Ricketts on the air

by Street Sweeper on 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 little ethereal and out of ourselves when in Lincoln.
This is all starting to make sense now…


So we were reading the Sunday morning paper (well, we don’t really dirty our hands with the actual fishwrap, but you know what we mean) and we came across the latest general-political story from Robynn Tysver of the OWH.

She whipped up a piece about how all campaigns today have a Facebook page and a Twitter account and yadda, yadda, yadda, hasn’t this story been written every cycle since Al Gore invented Google?

Anywho, point in the story struck us:

Facebook and Twitter are the two primary social media sites used by campaigns.

Both played prominent roles in last year’s Omaha mayoral race, where one of the biggest controversies in the campaign erupted on Facebook.

A photo of a T-shirt that depicted now-Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert as a stripper on a pole appeared on Facebook. It came complete with a crude pun that revolved around the words “private sector.” And, to make matters worse, the shirt was being held by Democratic Omaha City Councilman Chris Jerram, who subsequently apologized.

“Erupted on Facebook”?

Uh, no. It did not “erupt on Facebook”.
We at Leavenworth St. acquired the photo of Jerram, posted it on Leavenworth St., and then various media outlets linked to the story and photo, ON LEAVENWORTH ST.

As we noted in an email to Tysver, CC’d across the local media world, it’s one thing to claim, as she did in her original story back then, that the Jerram issue was “making the Facebook rounds”. While it was an intentional run around from mentioning this blog, there was at least a little truth to it.

But to later say that the controversy “erupted on Facebook”, is like Pliny the Younger writing about the heavy tides in the Gulf of Naples, while ignoring the actual eruption over at Mt. Vesuvius.

And here’s the thing: back when this occurred, KMTV contacted us and asked to use the photo (to which we immediately said yes). WOWT and KETV ran stories featuring a photo of the Leavenworth St. web page.

But the Omaha World-Herald each time bends over backwards to avoid any acknowledgement of our existence.

OK Suits, we get your cowardly little JV game. That’s the way you want to play, fine.
We’ve already seen in dozens of times.

But you don’t then get to go making up the facts, here saying that this came from Facebook, just because it jibes with the story your want to sell in your newspapers.

Of course, if this was a pure “mistake”, we’re sure we’ll see a correction in tomorrow’s ink-mess on page 35D, right?



An interesting comparison in TIME Magazine (we remember back in the day when we would religiously seek out TIME to see who was on the cover and get the political news of the day. Alas…) of GOP Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst and Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fischer. TIME says Ernst is unfairly being labeled as “Iowa’s Sarah Palin”:

When asked which Senator she’d be most like, Ernst tells TIME she thinks she’d be like Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer. Fischer was elected as a little-known Tea Partier, and was also endorsed by Palin and accused of being the “Sarah Palin of Nebraska” by some Democrats at first, but has since proven to be a relatively quiet, self-described compromiser in the Senate. “We both come from Plains states and we have a lot in common both stylistically, and ideologically, speaking,” Ernst says.

It always cracks us up when Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of all people, starts calling people “crazy” and “disturbing”.


And for your jocularity, here is Rep. Lee Terry doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

He challenged Pete Ricketts, who took it up himself.

as well as Senate candidate Ben Sasse…


Terry on TV

by Street Sweeper on 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 should work a longer week and blahdidty blahdity blah.”

And Terry even agreed that they should have longer sessions.

But that’s not what Ashford wants.
He wants Members to spend more time in DC hobnobbing (that’s right HOBNOBBING!) with each other so they can get more cozy and scratch each other’s backs more often, and the like.

Said Ashford: “We need to spend more time in Washington, and we need to build relationships.”

To his credit, Terry gave the perfect response (per the OWH):

Terry said he agreed with Ashford that Congress needs to spend more time in session, but he didn’t agree that they needed to spend more time in Washington, D.C.

When Congress is in session, Terry flies home on Thursday or Friday and returns to Washington on Monday or Tuesday. During his days in Nebraska, he spends time meeting with constituents in his district.

“The reality is that I need to spend as much time with the people I represent and not out there socializing for the sake of it,” Terry said.
Terry also argued that four days a week in Washington is enough time to get to know colleagues — Republican and Democratic.

This is interesting to see, right out of the gate, that Ashford is putting his foot in his mouth and saying dumb things that he thinks is “common sense” and folksy.

This is Ashford’s reputation. He’ll fire off whatever’s on the top of his mop, Sense Be Damned!
We all look forward to it.


And in the mean time, the OWH also reports that the DNC will be supplying ten (10!) people for Ashford’s campaign.
That’s an entire staff. (Be interesting to know what they’re paying.)

But hey, no one thought this race was going to be easy.

Duke it out.
And may Gaia help you if you think Bard Ashford is your guy.


Here’s a good one.

Carol Blood is running for the Unicameral.
And she wants to let you know who her role model is.

None other than…Kathleen Sebelius!

Carol Blood 01

Yes, THAT Kathleen Sebelius!
The architect of ObamaCare!

Well, how about, the the architect of the ObamaCare website!
The, sorry we can’t work that right now site.
The, sorry we can’t give you any numbers right now website.
The, sorry, yes we canceled the insurance you liked website.

Yeah, because when you think “Trust”, you think Kathleen Sebelius!

Good on ya, Carol.

We’re guessing Retired Col. Tommy Garrett might be inspired by others than Kathleen freaking Sebelius.

You know, like Eisenhower.


Is Lee Terry still in trouble?

by Street Sweeper on August 1, 2014

Terry-Ashford 01With the exit of Chip Maxwell from the Nebraska 2nd District Congressional race, many supporters of Congressman Lee Terry got a B-12 shot of enthusiasm that Terry’s campaign was not doomed by the split of Republican votes.

However, the question now goes from “Can Terry win?” to “WILL Terry win?”

That…not so clear.

We have asked around a bit and the word that we get is, Uncomfortably Close.
And we aren’t talking about handshaking with Brad Ashford.

Essentially this is another Lee Terry race. It will be very, very close — either way.
And the stress is on that “either way” point, because of the clusterfrack that has gone on during the primary and since. Primaries are always divisive, but this last one got hairy, and the Maxwell goofiness didn’t help. Sides were chosen, and many will feel stuck on those for a while.

Will they come back to Terry in November?
We have to think most Republicans wouldn’t want to entrench Ashford, even if it meant an open primary in 2016. And it is not as if Terry doesn’t have a very good conservative record. And then the Cantor loss in Virginia really shows that an incumbent like Terry could be defeated in 2016, if that’s what they wanted.

Then again, an “open” primary isn’t really open if the incumbent has more than one challenger. If Terry wins in November, then GOPers really think Terry is vulnerable in 2016, more than one challenger would be likely to appear. You could see a Dan Frei and a Chip Maxwell and pick another name going up against Terry. Then you probably do the math and Terry can come out on top.

But if Terry’s not there, then you have your free-for-all where nearly every Ronny Republican who ever passed out a campaign sticker will give it their all to get in the race. (And heck, it’s the kind of job where ANYONE figures they could do it. “Can I vote yes or no on some issues? Hell yes, I could do that. Vote for me!”)

But that’s also just candidates. Does the average voter consider that stuff in the voting booth in November 2014? Probably not. They’ll really just see who they would want in more: Terry or Ashford.


But that does get to another issue: Will hard core Dems bother with Brad Ashford?
Well, only if they think Terry is really beatable.

But there’s no love in the Democrat community for Ashford.

There is a strong gut-feeling by leading Democrats about Ashford that “he’s not one of us.” The party leaders and even other candidates feel that way – and have shared that sentiment.

So will they really work to get rid of Lee Terry, even if that means they get squishy, former Republican, Brad Ashford?


Here is where our “Conspiracy Theory” comes in.
Well, it’s not so much a Consipracy as a general thought we have. We really doubt that dark meetings have been had, and that money will be supplied, etc. That being said…

Local Democrats do not want Ashford in. He is NOT their guy. He fell into this.

Our theory? They want Baby Buffett in for 2016 (or maybe 2018).

So here’s the conspiracy part:
“They” told Chip Maxwell to get out of the 2014 race, because otherwise Ashford would win, and could potentially keep the seat for a long time.

“They” then told Maxwell they will support him in 2016, so he can beat Lee Terry in a primary. Hey, if Cantor can lose, so can Terry!

Then, “they” figure they have a much better chance with Baby Buffett of taking out Maxwell than taking out Terry.
Bingo, Congressman Baby Buffett — who will garner national news as the heir to the Buffett legacy.

Ah, but who’d ever figure there’s enough will, ambition and money in Omaha to make something like that happen…


Interesting story about Julie Schmit-Albin and Nebraska Right to Life making a decision to no longer endorse candidates unless they are incumbents. The idea here is that they have to show, by their votes, that they are Pro-Life, as opposed to just answering a survey.

This isn’t a bad idea for just NRtL, but of any major group who wants to stick out their neck for a candidate. If a legislator really wants to be endorsed, they have to show their proven record. Anyone can SAY they’re pro-life, or pro-growth, or whatever.

At some point though, it might help for NRtL to say who they know they’re against. This would be helpful to voters who want to know who they definitely should not support.

Your thoughts?


Here’s an interesting one:

Remember the couple, back in 2005, who stranded themselves out in a rural area south of Omaha, strung out on meth, but couldn’t be found by 911 because of the location technology for cell phones? They ended up freezing to death, partly because of being strung out on meth in arctic temperatures, but partly because 911 couldn’t find them because they were on cell phones.

At the time there was a lot of discussion about how cell phones could and couldn’t be located and what the parameters of the technology were. Many were amazed that we hadn’t advanced on that front yet, considering most people had cell phones and many people were starting to only have cell phones, as opposed to land lines.

Well, here it is over nine years later, and it seems that a larger part of that issue is finally being addressed. The FCC has a proposal to require cell phone companies to use technology so 911 centers can locate callers even more precisely. On the one hand, if the 911 center could have pin-pointed where that stranded couple was, they could have sent help. But what about the case where an emergency cell phone call comes from a sky-scraper — say like the First National Bank building. The new FCC proposal would allow 911 to identify where the caller is, so precisely they’d know what floor they are on. This seems like the sort of thing we expect now from our technology, right?

Well, some of the cell phone carriers and their associations are pushing back on the plan. Too fast, they say, or somesuch.

Look, we understand limitations on technology. But in 2014, this is something most of us would expect — and are frankly surprised doesn’t already exist. Just get it done and bill us all the extra buck a month.


Want to know who is ahead in the Governor’s race?

Polls? Blogs? Word of mouth?

Nah. Just look to see who wants eighteen — EIGHT-FRIGGEN-TEEN! — debates, between the candidates.

Yes, that would be Chuck Hassebrook. (The guy who’s behind.)

Pete Ricketts, on the other hand, is happy with the 2+ that have already been scheduled. And here’s the reality: that “+” that’s factored in there is probably too many already.

One debate, you gotta have. Two debates, is usually good. By the third absolutely NO ONE is listening or watching or paying attention.


(Well, except for the campaign staffs, the occasional bloggers — yippee! another 2 hours of our lives melted away! — and the 5th grader who gets to ask the question, “How will you help to see that agriculture is important to Nebraska?” Oh wait, sorry, that was from one of the news anchors. The 5th grader will ask, “Can you say something positive about your opponent?”. Nope, still from a newspaper columnist. We’re fairly sure the 5th grader will ask something related to Kool-Aid, TV dinners or the Reuben sandwich, but don’t hold us to that. The previous two questions though? GUAR-AN-TEED.)

And heck the Senate debates will be even more awesome because there are FOUR candidates! FOUR! Ben Sasse, Domina, Jim Jenkins and then the other guy who always ends up on our Twitter feed. You looking forward to the Senate debates? “Here is my four part question (with 2 subparts for each question) regarding Obamacare and the VA. You have 19 seconds to respond.”

We will say that the OWH’s Mike’l Severe did a nice job as the moderator of one of the primary debates, but again, it’s not like anyone really listened.

Hassebrook hopes to have 20-30 debates so he can pick out a Ricketts quip or two to sell to voters that proves Pete is part demon, part Ohio State fan.

Good luck on all that Chuck.


Did you catch the U.S. Senate committee report on Jane Kleeb and her astro-turf groups (first reported on by Nebraska Watchdog)? The report essentially points out that Kleeb’s “Bold Nebraska” (you know they’re “bold” because it’s right there in their name) is supported by millions of dollars from out-of-state radical enviro groups.

The report states, in part:

In advancing their cause, these wealthy liberals fully exploit the benefits of a generous tax code meant to promote genuine philanthropy and charitable acts, amazingly with little apparent Internal Revenue Service scrutiny. Instead of furthering a noble purpose, their tax
deductible contributions secretly flow to a select group of left wing activists who are complicit and eager to participate in the fee-for-service arrangement to promote shared political goals. Moreover, the financial arrangement provides significant insulation to these wealthy elite from the incidental damage they do to the U.S. economy and average Americans.

They point out how Jane Kleeb sells herself to the progressive radical enviros as an “authentic” face.

The irony of Bold Nebraska’s grassroots image, as evident in Kleeb’s comments, is that it is nothing more than a cover for wealthy and distant non-Nebraskan interests who seek to advance a political agenda without drawing attention to the fact that they, too, are outsiders with little interest in or connection to the state. One of these outsiders is none other than Tom Steyer, who has a strong conflict of interest in opposing Keystone XL due to his financial stake in a competing pipeline called Kinder Morgan. Despite claiming that he would sell off all interests in the Kinder Morgan pipeline by late 2013, it was still unclear as of June 2014 whether Steyer followed through on that promise.

Oh but didn’t you see??? Jane got six people to march from a sand pit to the Solar Barn to protest Big Oil!!! So see! Nebraskans DO hate the pipeline! Or something. (And then they jumped into their Silverados and drove the 45 miles home.)

We chuckle.


ICYMI, here is the latest Ben Sasse video entitled, “Border Crisis”:

Somewhere Dave Domina is cussing and kicking dirt in circles.


Hey, how’s that for a healthy post?
Now here is some fun for those of you who had hoped to see other things discussed in the past few weeks:
No cheating! Noooo cheating:
Name Chuck Hassebrook’s running mate.

Yeah, that’s what we thought.
And YOU read political stuff!
Think the average voter has even a minuscule thought on that subject?

A sincere thanks to all of you who read and comment, on all sides of the issues.
You’re keeping political discussion alive in Nebraska!


Maxwell is out!

by Street Sweeper on July 24, 2014

Chip MaxwellChip Maxwell has ended his bid for Congress.

This COMPLETELY changes things for Rep. Lee Terry and challenger Brad Ashford.

Ashford can put away the tape measure for his office drapes (for now anyway).

This doesn’t make it a slam dunk for Terry, by any means.

But it’s a whole new ball game now.


No, I’m not dead.

But still don’t have time to write a complete post, at this moment.
Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

Carry on!


What’s the Nebraska way?

by Street Sweeper on July 4, 2014

Attention Democrat/Liberal readers of Leavenworth St.!

We have a basic question for you — to comment on in the comments section.

It gets to this:

Lately we see the constant stories (mainly sourced from Drudge) where Latin American immigrants are piling in over the border. Much of this seems to have been based on a belief that anyone who comes through now would get amnesty. Or maybe it’s just kids that came through now would get amnesty.

In any case, many are calling it a crisis(!) as immigrants are just pouring through the porous borders and are now being housed in military bases, health issues running rampant, kids being shipped all over the country, etc. etc. etc.

What we here at Leavenworth St. are interested in knowing:

What is the Democrat/Liberal position on all of this?

Is it that America should just take down the border fences and all that and let everyone in?

Or…well…er…eh…we’re trying to get past that one, because we don’t know what the other alternative is.

OK, we have established that you want anyone who entered the country as a child to at least get in-state aid (tuition, driver’s licenses, etc. etc.). But where does it stop?

Or start?

Is there any point to that giant fence?
Or border guards?
Or guys who inspect cantaloupes and limes?

We’re just trying to figure out where you start and stop.

We’ve seen the VERY compelling CNN previews of the show where the guy is in front of Congress — who entered the US as a 12 year old — and gripes to the committee, “Just what do you call an American???!!!!” (or some such).

And we’re like, “Yah, sure he’s an American!”

Uh, but no.
Because if we say HE’S an American, well then what’s the difference between him and the gate crashers at the border now?

Zip? Nil? Nada?

It’s just not clear to us what it is you are hoping for — for illegal immigrants who run the border.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get the whole, “turning Texas purple/Blue with immigrants thing”, but we hope/guess it’s more than that. You do see ALL the implications of open borders, yeah?

So where are you?

And forget all the “Who will pick your oranges and mow your lawns???” arguments.
This is really beyond all that.

With Nancy Pelosi and the rest welcoming in the border crashers, your leadership is saying, “Let EVERYONE in! Drop the walls!”

Do you agree?

And do you understand the ultimate implications of that position?

We are really, honestly, curious.

Weigh in.

(And is there another website in Nebraska where your voice gets a significant presence, read by every mover and shaker? No. No, is the answer.)

So dig in!


So here’s the thing:

We constantly hear that the country needs, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform!”

Conservatives/Republicans hear that as, “Amnesty!”

And maybe that’s true.
But the other side of that, generally, is “secure the border first!”

But as near as we can tell, Democrats/Liberals/Progressives have no real interest in securing the border.

Are we correct?


And we not to be too jingoistic, but frakin’ Joey Chestnut!

Kobayashi was the KING, and Chestnut just yanked it away!


And we’re going to say this to all the World Cup haters:

Are you a crazy hockey fan?
Do you live and die with hockey?
Can you tolerate the low scoring in hockey?

Or are you just an occasional fan?

And do you root on the USA hockey team when they play in the Olympics?
Such as, oh, we don’t know…1980????

Yeah, that’s what we do.
And we do the same with the soccer team in the World Cup.
And we can appreciate great athletes in a great sport.

So just root on the USA, would ya?
(And STFU.)


Nebraska minimum wage expansion?
Looks like it’s coming to a vote.

And we might agree that the min wage should be different between, say, New York and Nebraska.
But what about upstate New York and Manhatten?

And what about Omaha and, say, Beemer?

Does this make sense, that it’s a state issue?

Or should it be a municipal issue?
And would municipalities think a little more about that issue when they want to expand business for employees and companies?

We’re just asking.


Hope you’re having a grand weekend.



June 28, 2014

Here’s what we know. *** Democracy isn’t perfect. Capitalism isn’t perfect. Markets aren’t perfect. They’re waaaaaaay better than anything else. *** If you download something on a PC, you never know what it’s going to do to your machine. **** 90% of the argument is about the money. *** If Jim Jenkins had been in [...]

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Summer Solsticing

June 21, 2014

Newish poll out from Public Policy Polling, on behalf of the Chuck Hassebrook for Governor campaign. Looks like this: Pete Ricketts………………….42% Chuck Hassebrook…………..38% Mark Elworth (sic) (uh…who?)…… 8% Not sure……………………….13% Looks like Ricketts is in trouble, yeah? Yeah, maybe not so much. Look, we like polls as much as the next bloggers. But anymore, unless [...]

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At least Terry won his primary

June 13, 2014

At least Lee Terry won. You can say that about his recent primary victory over his Republican opponent. You, obviously can’t say the same about the House Majority Leader, who took a shot from a much lesser known and under-financed opponent. Sound familiar? At this point there are many who are trying to compare the [...]

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Ashford #NE02 poll shows tie with Terry; skips Maxwell

June 4, 2014

Democrat Brad Ashford’s campaign has released a poll showing him tied with Congressman Lee Terry in the Nebraska 2nd District Congressional race. However, the poll summary released by Ashford suspiciously leaves out any question involving “Independent” Chip Maxwell. The stats given are: Lee Terry (R)………..41% Brad Ashford (D)…..41% Steve Laird (L)……….4% The fact that the [...]

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Maxwell’s Ship of Selfish Fools

May 29, 2014

Back in 2008, some political analysts believed there was a very good chance that Democrat Jim Esch would take out Congressman Lee Terry in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. At the time, some politicos were already speculating about which Republicans would run in a primary the next election if Terry lost. And former state Senator and [...]

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Summer Build Up

May 23, 2014

To begin your long weekend, first a little Separated at Birth… Trucker-hatted and sleeveless Larry the Cable Guy and…trucker-hatted and sleeveless, Jane Kleeb! This image of Jane is from a recent video from some group of hipsters in front of a brick wall touting the virtues of Nebraska and how it’s actually hip and not [...]

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