Half-baked campaign

Well, you gotta say this about Rich Carter: If the kid is going down, he’s going down swinging.

During last night’s debate, Carter and Jim Esch were able to ask each other a question. Esch tossed a softball to Carter who swatted it away. And what does Carter do? He asks Esch if he’ll take a drug test, just like many federal employees have to do.

Afterwards, Carter ambushed Esch with an appointment for a morning drug test. Esch said he’d take one on his own time.

Carter claimed that this was all about “setting a good example for the kids”. (He was possibly heard murmuring “damn hippy” under his breath… )

Of course, Carter’s example is Michael Scott, losing candidate to Lee Terry ten years ago. Back in Terry’s inaugural Congressional campaign, Scott admitted to marijuana and cocaine use. Terry cruised to victory with 66%.

So what does Carter know or suspect about Esch?

Let’s assume that if Esch tests positive for anything harder than caffeine, Carter could make this a race. But what if Esch is clean? Does the suspicion hurt Esch? When will the inevitable, “While you’re clean now, what have you done in the past?” questions come? Or will it all backfire on Carter, who will then be sent back to Econ 101 at Metro.

Difficult to say at this point.
But harking back to the Hoagland-Christensen polygraph tests of 1994, Carter has made this race interesting…


Mike Johanns has found his Macaca.

We’ve learned that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has hired liberal blogger Lisa Hannah to stalk Mike Johanns at all of his public events and videotape his every word.

Now you probably remember that this sort of thing got Senator George Allen in trouble in 2006. Allen singled out the Jim Webb supporter who was following him with a video camera at all of his events.

Of course, Mike Johanns is no George Allen. Allen was the type who you sort of knew could say something blundering at any point. With Johanns, you feel like his brain sets out cue-cards that he reads before anything comes out of his mouth. Johanns is even-tempered, with a ton of public speaking experience. Don’t expect a macaca-moment out of him.

But that’s not to say Hannah won’t try. She has become pseudo-famous in the Nebraska online world for her pestering of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith. She reportedly followed Smith around at a number of events and places over the past few years. And she’s a die-hard Kleebian. If Smith’s dentist needs to know how many teeth Adrian has, he could easily go to Hannah for the information.

Well, it’s good to see that the Dems are spending their money wisely.


  1. omaha repub says:

    I think Richard Carter is channeling the spirit of Peter Hoagland by running a sleazy campaign. So Richard here is my question, which presidential candidate do you support? Is Obama automatically off your list of candidates because of his previous admitted coke use? The kids need to know!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between the DSCC and the RSCC in terms of funds raised? I would have to say whoever taped the Macacca moment was well worth the money. Oh yes, I do believe it was an intern…. Interesting…..

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    I’m going to leave Mike Honcho’s comment up just to make a point of what we DON’T want.

    This blog IS NOT the place to post your accusations about any candidate.

    Feel free to comment about what Carter did, Esch’s response, etc. But we do not want this to turn into, “I once saw Candidate A doing something…”

    Keep it politcal folks.


  4. mike honcho says:

    I apologize for commenting on a widely-held suspicion of Esch’s personal life in response to your blog post about an opposing candidate’s comment on a widely-held suspicion of Esch’s personal life.

    I’m not sure what got in to me. Won’t happen again.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think mike honcho’s comment was OK. I also believe omaha repub’s statement of “The kids need to know!!!!” is also very correct.

    What would be wrong for not just candidates to be tested for both subjects, but also all elected officals at the federal, state, and local level. Let’s say, even our school board members.

    Our children need to be taught right from wrong about many subjects! No more do as I say, not as I do.

  6. Omaha repub says:

    Mr. Honcho…..widely held by who…Richard Carter’s campaign staff? So what do we know about Jim Esch?..he’s not gay!!!! Last I knew Jim was single. I disagree with him on his politics but hey if the ladies like a congressional candidate, use it…lol

  7. mike honcho says:

    Widely-held by most politically astute readers of this blog, for starters.

    And just about anyone else who has known Jim Esch longer than twenty minutes.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s a terrific guy, but he is far from a model citizen, even by today’s political standards. To pretend we should not talk about this under a post titled HALF-BAKED CAMPAIGN seems a little sanctimonious.

  8. Anonymous says:

    omaha repub:

    So what if he is gay? From my experience, over 50% of politicians are gay! Oh, by the way so are football players. The Big Red Machine…what do you think that refers to?

  9. Gal Pal says:

    omaha repub:

    So what if he is gay? From my experience 50% of politicians are gay. Oh, by the way, so are football players. What do think “The Big Red Machine” refers to?

  10. JonRehm says:

    Johanns won’t stray from script. One of my jobs for Bill Hoppner in 1998 was to tape Mike Johanns at public events. He caught on to me real quick. I’d like to think it got under his skin a little bit but he didn’t let it show. I suspect he might be a cyborg.

    As for Carter’s tactics, well the only rules of politics is that there are no rules. That said, I think Carter is a goody-good twit for arranging to have Jim Esch pee in a cup. I just gave a $100 to Jim Esch because I don’t want to see a twit get my party’s nomination.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow. This just gets better and better. The Dems in Nebraska can’t win for losing. First, they try to become relevant by holding a caucus and scheduling it 3 months early (bet they wish they had that decision back), then they talk a Republican who has no knowledge of the Supreme Court decision that is the major reason most Dems are Dems into jumping ship and running for the Senate, forcing their golden child to waste time and money, and now, this: drug tests for the candidates. Maybe their strategy is to get us all laughing so hard, that we are unable to get to the polls.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The debate was one of the most pathetic attempts at trying to win voters I’ve ever seen. Pandering to the hosts, technical nightmare and a bunch of non-answers. Like when Jimmy said have offices in North and South Omaha…NEWS FLASH Jimmy—Lee Terry already does this. One of them said they wouldn’t have a lobbyist on their staff..uh that’s good ’cause ya can’t, and both said they’d hire a black and a latino…like what else are they going to say…no??? Seriously, what a waste of time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My favorite part was when Carter said we need to work on alternative energy and force Detroit to make cars more efficient…LEE TERRY IS ALREADY DOING THIS.

    Then Jim Esch had a wonderful, heartwarming story about a gal who said she would help with his campaign but she couldn’t vote due to a felony drug conviction…Jim told her some of the laws were changed so she could vote. New slogan for Jimmy: CRACK HEADS FOR ESCH

    Esch also said we shouldn’t have done the stimulus checks we should have given money to ONLY the top 100 cities and they could have used it for what they wanted. WOW, THAT’S SOUNDS REALLY FAIR JIMMY, that would have went over like a lead balloon. Thanks for playing.

    They both said we need to do something about education. I have an idea let’s propose a bill to improve No Child Left Behind–OH THAT’S RIGHT LEE TERRY HAS ALREADY DONE THAT AS WELL. In fact it is “the” bill to fix NCLB..supported by school administrators.

    Did you guys do your homework? Geez.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think this blog is great…it gets people discussing the issues (kinda). But an educated blogger also reads the real news:

    From the Omaha World Herald:

    Carter’s campaign said the intent was to highlight drug abuse, not to imply that Esch was taking drugs. Carter noted that, as an Air Force reservist, he takes regular drug tests, as do many other federal employees.

    “We’re not insinuating anything with Jim,” said Natalie Benson, Carter’s spokeswoman. “He’s not the focus, it’s about the kids that face rising drug abuse in their communities.”

    So enough with the unfounded accusations…

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s always nice to see the Lee Terry staff out in full force on this blog. Who else would write so glowingly about him except for people that depend on him to keep paying them?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anony 9:13 – real news in the OWH? Are you serious?

    I’m fairly certain there are other ways for candidates to highlight problems regarding drug abuse without challenging their opponents to take a drug test.

    Esch was absolutely the focus of this stunt, and the Carter campaign is being (GASP) disingenuous with the media about it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Roll another blunt… oooohhh ohhh uhhh… la daa da dadada la daa daaaa… I was gonna go get a real job, until I got high… I was gonna stop being a rich little snob, but then I got high… I got my ass kicked in the NE-02 Dem primary, and I know why… heyy… because I got high, because I got high, because I got high…

  18. jimmycarter says:

    “We’re not insinuating anything with Jim,” said Natalie Benson, Carter’s spokeswoman. “He’s not the focus, it’s about the kids that face rising drug abuse in their communities.”

    Oh, in that case…

    As an Air Force Reservist, Richard Carter works under a no-ask-no-tell policy re. homosexuality.

    We are not saying RICHARD CARTER IS A HOMOSEXUAL. We are also not saying Richard Carter is into beastiality or necrophelia. For all we know, Richard Carter has never gotten a sheep or a guy in the corner. We are simply making a comment about how nice it is to have a no-ask-no-tell policy in Richard Carter’s Air Force Reserve.

    How’s that Natalie? Surely the Dick (Carter) you work for won’t mind. We are just supporting his Air Force Reserve.

  19. Anonymous says:

    there is nothing like an accusations that strikes a nerve to bring out the best in people!

    And by the way, that is a DEMOCRATIC President’s obnoxious policy. I prefer the old policy.

    From the looks of things, Jim’s family appears to be out for blood-watch out weary voters.

  20. Anonymous says:

    DUI/DWI…how many does Bush have? More than Jim. How many does Cheney have? More than Jim. Do you want me to go on and get into the NE Republican Party…?

  21. Anonymous says:

    haha..hey Richard Carter – is it true that you are NOT addicted to gay porn? The voters want to know! Sleazy.

  22. Aaron says:

    Thank you anonymous 3:40! If all of our leaders had all of their secrets exposed, think where we would be! Winston Churchill, considered one of the greatest leaders of our time, was an absolutely raging alcoholic. If we put all of our leaders on a golden pedestal we would be utterly disappointed. So what Jim Esch likes to drink, sure its bad that he drives- but yeah, it happens. So, shame on Carter for using sketchy tactics to personally attack a great candidate. I have complete faith in Jim Esch as a leader.

  23. non-disillusioned republican says:

    I thought this comment from a previous post deserved to be pasted here. It shows that, while people are sacrificing their lives for our country, perhaps there are bigger fish to fry than bogus, unfounded and demeaning (to the political process) drug/gay allegations:

    Lee Terry supports an increasingly unpopular war. He got BIG earmarks for a defense contractor that’s made millions off the war…that defense contractor, in return, handed Lee big campaign cash and even hosted an event for Lee back in 2006…putting more cash in Lee’s war chest. (Look it up–21st Century Systems, Hicks)

    So war=money for friends=money for self…that’s the kind of guy I want to reward with another term in office!!

    Also I loved Lee’s comment that even though the war is becoming increasingly less popular in Omaha…he can count on all the folks at Offutt to pull him through to victory in ’08 (WSJ). Isn’t Lee’s potential opponent one of those people? Sure, Lee, everyone in the military just loves you to death, to death.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well what really makes me ill is when I see Jim Esch’s dad not wear his leg is campaign events, but to other things (like non election years) he is wearing it all the time. Hmmmm. Funny how that works. The whole family is a piece of work.

  25. Craig says:

    That was the sleaziest comment I have seen and the author should be ashamed. SS, you should take the previous comment down immediately.

    Mr. Esch lost his leg fighting for our country and I, for one, am greatful for his service and sacrifice.

  26. craig says:

    I don’t know what being “slezy” is but surely it cannot be as unbecoming as being sleazy, which apparently does not require spelling acumen…

  27. non-disillusioned republican says:

    anonymous 1.06 am:

    Is that a defense? It’s funny a similar accusation was leveled by the Ricketts camp in ’06 against Nelson…and now you’re calling it delusional? So does the senate staffer you refer to belong to Ben? Probably not since you’re protecting Lee, right? Why don’t you stop the personal attacks and attack the issue?

  28. Anonymous says:

    What is sleazy is what Mr. Esch does to get his son elected.

    No kidding. Really, how pathetic is the Esch family? Jim’s dad served honorably, but my problem isn’t with his service, it’s what he’s done after that. Jimmy finished near the bottom of his class in law school, has worked all of two years in his entire life, and spent a year and a half after he lost in ’06 getting drunk, traveling on his parent’s dime, and generally being a worthless ne’r do well. What kind of parents bank roll their 32-year-old son’s partying? And what kind of man thinks he not only can beat the incumbent, but is entitled to his party’s nomination for a seat in Congress, with that kind of record? Christ, the ego on this guy.

    That’s not to say that Terry is any better. Unfortunately, we can likely count on the Democrats to show just how much they support the little guy by nominating the spoiled rich boy whose only qualification is losing by double-digits last time around, and throwing the electable candidate (who was defending the country while Jim was completing his court-mandated AA meetings) under the bus. Leave it to the Dems to betray their supposed principles for campaign cash, thereby snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Not only is Lee not any better…he’s worse. Lee’s family uses personal attacks and threats against anyone whom they fear might cause trouble.

    And for all the attacks you’re throwing out against Esch…keep in mind that Lee Terry didn’t have to work all that hard to make a name for himself…Junior got a big boost from Senior.

    from ketv.com:

    He did numerous news shows on both TV and radio…including a political talk show on KKAR for three years and a religious news show on KKAR on Sundays.

    Lee left television in 1976 to run for Congress. He won the primary that year in a landslide, but lost the general election to a state legislator.

    Since that time, he has involved himself in Republican politics, serving as 2nd District Congressional Chairman for four years, and several years on the state and county central committees. In 1998, his son, Lee Terry Jr., ran for Congress and won the 2nd District congressional seat.

  30. Anonymous says:

    He may not have had to work for his name, but he surely has had to work for everything else. The Terry Family had no money for quite a while after that race in 1976.

    But Lee Terry began making his own political name in college where he served as UNL College Republican President. I bet not many of those kids voted for him because of who his daddy was.

    You also cannot forget that he was willing to go against a Party sweetheart in his first race-Liz Karnes, God bless her soul. Then he beat a another Party sweetheart to win that City Council seat-Anne Boyle!

    The truth is, Lee Terry has had to work a heck of a lot harder than Jim ever will for what he has and is probably not going to let it go without an ugly fight. So if Jim is as proud of his own work ethic as Lee Terry is, the 2nd District better batten down the hatches ‘cuz I see a storm a comin’!

  31. craig says:

    I’m glad to see you can take spelling instruction…It is now clear you are a Carter staffer (pretty sure I know which one) and are a little sore about the drug test stunt misfire.

    YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH POLITICS. Cheap stunts and personal attacks are transparent. They also divulge the character of the person leveling them…

  32. Emporer Palpatine says:

    Good, Good Democratic Operatives…I can feel the hate swell in the Esch and Carter Camps…now release your anger and turn to the DARK SIDE

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