Facebook Campaigning

OK, we were a little amazed at this one. Jim Esch’s MySpace and FaceBook campaign has been going full throttle, and apparently his supporters like to use FaceBook to push his campaign as well. We’re just a little surprised that an Omaha news reporter, from the station that web-cast his debate, is expressing her support on-line for Esch.

Yes, none other than KPTM’s Calvert Collins devotes part of her FaceBook page to Jim Esch, stating “Vote for him Tuesday, Nov. 7!”

Then again, at least Ms. Collins is being honest, as opposed to some past reporters we know (Jim Fagin, we’re looking your direction)…

**Read the follow-up post here**


  1. Street Sweeper says:

    Now now. That photo is hardly anything nefarious. This isn’t Harold Ford, Jr. territory we’re entering.

    Leavenworth Street isn’t going down that road at all, and we don’t encorage any else to either.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Eric, from her note, it’s not posible, it’s PROBABLE that they are personal friends.

    But as a member of the Fourth Estate, she should keep her campaigning off of public forums.

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    What your Google button doesn’t work?

    Jim Fagan is a former reporter for Channel 6 (among others), and was prior to that press secretary for Sen. Jim Exon and is now (we think, or at least he was) a communications director for Sen. Ben Nelson.

  4. Street Sweeper says:

    And since we’ve been getting these comments, this isn’t a critique, at all, of Esch. Actually kudos to him.

    However, especially to the latest “Anonymous”, we will not accept comments that make unfounded personal slurs against candidates. You can put up your own blog if that’s your goal.

  5. mom at home says:

    She must be a cheap date since Jim is claiming to have quit working a year ago to run for office full time. Where does he get date money, his dad?

  6. Anonymous says:

    good point, mom at home.

    esch claims to be the poor man’s man, but i think it’s a facade!

    does anubody know where he’s getting his living expenses from? and hasn’t he givin himself over $100,000 of the $300,000 he raised in this campaign? esch is what, 29 or 30? he went to creighton prep, creighton undergrad, and creighton law… do he not have student loans?

    i’m 31. i have a j.d. from a state school – not even a fancy private school – and i’ll tell you what, there’s NO WAY i could afford to quit work for two years (after working only 2 or 3 years out of law school) to campaign for office and still pay my student loans. let alone rent.

    where does jim get his money from?

  7. Anonymous says:

    who is jim esch’s girlfriend that he refers to when he’s out around time. i know 4 girls who have dated him. but i have yet to see the latest girlfriend, whom he claims to be in a “committed relationship” with. is it calvert collins? does anybody know if she just plays ditzy on t.v. (like jessica simpson) or if she really is?

  8. Street Sweeper says:

    What am I, the FEC? I’m not sure where he has gotten his money from. But unless he hit the lottery, I’m guessing it’s from his family.

  9. Blake says:

    According to the World Herald “He (Esch) has raised about $345,000, and his last financial statement showed about $14,000 in cash remaining. Of the total, Esch contributed about $106,000, MOSTLY IN LOANS.” (emphasis added)

    As for the picture with Ms. Collins; it was taken at a fundraiser for a recent Creighton Law graduate who spent several weeks following graduation in UNMC’s ICU unit. I was there, they are friends, he posed for pictures with several in attendance as do most campaigning canidates.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m not the FEC, either. However, aren’t there limits to how much a donor can contribute to a candidate. If not, how come Pete Ricketts’ dad hasn’t given his own son a couple hundred grand?

  11. evil pelosi says:

    SS/ C.M. – You should look into who JE lives with (I believe his brother, possibly for free? This will provide your answers. While also hopefully raising questions about the legality of not having to pay rent, while not claiming it as a campaign contribution…..just a tip and a thought.

  12. Street Sweeper says:

    Blake: I think the post speaks for itself (FaceBook Ipsa Loquitur, if that helps you).

    Funding questions: I have no idea where Esch is getting his money, who is loaning it to him or if there are any FEC ramifications. The rest of you can feel free to chime in.

  13. Eric says:

    He’s probably got student loans. Just because you’re taking a year off to run for office doesn’t mean you can’t still be paying back loans.

    He worked for the Steier Group and then the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. I don’t know what his salary was, but I’m sure he saved a little money.

    This was a quote from Esch in an article last year in the Omaha City Weekly:
    “I left the Chamber about four months ago, and then I picked up a little side work. So I did a little fund raising for myself, so to speak, to have enough money to live off over the next year. And we’ve really just gotten going.”

    I’m not sure what side work he did, but I think you underestimate the ability of a young, single person to live fairly inexpensively especially when they’ve got lots of family around for support.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would hope he has student loans. He went to a private university and a private law school. How much is that times interest rate divided by ten years. I would be shocked if a person with that level of student loans could live on less than $1000 a month. What was the private fundraising for, Jim Esch for Congress?

    Hey, maybe Ricketts should have moved his whole family in with his parents and mooched off of them while he ran for office. But wouldn’t that have still been a campaign donation? Hmmm?

  15. mom at home says:

    Hey, Blake. I don’t think anybody begrudges Jimmy getting his picture taken with a hotty like the KPTM reporter. The issue is, why is it on her website and not his and why is a reporter advocating a federal office candidate publicly when they are alledgedly suppose to be nonpartisan information delivery people. By the way, everyone should know that photos posted on the World Wide Web are for PUBLIC viewing and all caution should be taken when posting any photos of women or children on such an open venue.

  16. Eric says:

    The “private” fund raising was just Jim using colorful language to say that he did a bunch of side work over a four month period so he could save up for living expenses during his congressional run over the next year.

    This was after a line of questioning where they asked him about his fund raising efforts for the Chamber of Commerce.

  17. Anonymous says:

    on this subject of how much money jim has to live on, i was at a fundraiser with esch a few weeks ago and esch said he pays himself a salary out of the campaign. that’s legal, too, from wjat i understand. but i know jim well and i know his family. jim is well to do and does indeed have a trust fund from which to pay himself. nothing wrong with that. his parents made money and he’s living off of it – that’s no worse than ricketts. it’s just that ricketts has 1000x the wealth of an average american and esch has 100x. no big deal.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I thought this blog was about the reporter who went political. Apparently, America is used to a media bias, one way or another, and immune to the press and politics getting a little too close for comfort.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The person above is right. It’s not right for a reporter to be endorsing a candidate. Period. TV. “journalism” is unarguably the lowest form of reporting and all, but geezus. Did Calvert not take an ethics in journalism course in j-school?

    That said, this talk of Jim Esch’s finances is interesting. Maybe street sweeper could do a post on where Esch gets his money from – since Esch pretends to be the common man and all.


  20. Anonymous says:

    So far we have Scott Kleeb with two hotties and Jim Esch with another hottie. On the other side we have Adrian Smith with Dick Cheney. Tells me all I need to know about which political party to vote for.

  21. Street Sweeper says:

    Ok, anonymous, just so you know, a political “party” isn’t up at that dude’s apartment on the 4th floor with all the kegs.

    But…you know…rock on!

  22. Anonymous says:


    The “private” fund raising was just Jim using colorful language to say that he did a bunch of side work over a four month period so he could save up for living expenses during his congressional run over the next year.

    This was after a line of questioning where they asked him about his fund raising efforts for the Chamber of Commerce.

    What kid of “side work” are we talking about, Eric?

  23. mom at home says:

    Colorful language like, “stand and be killed” OWH and “every 17 or18 year old should be afraid”, I guess of the big bad Republicans that gave money back to their parents so they could have a better home life?, is Jimmy’s favorite kind!!

  24. Eric says:

    I don’t know what kind of side work. He was just saying it as a passing comment in an interview and the interviewer didn’t seem to think it needed further investigation.

    He has a law degree. I’m sure he is capable of finding work.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he just wants to get to D.C. so he can put that law degree to work as a lobbyist. As far as I have read, he hasn’t done much of anything with his $90,000 law degree since he got it! What a waste of money for , I assume, his parents. Somebody, other than Jimmy must have paid for that degree because he would have to do a lot more than “a little side work” to be paying those loans back all by himself without a paycheck from anywhere that anyone is willing to acknowledge. The fact of the matter, is that this kid is trying to be a common man-despite 10 years plus of private education. According to Lee Terry’s bio, he went public school his whole life until Creighton Law. As far as who paid for his college degrees, you would have to ask him, but I doubt it was his family.

  26. Anonymous says:

    esch’s daddy paid for all of his private schooland degrees. congressman terry went to public school and paid his own way through unl & creighton law. who’s the average omahan’s representative, again? not esch. that’s a fact. esch is the man. he is exactly what the uno dems rail against. i wonder of they even know who they are supporting? doubt it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Back to the original subject of this blog, Ms. Collins. I wonder if she went to Jimmy’s Halloween party last night and if she went as an actual member of the Press?

    I think they make a “perfect” couple!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Calvert might have gone to to Jimmy’s party as a member of the press… or as a donor. Rich Jimmy’s most recent FEC report show Calvert Collins giving him a $500.00 donation. $500.00! What do they pay there staff at KPTM?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Someone should actually let Ms. Collins know that it was awfully kind of her to give Jimmy $500 in October, but wholly inappropriate for a member of the press to actually be donating to a political candidate. FEC.gov is interesting to me , too. By the way, I find it insulting that Jim left her occupation out of her donation record!

  30. Anonymous says:

    “I find it insulting that Jim left her occupation out of her donation record!” yes. like he doesn’t know what she does for a living.

    the more you look at Jimmy’s FEC reports, the more odd happening you’ll find. like who is this “Mary Barrett” and why has she received about 1/3 of the cash he has raised… ususally for unmarked reasons. who is this woman?

  31. Calvert Collins says:

    I am truly shocked how this photo has made such big news. It was an honest mistake, and I should’ve removed the photo from the website sooner (it was posted in June and removed last Wednesday). I guess I was naive to think politics couldn’t get that dirty in Nebraska, as I have covered politics in other states.

    I would like to take a moment to set the record straight, Jim and I are friends, and nothing more. It is part of my job to build rapport with candidates and incumbents during election season. I have many friends in other campaigns including Pete Ricketts, Ben Nelson, Jon Bruning, etc. Not to mention, I have maintained a good working relationship with the Terry campaign. It is also important to note, I have NEVER covered the 2nd District Congressional Race, and have no plans to do so in the coming week.

    To those of you who have been offended by this incident, I apologize. My relationships with politicians have not and will not affect my reporting. I appreciate your understanding.

    Calvert Collins

  32. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Can you guys ever talk about the real issues? I realize that most of you are jealous of the fact that Jim has real-life friends, but seriously…the fact that he went to Creighton is not a legitimate reason to not vote for him. Why don’t you actually look at where he stands on issues…by the way, Mary Barrett has been working on Jim’s campaign from the very beginning. She practically ran the thing herself for a while.

  33. Street Sweeper says:


    I’m not sure how posting a photo that YOU put up in PUBLIC domain asking people to VOTE for Jim, a candidate who you have DONATED $500 to is in any way shape or form, “dirty”.

    As a reporter, your advocacy of a candidate is certainly permitted scrutiny.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Jim has “real-life” friends? From his myspace campaign, I thought he only had cyber-friends.

    btw- if Jim is buying tonight (again) I’ll gladly be his friend too!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that if you have such a good relationship with all of these other candidates, then they should be expecting their $500 campaign donation any day now, right?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Was it a mistake for a reporter to post a picture with a candidate in this way? Most likely.

    Have some posters on this site made much too big a deal out of this? Absolutely.

    I like this site less and less these days. What happened to discussions about ISSUES?

  37. C. Knauf says:

    After being advised to take a look at this site and read some of these posts for myself, I feel compelled to add my two cents.

    First off, I am a registered Republican. I do not unconditionally tow the party line. There are issues which I strongly side with Jim Esch on, and others I do not.

    Second, I have had the honor of being able to call Jim Esch one of my closest friends for many years now. Anyone who has truly known Jim not only believes that this is the position he has spent much of his adult life preparing for, but also that with time he will become an incredibly respected and influential politician in both local and national government.

    Knowing Jim as well as I do, I need to address the ignorance and foolishness of some of these posts and their respective authors. Jim is hardly some spoiled rich kid digging into a trust fund to finance his campaign and living expenses. You absolutely will not find a family in Omaha more committed to hard work and helping others than the Esch family. To infer that he is somehow not qualified to serve in Congress because of some assumed privileged upbringing obviously doesn’t know Jim or his family, and never knew Jim when he shared one bedroom with his three younger brothers up until the time he left for college.

    There was an earlier post questioning Jim’s ability to represent the 2nd District as a “common man” in Congress. This is absolutely absurd. Apparently, if your family does nothing but sacrifice and save so that they can send you and your five other siblings to Catholic schools, you come out of the experience with nothing but a sense of entitlement. Also inferred is that family and personal support of any venture simply indicates ownership of some unlimited stream of money that can be replenished at will. Both presumptions could not be further from the truth.

    If you question Jim’s politics, you absolutely should seek answers. Concerns over how certain relationships may inappropriately influence what should be unbiased reporting might in fact be legitimate. But to accuse Jim of being out of touch with the people of his district just because he went to private schools while his opponent went to public ones is downright laughable. To advance such an allegation under the cloak of anonymity is outright cowardice.

    Chris Knauf

  38. Anonymous says:

    Lawrence… or are we calling you “Chris” again? Next time Jimmy sends you on an errand, do your homework. They taught us how to do good research at Creighton, so why not apply it?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Independent Talk

    “Its funny how sometimes we talk bad about others and not see how we might be helping them achieve their goals. I myself may have done this in the past Embarrassed now as I have aged, time has shown me my mistakes. I think all that run this race have done good and bad. I think who wins this race in the long run will win because of what good they have done and about to do for the peoples and town of Grand Island. Best wishes to all who end up running in this race.”

    – Posted by man, in our Forum topic Mayor’s Race Poll

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hello, Calvert, the rest of the candidates are waiting for their $500 campaign donations. I am sure that since you have such a great relationship with all the other candidates, then they can expect their donation any day now!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous (the one who says Chris is not real), talk about not doing your research… I feel bad that you have nothing better to do than try to insult someone who is doing something you obviously do not have the guts to do. I really do. I hope that life improves for you. I will say a prayer. 🙁

  42. Street Sweeper says:

    Hey hey hey! We’ll put up with a lot of talk here on Leavenworth Street, but we will not tolerate laissez-faire use of Frowny-Faces!

    Let’s clean it up people!

  43. Anonymous says:

    laissez-faire use of Frowny-Faces!








    p.s. jim esch talks one thing and blogs another. he gives a nice speech in public but takes low blows that he has to know is misleading at best if not a flat out lie in his press releases and says absurd things in his blog. esch deserves the 🙁

  44. TomFool100 says:

    What is this ? Are Nebraskains against personnal freedoms — like freedom of beliefs or personal opinions in others. Maybe just allowing their own opinions to exist.

  45. petro says:

    you guys are all nuts, a worker probably not that different from you has been terminated for her political affiliation. Republicans are just like spoiled little children. NO wonder they can’t make progress that is in everyones best interest, we are all Americans, everyone should start caring about that, because if we do not we be will become a page in history.

  46. Eliot Ness says:

    Hey, Jim’s date is hot. Good work buddy. I think we need more pretty faces in politics. I mean, I am tired of looking at the likes of Ben Nelson and so on (no offense Ben, I think you do ok for the most part) but – just look at her.
    It doesn’t really matter if Jim’s independently wealthy. Being rich is not a crime. And contempt for wealth is just a tool the wealthy use to keep the poor poor.

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