Nellie the Spy

A little story we heard…

Back in July, Pete Ricketts held a fund-raiser in Washington, DC at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Ronald Reagan building. The event was sponsored by Senator Liddy Dole and a number of Senators and lobbyists showed up.

But there was one other person, who was not invited, who staked himself out outside the NRSC HQ, on the public sidewalk, and was noting who was going into this fundraiser for Pete Ricketts.

Was it security personnel?


Was it a member of the press?


Was it a casual onlooker on his way to Union Station, just curious to see who was supporting Pete Ricketts in his bid to unseat Democrat Ben Nelson?


It was (drum roll…) Senator Ben Nelson’s chief campaign fund-raiser, Don Schimanski! Ben Nelson had his own personal spy sent down to Pete Ricketts’ fundraiser to write down the names of all the lobbyists going in to support Pete Ricketts.

What a brash move. By getting them all listed, Nelson can now lean on each and every lobbyist, when they try to set up a meeting with him or one of his staffers. There’s probably a good chance that each of those lobbyists now has a black mark next to his or her name.

There may be a strong message sent here: give to Ben Nelson’s opponent and the access door for you will be shut.

Interesting way to be doing business for the people of Nebraska


  1. Anonymous says:


    Have you ever heard of the K Street Project? Since taking over Congress in 1994, the Republicans have institutionalized the very sort of mob-style shakedowns and influence-peddling for which you accuse Senator Nelson wholly without substantiation.

    By the way, anyone keeping track of who attended this fundraiser couldn’t have been very busy. The New York Times reported on it – with all 18 of its attendees – as a chief example of the Republican Party’s 2006 woes, being stuck with unimpressive candidates like Pete Ricketts and an ineffective leader like Liddy Dole.

    “Dagger to the heart” – ring any bells?

    It was really quite an embarrassing night for Ricketts – almost felt sorry for the guy since the event received such national attention. Frankly, I’m surprised that you would bring it up.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Sure we are aware of the NYT article, though of course that has nothing to do with this story. But good try to distract…

  3. Anonymous says:

    You mean like you’re trying to distract from Ricketts being 20 points down in the polls by posting stories you can’t confirm? You mean like that?

  4. Street Sweeper says:

    We’re telling a story that’s not out anywhere else. Feel free to go to the MSM if you’re looking for more polling news…

    Oh wait, we’re the only ones that publish the polls. Forget it then. Go ahead and come back here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper? what’s your point? Is this any different than how Fortenberry, Daub,Ricketts and Foley berated the board of Nebraska Right to Life?

    Not sure what you are getting at, but the NE GOP has done far dirtier and far nastier work than this. Nice tryo though.

    So if we are to believe you and the rest of the ricketts echo chamber, Ben Nelson is a spy, a liar, a mean person, and an all around jerk. Too bad nearly every Nebraskan has actually met Ben Nelson and knows different.

    as Joe Jordan said the other night, that message and $10 million “still aint enough” to beat Ben Nelson.

  6. Don Kuhns says:

    The truly sad story here is that it wasn’t a member of the press. If we had a serious fourth estate in this country, Washington’s pay-to-play culture would be a lot harder to maintain. Anyone remember real journalism? The right wing’s decades-long war on the news media has all but killed it. Thanks, guys.

  7. Street Sweeper says:

    Seeing as this is one of the busiest comments sections we’ve had here on Leavenworth Street, this must have really struck a defensive nerve amongst the Dems.

    We’re looking forward to the follow up.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t really think this sort of Nelson behavior was news. I thought everyone new that he blacklisted political foes, then tried to leverage their need to have any assitance with his need for campaign funds. He’s pretty overt about it – you have to pay to access his office. It is the same as a cover charge in a bar.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another example of the desperation of the Ricketts’ camp: trying to spread sludge anonymously through blog comments. (see the comment above) I mean really. It’s just dumb. You’d think with $10 million, they could get someone with half a brain.

  10. Street Sweeper says:

    While the MSM (read, OWH) has apparently been unable to get anyone to speak up on this, we’re not really sure why this whole episode is so surprising to anyone. This is business as usual…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper – the OWH was THERE in the ROOM with the three lobbyists who showed up. DOn’t you remember the story – its when Pete said it was OK for him totake PAC money but it was wrong for Nelson to take PAC money. Just like the spoiled little rih kid he is. And beforeyou mention Nelson is rich too – there is a difference – Nelson made his money – Pete gets his with a PIN code.

  12. Daily Bulldog says:

    What wuss-bag hides behind anonymous? And who would go to such lengths to defend Nelson’s slimy-ness?

    Seriously…go outside and walk around or something.

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