times. Kudos to Senator Fischer for taking the lead on this and banging through a bipartisan idea.


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Pelini & Beyond

by Street Sweeper on December 1, 2014

Eichorst - Kalter SAB 01You thought you were going to get into Leavenworth Street today without some hot Pelini/Eichorst talk?

Here is what we saw:

Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst came out of the box full of piss and vinegar. Maybe it was just the adrenaline or the heat of the lights, but he seemed particularly fired up to announce Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini’s firing.

We had read on the Twitter earlier that Pelini had posed a sort of love-me-or-leave-me to Eichorst, and maybe that was Eichorst showing how he felt about that. (Then again, maybe that was just a rumor. At this point we don’t know.)

What we do know is that several times Eichorst noted that the firing was due to “on and off the field” actions. “On” we get. But is “on” just the win-losses or does it include the screaming at the players, screaming at the refs, nearly hitting the ref with the hat, one-word responses to sideline reporters?

And is the “off the field” stuff more than just the non-responsive post-game press conferences, the taunting Eichorst to fire him and the recorded rants at the fans and sports-writers?

Or is there more to it?

Eichorst said:

“We will compete for Big Ten and national championships and we will do so with class, integrity, sportsmanship and with a commitment to our student-athletes. I believe the action taken today is in line with that vision.”

So… one could read that to say those things were lacking under Pelini?

For what it’s worth, Nebraska Regent Hal Daub notedThere is more to the story that maybe meets the eye, it’s a combination of perception. And perception and reality and image. And I think all those things converged.

He thinks or he knows?

Anyway, we agree with those who say Eichorst’s new coach will be a quick hire. We can’t imagine he would pull a repeat of Steve Pederson.


And we will also give our $.02 about expectations for Nebraska football.

We have been Husker football fans since coming out of the womb.
And, as luck would have it, same for being Creighton basketball fans.
(Yes, get over yourselves “Jay-sker” haters.)

Point is, if Creighton has an average season, those fans celebrate. If they win the conference, awesome. If they make the post-season tournament, super awesome. What’s the near pinnacle for them? Sweet 16.

Anything close to that — and players who play hard, don’t get in trouble, etc. etc. — and fans will continue to fill the home court.

But look at somewhere like Kansas or Duke. They would NEVER accept that standard for their basketball programs. They expect at least Sweet 16, and you better at least be talking Elite 8 and you had better be in the National Championship hunt year after year.

Now basketball and football are very different, and we get all that. But Nebraska football has a higher expectation than “good”. They had better be in the hunt for “great”. They haven’t been close to that with Pelini.

Now you may argue that he still needs more time and everyone should be more patient. And frankly we are on the fence, if that’s your argument. If Pelini got another year, we would likely have shrugged.

But when you start telling us to get pumped for Minnesota and Iowa? And that the outcome is a tossup?
Well, that’s when our faces start to go blank.
That is not the expectation around here.


All that being said, we are still going to play for the Bits of Broken Chair Trophy next year, right?


We had completely forgotten what we wrote at this time last year, when the exact same discussion was going on after Nebraska’s loss to Iowa. Here is what was on LeavenworthSt. on 12/2/13:

After watching the Nebraska game on Friday, then seeing Coach Bo Pelini’s press conference afterwards, we thought the OWH’s Tom Shatel put it best when noting that Pelini basically set himself on fire during and after the game.

(And frankly, of all the off-the-wall things Pelini did — chewing out the sideline reporter, swinging the hat, swearing at press conference, essentially daring the AD to fire him — we felt the fake punt attempt was the most egregious. It made Pelini just seem to be saying, “F, it and F the team. Yeah I’m going for it here. What are YOU gonna do about it.”)

But whether Pelini should have kept his job or shouldn’t have, isn’t where we are going here.

We were most curious about the comments on the whole thing from…Tom Osborne.

Now we get that Osborne got asked what he thought, and if he said “no comment” or some such, it might be interpreted the wrong way. But that being said, it would have been preferable for Osborne to have said, “I support the difficult job that the new Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst has…”

But he then went beyond that and said Pelini should get to keep the job because he has had nine wins, and he had eight this season.

Uh, well, that’s nice. And what if Eichorst STILL plans on firing Pelini after the Bowl game? Or what if Pelini wins eight games next season? Or what about Pelini’s on and off-field behavior? Should that be a factor? Hey, maybe or maybe not, but Osborne seemed to sweep it under the rug. And further, Osborne even seemed to be taking a dig at Eichorst for letting Pelini hang out in the breeze for a while.

Dr. Tom would be advised to take a page out of George W. Bush’s book, and simply not comment on one’s predecessor, knowing how difficult the job is — without having the former office-holder giving their two-cents on everything.

Be interesting to hear what Dr. Tom has to say today.


A quick note about when Eichorst threw HIMSELF — unneeded — into the situation at the press conference by saying that he himself played “championship caliber football.”

We scrambled to the Google and learned that Eich did indeed play football — at Division III, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Not exactly an Orange Bowl team there, Shawn.


We noted on the Twitter that these type of things always come in 3s.

Chuck Hagel…Bo Pelini…who would be next?

Then a follower noted that Hagel wasn’t number 1.
Congressman Lee Terry was.

Strangely enough, Terry will probably accept that company


We don’t know if this will be a weekly item, but a few notes on our latest 2016 #NE02 GOP suggestions.

We wrote that former Nebraska quarterback, radio host and current Kutak Rock associate attorney Garth Glissman could be a VERY interesting candidate. But it was immediately pointed out to us that there are two other big swinging schlongs at Kutak Rock already (likely) interested — former Senate candidate Bart McLeay and former Attorney General candidate Brian Buescher. And they are Kutak Rock partners.

Don’t think that doesn’t make things slightly uncomfortable in the halls for the young associate Glissman to be mentioned in the same breath as those in corner offices (or at least better offices). Interesting dynamic.

So we would suggest a required Law-Firm primary, prior to the GOP primary. And we haven’t decided yet who gets to vote.

How about this: Unless you just turned 18 or moved to the district, you only get to vote in the Law Firm primary if you voted in the previous GOP primary. Or, maybe, only Nebraska Bar members get to vote.

Hmm. We’re still working on this. We will take suggestions.


Oh, and we will continue to add former Creighton Law Dean to the #NE02 conversation. And should we just have an all-Law pre-primary? Add in Koley Jessen’s Bryan Slone? Welch Law’s Dan Welch? Any other Bar members up for it?


ICYMI, there was an interesting article from former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan in the WSJ article about the level DC has come to in past few years. The gist was about Congressional staffers speaking out of turn, being too familiar with their bosses, etc. etc. She called it the “West Wing-ization” of Washington (OK, maybe that’s what we are calling it). The idea is that staffers and others in DC think they should act like actors from that show.

We found the article to be a must-read for anyone who is in government or wants to be. And then it went to another level this weekend with the House Congressional staffer who made comments about the First Daughters.

We aren’t really that interested in the “debate” about that on either side. But what we did find interesting is that the comments of some random lowly staffer have been lifted to the realm of CNN and some sort of national conversation. We realize it is a result of the online world in which we live, but it still causes head shaking from us.

So be warned, young Hill — and Lincoln — staffers! EVERYTHING you say and do in and around and outside of the Capitol, on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram, these days is ON THE RECORD. Think several times about that one more beer at Tune Inn. (Heck, you probably have to think twice about that Tune Burger. Oh sure, it’s delicious, but how many calories? And where did the beef come from? And is that whole grain? And….)


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by Street Sweeper on November 25, 2014

A very quick post on a couple of topics.

We had noted when Chuck Hagel was up for the job for Secretary of Defense that he probably wasn’t qualified. Much of that was based on the fact that Hagel’s Senate committees were foreign relations related and not defense.

When he got to the Obama administration, he butted heads with Susan Rice over policy that was more centered towards foreign policy than arming troops and killing the enemy.

It’s a wonder that didn’t succeed, huh?


I am sure that everyone wants to talk about Ferguson this morning. All I would note is that it is a wonder to me that reporters and Twitterers think they know more, and have better info, than the members of the Grand Jury.

And for those jumping on the stupid Twitter meme that the Ferguson looters are just like the idiotic post-World Series rioters, we would just note that there aren’t usually 12 fires still burning the day after the game.


For those of you who say it’s too early to talk #NE02 2016, we say it’s only too early if you haven’t had your coffee.

So two new names:

  • Garth Glissman, Kutak Rock attorney and former Husker QB
  • Dave Lopez, Asst Attorney General

Another name being tossed again is Rex Fisher, but were suspicious of him for the House.

More on these guys later.


Readers, please note there are were a massive number of typos here, that will be fixed soon we fixed. We wanted to get a post up ASAP for you to comment, and this is the best that can happen on an iPhone…


The Impression That I Get

November 20, 2014

You only get one shot at a first impression, right? Well, if that is the case, Nebraska 2nd District Congressman-elect Brad Ashford started out looking unorganized at best and probably flaky at worst at the gathering of Freshman Congresspersons to choose their new House Office Building Congressional offices. In any case, it isn’t as one [...]

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Bold Desperation

November 14, 2014

Jane Kleeb and Bold Nebraska are desperate these days to justify their political existence. We chuckled heartily at Nebraska Democrat Chair Vince Powers arguing with Boldy Jane about who was going to take credit for Democrat Brad Ashford’s 2nd District Congressional win. (There has to be a German word — similar to Schadenfreud — for [...]

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Honoring Veterans

November 11, 2014
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Who is to blame in #NE02?

November 7, 2014

First a quick Separated at Birth (suggested by longtime reader Chuck Isom), featuring… Attorney General-elect Doug Peterson and former Husker Volleyball Coach Terry Petit! *** This morning we were CC’d on an email that Chip Maxwell sent to the local media in response to some radio discussions. Here is what Chip sent: I imagine the [...]

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Leavenworth St. Exclusive: Heineman was denied an interview for Nebraska President job

November 6, 2014

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents, lead by Regent Howard Hawks, announced on Monday their four finalists for the open position for President of the University of Nebraska. That list of four finalists did NOT include outgoing Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, who had applied for the job. Nebraska Regents signed non-disclosure agreements and cannot [...]

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#NE02 GOP 2016 – the BIG list

November 5, 2014

As Congressman Lee Terry graciously bows out after his loss to Brad Ashford, it is time for us to gear up! Taking a cue from Senator-elect Ben Sasse to “Go Big or Go Home”, we have come up with the BIG list of contenders for the 2016 GOP 2nd Congressional District nomination. We have included [...]

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