1) Leavenworth Street does not have a dog in the current GOP U.S. Senate fight. Not Chuck Hagel. Not Jon Bruning. Not Mike Johanns, Hal Daub, Kermit Brashear or any other name you want to toss out.
2) We will discuss salient issues. Sometimes those issues appear to criticize one candidate over the other, but that doesn’t mean we have taken sides.
3) We will probably criticize all candidates. We will probably compliment all candidates. We will probably makes jokes about all candidates.
4) You can flail at the messenger if you want, but if you want to defend your candidate, defend him or her by giving a rational argument. Saying that Leavenworth Street is unfair or mean or biased or whatever else pops into your grey matter doesn’t help.
So why do we mention this? Because, if you didn’t know it, IT IS ON.
Bruning has come out with a poll that says he is ahead of Hagel by 9 points, or 24 points if you push the call about Hagel’s “anti-GOP” votes and statements. (Bruning says he leads Hagel by 9 points – LJS – 4/23/07)
Hagel’s political director Kevin Chapman responded to Bruning, showing that he is well versed in Bruning’s law school writings and may just know the identity of “R. Reagan at email@example.com” who recently sent around the Bruning Daily Nebraskan Article.
And so you don’t have to click or search, we’ll print, in full, what Jon Bruning stated today, and then how Chapman responded (thanks to Southwest Nebraska News which generally prints releases in full):
Attorney General Jon Bruning today released statewide poll results showing him leading Senator Chuck Hagel by 9 percentage points in the 2008 Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Bruning leads Senator Hagel by 24 points when Hagel’s criticism of the President and his vote in support of the Democratic leadership’s strict troop withdrawal deadline from Iraq are considered.
“These numbers confirm what I’ve been hearing directly from Republicans as I’ve traveled throughout the state,” Bruning said. “While Republicans have expressed disappointment with Chuck Hagel, they’ve offered me support and encouragement; and for that I am truly honored and grateful.”
The poll also showed Bruning leading Hal Daub 55% to 16% statewide. The poll conducted last week surveyed 404 residents of Nebrask both registered Republican and considered likely to vote in the 2008 Republican primary election for U.S. Senate.
(Bruning Cites Lead over Hagel in Polling; Stops Short of Announcement – Southwest Nebraska News – 4/23/07)
And then from Kevin Chapman, political director for Hagel:
“With his record of credibility, we don’t put much stock in ‘polls’ Jon Bruning pays his pollster to produce. Whatever Jon Bruning claims, Nebraskans will not vote for a chameleon.
“When Bill Clinton was president and the Democrats controlled Congress, Jon Bruning was a card-carrying pro-choice, pro-tax Democrat. After a Republican Congress was elected in 1994, he transformed himself into a pro-life, anti-tax Republican.
“Jon Bruning has repeatedly told people, including Senator Hagel, both publicly and privately that he would support Senator Hagel for re-election or president.
“Records and facts do matter. Senator Hagel has compiled one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate over the last ten years. Last year, Senator Hagel’s voting record was the most supportive of President Bush in the Senate. He has worked with the President on immigration reform, Social Security reform, climate change, and tax and spending issues. It’s laughable that Jon Bruning is claiming to be more Republican than Chuck Hagel.”
(Hagel Comments on Bruning Press Conference – Southwest Nebraska News – 4/23/07.)
If you listen to the full Bruning press conference, you can hear Don Walton ask Bruning about Nebraskans’ views about Iraq and Mike Johanns. Bruning responds that they didn’t poll on war support or about interest in Johanns – but did poll Bruning against Hal Daub, in addition to Hagel.
Bruning also challenges Gov. Dave Heineman about his expressed support of Hagel, questioning whether Heineman supports Hagel’s positions on the war and on the President. So in case you weren’t sure, Bruning is taking both Hagel and Heineman on, head first.
And here are a few questions for you readers:
- Does this encourage Hagel to run even harder, or if Hagel finds the numbers to be accurate, will he drop out and support someone like Johanns, rather than let Bruning win the seat?
- Hal Daub has expressed real interest. What does he do? Sit it out for awhile. Express support for Hagel? Run for Mayor of Omaha?
- And particularly to you Democrats: Assuming that Bob Kerrey will not act on his 1%, what does Mike Fahey do? At what point does he need to make a decision? And if not Fahey, then who?
Remember, all the candidates and offices are reading (and remember what we wrote up above)!