The Jim Esch Record


On Friday, February 16, 2001, at 1:30 AM, Jim Esch was arrested for driving under the influence after running a red light. He had no proof of insurance and blew a .223 on the Intoxilyzer 5000.

You can see the two of the pages of his arrest report below.


We here at Leavenworth Street provide this information and the accompanying arrest report to you for a number of reasons.

First, no one else has presented this information to the public — well, no one other than the Omaha Police Department. You will remember that Esch ran for Congress back in 2006. Was his arrest for driving drunk five years prior relevant in that campaign? Well, we’ll never know, as no one, primarily Esch, provided that information in any public forum (to our knowledge).

Should Jim Esch have provided this information when running for Congress? We think so.
When putting yourself up for a vote for one of the highest offices in the country, your background is important — especially if you do not have any other prior history to judge you by.

When Michael Scott ran for Congress as the Democrat nominee back in 1998, his history of drug use certainly was an issue in the campaign.

When State Senator Danielle Nantkes rammed into a snow plow and was arrested for drunk driving in Lincoln, it was a public issue, and will always be a point of consideration when she runs for re-election or for another office.

When Pat Flynn announced he was running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, one of the first things he did was discuss his prior arrests for drug possession. We kidded him for placing it so prominently in his announcement, but not for stating it. He was up-front, put it out for any consideration, and moved on to other issues.

Jim Esch never put it out front.

As a matter of fact, when the issue of drug use was introduced in the Democrat primary this year, Esch had a prime opportunity to level with the public about his past indiscretions. Esch instead laughed off a drug test with the line, “obviously I have nothing to hide“.

So, instead of getting out in front of the issue, Esch and his campaign followers will have to respond to it. But there is one other item Jim could provide, which we do not have.
The arrest report talks about a “D.U.I. supp”. This document, as we understand it, is the record of Esch’s field sobriety test. We are told that in order to procure this, a subpoena must be filed. Or Esch could simply provide it to the press. We are wondering what this document says. In how bad of shape did the officer observe Esch to be? Was Esch combative with the officer? What was said?

Providing this document would allow Esch to show that he is willing to take some responsibility for this, even at this point. Otherwise, frankly, it’s just more stonewalling.

And one of the questions at the end of all this is, does a DUI seven years ago matter?
We’re not sure. To some people it may. Did Esch’s behavior change after that incident? Did he take steps to address his problem then?

But Esch clearly didn’t level with the public when he ran back in 2006. When he had the chance in this year’s primary, he didn’t level with the public.
There is little else by which to judge Jim Esch.
Except his Record.

**UPDATE**
After reviewing a 4/25/08 OWH article, Esch did finally admit this year to drunk driving. The article however did not note that he blew over twice the legal limit. And we await the information from the D.U.I supplemental report…

80 comments

  1. 4.0 UNL Student says:

    Why are you bagging on Jim Esch? Is it because he has a real energy policy. I don’t care if he had 40 DUI’s. Jim will help Team Obama bring the change we need to transform this state. Jim is working hard on the issues working class voters care about. Jim should get a driver like Mr. Kleeb has done.

  2. tinybubbles says:

    Real Energy Policy?? Show me something, please. His Energy policy is a joke and would never get enacted in Congress.

    It shows nothing, however, the fact that Jim did not talk about his DUI or even outright disclose it, says something about his character.

    What is in the other part of the DUI?? Could he be beligerent? Could he down right be staggering and not able to do to the field test?

    Do we want someone like this in Congress??

  3. tinybubbles says:

    That sure is pretty sad. Shows a lack of judgment on Democrats to put someone in the general election with no real world experience, no morals, and no judgment.

    They could have had a candidate who has a solid background, outstanding citizen, good record and while I disagree with him on some issues – at least he has solid ideas. Instead, they go for a candidate who acts as if he is running for student body president.

    How sad. The D’s get what they deserve and that is a trouncing by Rep. Terry in November.

  4. Corn Grower says:

    Jim Esch’s energy policy is based on ethanol. He was doing some research on the variety of uses grain alcohol has for our economy when he was pulled over. Jim supports our industry.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why was Esch also kicked off the Creighton campus??? Does that have anything to do with his excessive drinking??

    Jim answer these questions, please. Also, make the D.U.I. supp avalible to the public. Stop hiding.

  6. Uncle Wiggily says:

    Great post, Sweeper … once again out ahead of the curve.

    Like you, I dunno if a 6 or 7 year old DUI will (or should) affect a candidate’s electability, but I do know that, contrary to the old maxim, the truth will never hurt.

    Thanks once again for “keepin’ it real”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Nantkes debacle is much different than this deal with Esch. She was an elected official who smashed her car into a snowplow. She refused the breathalyzer and chemical tests.

    From the Journal Star: “By state law, police couldn’t arrest her. According to Article III, Section 15 of the Nebraska State Constitution, state senators — except in cases of treason, felony allegations or a breach of the peace — are privileged from arrest during the session and 15 days before and after.”

    She will probably be defeated or choose not to run for re-election.

  8. Eric says:

    So apparently it is not obvious to everyone, but “4.0 unl student” is an agent provocateur. You need not take anything he/she says seriously.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You know, we corn growers probably wouldn’t refer to ourselves as “corn grower’ on a blog like this. I think you call them “trolls.” I am, however, interested in knowing where you are growing your corn there in the second district.

    SS – good work. I bet the Omaha World Herald is getting tired of you breaking the news. They just can’t seem to get the big stories until they read them on your blog. that’s got to be embarrassing at some point.

    Also, I agree completely with Eric.

    Good job here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    4.0 unl student is an excellent example of the thinking on the Left. They used to be known as yellow dog democrats. I will salute them for knowing what is important, though: getting the max number of people with D after their names into Congress. It doesn’t matter if he’s Tom Osbourne or even the Pope. If they have an R after their name they will take away even a tiny bit of power from the Dems and we can’t have that, especially in this Year of Our Lord A.O. 1. Remember, this is the most important election in a generation. Esch will make a fine Congressman: he will vote for anything the Dems put to the floor…since he’s already down there. (sorry, couldn’t resist that).

  11. Anonymous says:

    Esch is a joke of a candidate, but a single DUI is not the reason. Given the drinking social norms in the midwest, DUIs are kind of a crap-shoot. Of the thousands of people 21-31 leaving all the bars on a given weekend night, I imagine a good quarter or so of them *qualify* for a DUI. It’s just a lottery of who’s picked. It’d be great if we had better public transportation/taxis to get around this problem (and the designated driver culture is more pronounced than elsewhere) but really, in a town where you have to drive to get anywhere, and where the main social activity is drinking, these things happen.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anony 11:00,

    Another problem in Omaha is that the police there have figured out a way to get you to blow over the limit on their trusty “Intoxilyzer 5000” if you’ve had even one beer within the past hour. Why would they do that, you might ask? MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) and organization that no longer is run by mothers, but by a pack of ravenous, profit minded, MALE attorneys) pays them “bonuses” for every DUI they write up.

    Do a little research on MADD and the Intoxilyzer 5000. It will surprise you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    1.) U.S. Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY). Received a DUI on April 30, 2008.

    2.) U.S. Congressman from Texas, Republican Representative Kevin Brady was arrested for DUI in South Dakota. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.

    The media went ga-ga over both of these. especially the Fossella matter which was pretty gross as he was cheating on his wife and deserves not to run for re-election. He did announce shortly after he would not seek another term in office.

  14. Anonymous says:

    George Bush was hiding his DUI history when he ran for President. He was a lot older than Jim was at the time of HIS DUI. It only came out when someone leaked the report to the press, then he called it a “youthful indiscretion”. Dick Cheney hid all his DUI’s and it wasn’t until years after elected they finally came out into the open (and there were more than one). He has never answered to them.

    A question I know won’t be answered by GOP whinners, but, did you think it was all just fine and dandy for Chimpy and Dick to do the very things you accused Esch of doing? Could this be another one of those double standards where Republicans do no wrong, Democrats no right, even if it’s the same thing?

    Watch the media yawn in Nebraska and go on to something more important.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Anon 11:12:

    If you’re so interested in this one event that happened seven years ago, why don’t you act like an adult and call Jim Esch yourself and ask him about it? Why hide anonymously in this blog and go on and on about how you want to know all the dirty details?

    Call him and ask him.

    Personally, I don’t think you really care all that much for your own personal knowledge, you just enjoy trying to humiliate another person as much as you can. I guess you find that to be entertainment.

  16. lnk says:

    The July Quarterly report is due to the FEC by midnight tomorrow.

    Esch still has not filed the new April Quarterly report that the FEC told him to do so by June 13.

    Esch staff—–> What’s the problem?

  17. ed says:

    George W. probably forgot to tell America’s voters about his DUI because he had a nose full of TOOT!

    Cheney failed to tell America’s voters about his DUIs because he had “other priorities.”

  18. tinybubbles says:

    So, hmmmm. Let me see here, Jim Esch is what?? 32-33 years old? What life experience does he have? How many jobs has he held? What does plan to do, line the pockets of the Esch family fortune?

    This does make a difference, he has no record to run on per say. Ha! Ha!

  19. lnk says:

    Folks–you gotta go over to newnebraska.net.

    They have disintegrated into intra-party warfare–Lisa Hannah v a bunch of others. It’s great! They look foolish.

    Click the diary on the right–Richard Carter Endorsement.

  20. asecurityguard says:

    A DUI 7 years ago will not have a big impact on the general public in my opinion. But for the grace of god does every young marine and soldier not get one. I dont think someone should have to bring up their entire record when running for public office. This isn’t armed robbery or drug trafficking we are talking about, its having one to many and then running a stoplight. If you have ever had two beers un under an hour and then driven then you as well would have been illegal.

  21. Street Sweeper says:

    asecurityguard,
    Interesting point, except that your boy Jim didn’t blow a .09 or a .11. He blew a .223! That’s not a beer too many. That’s falling down drunk.

    But for the grace of God went the people who were going the other direction through that red light.

    There are plenty of other arguments to make about this incident, but enough of this, “he was just driving buzzed” crap.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yes, driving drunk is horrible. Hopefully, Jim Esch learned a big lesson from that incident. Seeing that it happened seven years ago, and hasn’t happened again, makes it appear he has learned his lesson.

    What I don’t get is all the Terry-bots on here who are taking such glee in “exposing” him.

    Just one more sad example showing that everyone associated with Lee Terry takes great joy in the personal destruction of others.

    Is this how Lee Terry teaches his young sons to succeed in life? Tear down anyone that gets in your way?

  23. tinybubbles says:

    Is it fine that Jim Esch has thumbed his nose at the FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION and not filed his reports correctly?

    Is it fine that He thumbed his nose at the HOUSE and did not file his FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE in time?

    What we see is a pattern of behavior that I for one do not want to see elected??

    Will he be able to handle the power? Will be able to handle dinners and free food and drinks after work? Will he be able to handle making his appointments, etc on time?

    He doesn’t deserve to be given the title Congressman.

    Furthermore, what is a 0.223 anyway? 8? 9? 10 beers?

  24. Right Wing Professor says:

    I still think Danielle has your boy Esch beat. She’s been caught three times over the limit; twice when the limit was 0.1, once when it was 0.08 . That’s at least .28, which blows your .22* out of the water. And then there’s Bill Avery!

    The first district Dems can drink the second district Dems under the table, and still take out a snow-plow. Face it, sweeper, our jackasses have yours beat on this one!

    *On one ticket, though, 0.22 is pretty good. That’s almost a toxic level of booze.

  25. 'sker says:

    Jim Esch, Max Yashirin, Scott Kleeb. Dems are putting up some real role models for election, huh? Is it too much for Nebraskans to expect that those who will be charged with making our laws also should be successful in abiding by them? Obama is the only thing Nebraska Democrats have going for them. Sad.

  26. Harold says:

    4.0 —————— You and other Kool-Aid drinkers are the few on this earth that call taking away the secret ballot and minimizing union supervision by the OLMS working “hard” for the working class.

    Obama and Kleeb have already sold out to elitist UNION boss by crapping on the working class. I was hoping Esch would resist and be a champion for the rank and file workers —- not union thugs.

    Thank goodness we have Congressmen that really care about hard working Americans by VOTING to protect their rights — Terry, Fortenberry and Smith!!!!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yeah. Jim Esch can endanger the public with 2 tons of steel and it’s just fine and dandy with the Dems, but Carter can SAY that he likes Lee Terry better and he’s a dirtbag who should be taken out and shot. Jim Esch can flout election laws and drunk-driving laws, laws that as a lawmaker, you’d think he would hold in some regard, and it’s fine and dandy. And quit changing the subject to Bush and Cheney. I thought we were talking about Jim Esch vs. Lee Terry.

  28. lnk says:

    B U L L E T I N …

    Guess what Esch did today? Drum-roll please…

    He filed the April Quarterly report–that was 31 days late!!!

    Now we know why he tried to hide it for so long.

    If you want a good laugh, please read it at the FEC.

    1) He says $10,000 in expenses “really” happened earlier so he took them out. Well, when did they happen then? The prior cycle, Jim says–but, he doesn’t amend any of last year’s reports to show the disbursements.

    2) On a $5,000 loan he made to the campaign? He now says, “Oh, I actually didn’t do that. Forget about it.” (Then why did you originally report it, Jim?)

    3) Of $8,000 in contributions that he originally said he received, well, Jim now says he never got those either.

    I feel sorry for the campaign’s Treasurer–they are on the hook for any fraud that Jim might be committing.

  29. Matt says:

    Ink: you have been so hung up on that report. Now that it has been filed I bet you will be able to have a good BM now…go take it!

  30. 4.0 UNL Student says:

    To those who question my veracity: You people attack the messenger beacuse you think you can destroy the progressive message. I don’t care if Esch is a drunk or Kleeb is a effeminent. I care that the progressive movement takes hold in this state and that the so-called conservatives are held accountable for their greed.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Oh Matt, please give Ink a break. He obviously doesn’t have anything else to focus on in his pathetic little life since he’s on this and other blogs all day and night. Let’s let him have a moment of pleasure over Esch’s report.

    What’s up, Ink? No family? No friends?

    Ink, it’s almost starting to seem like you have a crush on Jim Esch with you stalking him the way you are. I’m starting to get a little embarrassed for you!

  32. Kyle Michaelis says:

    On the issue of Jim Esch’s DUI in 2001, SS is totally wrong to suggest that “no one else has presented this information to the public.” The Omaha World-Herald already reported this story in its Friday, April 25th profile of the candidate.

    Of course, that story did not name the model of breathalyzer used by the police, so congratulations on the big scoop.

  33. ed says:

    Hey! Let’s not be pointing any fingers of blame at any Republicans here! We’re talking about what a bunch of lousy bums the Democrats are. Let’s keep it on topic! Don’t be writing anything about Bush and Cheney, they happen to be the LEADERS of the Republican Party!!! They are OFF LIMITS!!!!!!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ah, good find Kyle. So, it now seems like this “big scoop” has already been publicized……

    and no one cared.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Many phone calls today among a group of Sarpy county Dem. activists…to see what can be done to get a new candidate…

  36. Anonymous says:

    Jim’s $40,000+ website indicates Mary Barrett handles finances.

    Dear Mary,

    Math–learn it, otherwise you’ll be wearing an orange jumpsuit for a while.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Ink and the latest of Anony’s: you have been jealous of Jim since Creighton Law. Such insecurity!. Blame it all on the $ and family values! What a big boy you are.

  38. Anonymous says:

    6:53—

    Um, well I kinda like to have someone who is honest and hard working represent me in Congress.
    If that doesn’t matter to you, then hey, whatever. My standards are just a little higher.

  39. Anonymous says:

    So, does anyone have an office pool on how much cash on hand Jim will have in his report that is due tomorrow? Any guesses??? Throw ’em out there.

    Oh, maybe we should have a second pool to see when it is actually filed…

  40. Chuck Det out west says:

    TO: 4.0

    You always are right on!!!! By getting the “progressive movement” here is Nebraska we can take the greed movement away from those damn conservatives and get in back to our UNIONS.

    From 2001 to 2007 the Bush Administration through the Office of Labor Management Standards returned $100 Million to union workers that were cheated out of their hard earned money.

    This is just one more reason I despise Bush —- the workers don’t deserve a fair deal, when our union leaders can take their money from them (aka –GREED) Obama has already pledged to defund OLMS to eliminate union oversite. And Kleeb said he would take the secret ballot from workers given the chance to vote on it in the Senate.

    Go Obama, Go Kleeb, GO UNIONS!!!!

    Now that is PROGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Anonymous says:

    .223 is no big deal? I have been a victum of a drunk driver. I would beg to differ. I was almost taken from this world at the age of 5 because of a idiot that thought it was okay to drink and then get behind the wheel. I had over 4 surgical procedures including 175 stiches in my left leg. NO BIG DEAL HUH???

    Oh, I forgot it must have been my fault…. I couldn’t get out of the way from the car that was going 40 in a 25 mph speed zone. ESCH you are a disgrace to any candidate that is running no matter what party they are involved with in this election.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone checked the Creighton police report and see why he was thrown off campus and has not been able to return? Should be looked into!!!!

  43. asecurityguard says:

    SS:
    You are correct, but for the grace of god went the other drivers on that road that night. But 1 DUI does not indicate a drinking problem, 1 DUI does not indicate a habitual thing, 1 DUI indicates people make mistakes. They get punished and make changes. Hats off to Esch for 7 years of no DUI’s.
    And if I may be so bold, uncharacteristically sloppy research on your part and we are glad to see it corrected. (Not knowing about the April 25th article where he comes clean about his DUI). You usually catch these things which speaks volumes about your research abilities general blogging skills. One of the few mistakes you have made in fact. But rest assured, people make mistakes and we wont hold this against you.

  44. asecurityguard says:

    And to be fair, few people did know about the article or Im sure someone would have mentioned it already.

  45. ed says:

    “In 2006, there were 13,470 fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC of .08 or higher) – 32 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.”

    That indicates that a whopping 68% of accidents were caused by people who were STONE COLD SOBER!!!!!

    We need to get those sober people off of our roads!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Folks–here’s what a lib blogger said yesterday about Kyle Michaelis at nnn:

    Kyle (0.00 / 0)
    Your toxic personality comes through so clearly in your posts. As always, no facts; just vitriol. You continue to pollute any hope of objectivity with your narrow focus on personal attacks. What set off your inner demon this time? Did I land one too close when I mentioned the firing of one of your homies? If you had the sense God gave a squirre — or a tattletail — you would know your homey got canned because of his sins by people utterly unrelated to me. If it makes you feel better to tr to blame me for all the woes in your life, take whatever comfort you can from it. You act as though everything I post is personally directed at you or Lisa. Any question, however well-intentioned or relevant, you see as a dire threat. If it i a threat, that tells more about you than about me.

    Of course, that is stupidity that you routinely demonstrate with your ugly, low-road, self-destructive mudslinging — the only thing that touches your heart.
    by: tomdorsch @ Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 22:16:25 PM CDT

  47. Anonymous says:

    Richard Carter never had a DUI.

    And, if he had one, I bet he would have leveled with the voters about it. Esch never disclosed the DUI when he ran in 06–after reading the report, I can see why!

    Bad move, Jim.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that all the candidates have disclosed their ###s for the FEC reports…except Jim.

    Is he just starting to work on the report today?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Ed–don’t you think it’s time you took a little time off? We know of places where you can go … rest … and the staff will take nice care of you. The group sessions will be of particular help …

  50. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm….has anyone read anything about Terry’s campaign manager’s association with former-Governor Rowland of Connecticut? The former Gov. who spent quite a bit of time in jail?

    Very interesting reading…

  51. ed says:

    Anony 9:07,

    Aw c’mon, you can do better than that can’t you? If you’re going to insult me, at least TRY! Haven’t the folks in YOUR group sessions explained that to you yet? Demonstrate a little originality.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 4:02–there’s one small, stubborn fact that you, and the other libs, just can’t get around: Esch lied by not telling the voters about this in 06. So much for his credibility and trust. This will play a big role in destroying his candidacy.

  53. ed says:

    Anony 4:17,

    To lie means a person has to make a false statement. If Esch said nothing, it is not a lie, despite your twisted logic.

  54. wrigley4 says:

    I have taken the time to read every single blog on this post. There have been many interesting comments made about Jim Esch. Some valid, some off the wall, and some that are very entertaining.

    Here are my thoughts:

    -Definition of a lie is A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with the intention to deceive.

    Do I think Jim lied to us about his previous DUI arrest? No, I do not. Do I think he should have presented this to us during his 2006 Campaign? No, I do not. Please keep in mind. This is strictly my opinion. Do I think what Jim did was selfish and bad judgement? ABSOLUTELY!!!! He endangered the lives of anyone who was on the road with him that night. However, let’s keep things in perspective. No one was killed! No one was hurt! Does that make it right. NO!!! But do we need to be still talking about it 7 years later, NO!!! God forgives, and so do I.

    -We all need to ask ourselves out of the two candidates who is truly going to Shape the Future of America? Who can relate and inspire all generations that they can make a difference? Who truly has the ability to articulate their vision? Who can regenerate the American Ideal like President JFK did while in his short term in office?

    Difficult question to answer. Or… is it? For being in office for 10 years, I would hope that more would have been accomplished than renaming a post office. There were 34 newly elected Congressmen in 1998 including Lee Terry. Out of that 34, Lee Terry ranks 31st. Out of his class 20 of them are ranked in the top 200. Out of 435 Congressmen currently in office, he ranks 321. If anyone is interested on where I got this information, please visit Congress.org. Very educational.

    I see that quite a few people have stated that Jim doesn’t have any experience. Well, you have to start some where. I guess if you are satisfied with one bill being passed in almost 10 years of office making a difference in this country, please feel free to cast your vote for Lee Terry. I on the other hand cannot tolerate status quo for another two years. My vote is for Jim.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Okay, who let in the dumb*%! that missed the entire debunking of the “Lee has only passed 1 Bill in 10 years?

    Been there, done that, we all have moved on already.

    As far as Esch and his DWI, it is a matter of character. What kind of a person do you want to represent you in Congress?

    Lee Terry: never been arrested, hard working, honest and upfront with family, friends and constituents.

    Jim Esch, convicted, too lazy to practice law, unwilling to tell the truth until a reporter asks about it in an interview or on camera.

    Jim, I do believe that you want to go to Washington, I just don’t think you are capable of serving the Second District constituents in the manner they have become accustomed to from the current and previous 5 Members of Congress that have represented the 2nd District.

    As you have been told MULTIPLE times, get a job, get responsible and get on with you life. Maybe there will be a spot for you in local government in a few years, but, please, grow up first!

    MYKW

  56. wrigley4 says:

    MYKW- By your response,I presume you are around 21 or 22 years old. Not sure why you feel the need to use the word “dumb”. As I stated in my blog, this is just an opinion. I respect your passion, but I do not feel you are doing Lee Terry any good by presenting yourself in the way you have throughout this entire blog. If you would like to intelligently have a debate about why you feel Lee Terry should remain in office, let’s do it. You may go first. Please, articulate to me his accomplishments that have truly had an impact in this state and country. I have never stated Lee Terry isn’t a good man. I think he is a wonderful father and husband, but that doesn’t mean he should be in Congress. I am dying to hear you thoughts.

  57. Matt B says:

    Michael Scott -> history of drug use

    Danielle Nantkes -> rammed into a snow plow and was arrested for drunk driving

    Pat Flynn -> prior arrests for drug possession

    Seriously…this blog is comparing these FELONIES to a misdemeanor DUI, which took place seven years ago. You don't have to get in front of a DUI arrest…

    Was it worth mentioning from him, perhaps. In response to a drug related question, absolutely not. But this is another example on the need for voters to compare blogs with mainstream editorial entities.

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