Debate debate debate

Three debates last night.

We direct you to our previous post to add your commentary for the Presidential debate.


Lee Terry and Jim Esch were debating at Creighton at the exact same time as McCain and Obama, so maybe you missed it.

Well, don’t feel bad, because we missed it too. But you know, that’s not so awful, really. The vast majority of people will be getting thier info on that debate from the TV stations and the paper, so let’s see how they portrayed it.

Well, our first view was story on KPTM. It actually summarizes both the House campaign debate and the Senate debate.

But, other than the standard points thrown out by the the candidates, what really caught our attention in the Congressional debate was Esch’s statement at the end.

Zoom ahead to the 1:57 mark and listen to what Esch said:

“I really believe in service to others. And it’s at the heart of, of what I’ve chosen for, for careers and why I decided to get into public service.”

Now did we miss something over the past three years, or did we just hear Jim Esch claim that he has “chosen a career in public service”?

Wait, back that up. He said, “careers”.

  • So a stint as a fund-raiser for the Steier Group is 1) career and 2) “public service”?
  • A month or two as a fund-raiser for Creighton Prep is 1) a career and 2) “public service”??
  • Spending a few months with your uncle on a “wind farm” in Colorado for your own family’s corporation is 1) a career and 2) “public service”???
  • Having a trust fund with your siblings while not having a real job is a “career”? (And we won’t even bother with a “public service” angle there.)
What in the freaking hell is he talking about?

Oh wait, maybe he means trying to run for Congress, twice, is a “career” and, even though he lost, it’s a “public service”.

The only public that was served when Jim lost by nearly 10 points in 2006 would be those who didn’t have to pay for new name-plates on the Congressional office doors.

And in that sense, maybe Jim can “serve” the public one again on Election Day…

WOWT’s video here.
OWH’s article here.

AP’s here.


And in the Mike Johanns – Scott Kleeb Health Care debate, also at Creighton, the only thing that seems to have come out is:

1) Kleeb wants a government take over of the health care industry and, 
2) Johanns slammed Kleeb that he didn’t know what he was talking about regarding mental health care in Nebraska.

So there you go.

Here is the OWH’s take.

And the AP’s.


Finally, much is being made about “increases” in voter registration — particularly the Dems in Douglas County. The Daily Kos types keep waving this as an indication that Obama and his coattails can prevail in Nebraska’s 2nd District.

The latest point is that as of October 1, 2008 the Douglas County registration numbers are as follows:
119,858 Democrats
121,664 Republicans

In 2006 there were:
115,770 Democrats
129,201 Republicans

And those numbers are interesting and all. Except that the 2nd Congressional District is made up of more than just Douglas County. And frankly, the numbers you should be looking at are the 2004 numbers — a Presidential election year where voter turnout is greatly increased.

So let’s compare 2004 and 2008 Voter Registration percentage breakdown for the WHOLE 2nd District:

Republican 44%
Democrat 40%
Independant 16%

Republican 41.83%
Democrat 38.47%
Independant 19.78%

So the reality is, the Dems have seen their numbers drop along with the Republicans. And the “big” gainer is the I’s — by a little more than 3%.

We are sure there are some Dems who believe that all the I’s then go to the Dems — except that historically that just isn’t the case. And of course actual voter turn-out is a whole ‘nother issue.

So before you get all hot and bothered about “Democrat increases in Douglas County”, remember that the 2nd is a lot more than just Omaha. Or just Douglas County.

Feel free to debate.

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  1. OmaSteak says:

    Esch continues to amaze and horrify me. In his current TV ad, he says he’s going to: (1) end tax breaks for big oil; (2) stop price gouging at the pump; and (3) make us energy independent. When did “big oil” start paying taxes? Businesses don’t pay taxes, their customers do. All the businesses do is act as tax collectors for the government. Just how is Jim proposing to “stop price gouging” at the pump? Is he proposing to regulate the price of gasoline? Wind, solar, biomass, etc. all together cannot replace our current requirements for energy much less provide for future growth. Is Jim now advocating for clean coal, new generation of nuclear plants, oil shale, natural gas for vehicles without the billions in infrstructure to make it widely available for travel? If you take him at his word on his vast professional experience, he built a windfarm that lacked a grid connection such that it is/was a failure. Yes, Lee Terry is a backbencher and a hack for sure but at least he isn’t an idiot. Esch is, that’s the bottomline pure and simple.

  2. Anonymous says:

    SS doesn’t know what he’s talking about on Kleeb’s health care plans. He just assumes because he’s biased. Kleeb never called for a government takeover of health care. In a nutshell, it would be a plan that works with insurance companies to find ways for everyone to have health insurance. Johanns on the other hand wants government to “buy down” everyone’s premiums. Of course he never told how he’d pay for that kind of mega operation. Plus he wanted every state to make up their own plans, sot there would be 50 different types of government plans set up for the public. Of course, he doesn’t explain what would happen when someone moved out of state. Mike Johanns has no clue what he’s talking about and I heard several medical providers last night saying the very same thing. Johanns is to beholden to party politics and could care less about trying to find a practical solution. He just poses so he can get enough votes to stay in DC where his wife continues to live and work.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In regards to the Esch/Terry debate: I am an Esch supporter, but even if I were not I would be appalled by the level of disrespect Terry supporters show. Before the event started, Lee Terry’s “staffers” (kids whose parents donate a lot of money to him, so he gives them jobs) were heckling Esch supporters and telling them to “get jobs” and making other VERY disrespectful comments. This is not the first time this has happened. During the debate, they could not contain themselves and were laughing at Jim while he was speaking; no matter what ridiculous claims Terry made, we were respectfully quiet, as was supposed to be the atmosphere of the debate. This just continues to deepen my drive to get Jim into office. We’ll see who’s going to have to “get a job” come November 5; my bets are on Jim winning this time around.

  4. BB says:

    Anon @ 11:25:

    Sometimes the truth hurts, Whether you like it or not, Jimbos employment history, or should I say lack thereof, is fair game. I know you don’t to hear that you candiate is an unemployed party boy, but that issue is fair game and bringing it up is not disrespectful.

  5. Eric says:

    Why can’t you categorize fundraising for non-profits as service to others? I would say his work for Steier Group and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce both count.

    He’s also been involved in Catholic charities on a volunteer basis, so I think you can take him at his word that he really believes in service to others.

  6. Anonymous says:


    I didn’t say they were telling Jim to get a job. They were telling Esch supporters to get a job. And we have jobs. The bottom line is that they are disrespectful. I agree with eric- I think Jim really does believe in service to others.

  7. Street Sweeper says:

    Hold on there cowboy.

    I think it’s great that Jim does some volunteer work. But that AIN’T a career, as he would claim. A career is your actual “job”.

    And he didn’t say “service to others” — whatever that means (beyond “servicing” yourself, I suppose). He said “public service”.

    But in any case, he hasn’t held onto any of those jobs! The prerequisite to having a career is actually WORKING.

    (Oh, and applying for a job as a NBA player doesn’t make your chosen career “professional basketball”.)

  8. Eric says:

    Now, wait a minute, where did he say he has had a career in public service?

    “I really believe in service to others. And it’s at the heart of, of what I’ve chosen for, for careers and why I decided to get into public service.”

    I don’t think I need to daigram these sentences for you, but he did say “service to others”.

    He said his belief in service to others is why he decided to get into public service. I would say running for public office is “getting into” public service.

    He also said that his belief in public service is at the heart of what he’s chosen for his careers.

    I think you’re confusing the terms “job” and “career”. A teacher who has had several teaching jobs at different schools would count all of those jobs as part of his or her career. It isn’t uncommon at all for a nonprofit fundraiser to move from project to project as needs and opportunities come and go. That doesn’t mean that the work isn’t all part of the same career.

    I would say his real-estate work is different enough to be a separate career, and maybe he feels that there is some service dimension to it which was at the heart of why he chose to do it. You’d probably have to ask him to elaborate on that one. But, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re completely twisting his words.

  9. Street Sweeper says:

    Parse it out all you want, but:

    1) In order to have a “career” you have to actually work a job, and
    2) You’re not “in public service” until you’re in. Applying for teh job doesn’t count.

    But the real matter here is Esch is trying to sell that he has some career or relative experience.

    Being unemployed for a great length of time, living off his trust fund, he has neither.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Eric, this is the only thing the Terry people have to criticize Jim Esch for, so they’re trying to milk it (and twist it) all they can. We all know it’s not working, but they’re getting desperate because they know Lee is losing. If that’s all they can come up with after last night’s debate, they’re in trouble.

    They can’t defend Lee or his actions (or inaction) these last 10 years, so all they can do is attack Jim. Who is looking more congressional and who is looking more like the challenger?

    Lee Terry — don’t let the door hit you, well, you know where, on your way out!

  11. Eric says:

    “Parse it out all you want”

    No, I just need to parse it once. His statement is pretty simple to understand by any objective standard. Perhaps your parser is stuck on the Republican Myopia setting.

    And, you can ignore and belittle it all you want, but Esch’s history of serving others is relevant experience.

  12. Street Sweeper says:

    Eric, et al,

    Here’s the main problem with any statement like this from Esch:

    The use of the term “careers.”
    He hasn’t had one. Or many. Or any.

    Look, just stick with “Hope!” and “Change!” and maybe you’ll pull this thing out.

  13. OmaSteak says:

    Anon & Eric,
    What about the questions on Jim's policy proposals I raised in the first post in this thread? I agree Lee Terry is a political hack but why would I vote for Esch when the premises for his policy proposals are fatally flawed from the get-go?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Omasteak, I’m sorry. I got stuck at your statement, “Businesses don’t pay taxes…”

    What do you mean by that? Of course they pay taxes. It’s hard to address your other points until you explain what you mean by that.

  15. Eric says:

    You don’t need to ask me. Esch has an 8-page document on his website laying out his position on energy.

    If you’re just going to dismiss it as fatally flawed and call him an idiot off-hand, then it sounds like you’ve made up your mind.

    You’re amazed and horrified by Esch’s ad but accept the epically empty “cut spending, lower taxes, help families” message in Terry’s ad, so what is there to say?

  16. OmaSteak says:

    A business does not pay taxes. Taxes are included in “the cost of doing business” and are added to the price paid by their customers for the goods or services. Unlike the government at all levels, if a business doesn’t cover the costs of doing business plus some margin of profit then the business ceases to exist. Big, medium or small companies do not pay taxes, we pay them when we buy their products/services. I guess if you aren’t going to use any gasoline, natural gas, plastics, chemicals, etc. then raising taxes on “big oil” won’t impact you. For the rest of us that do consume oil-related products, we will ultimately pay those new taxes.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The fact is Terry supporters who showed up to hold signs outnumbered the Esch supporters 3 to 1. Sorry you are jealous.

    The Terry supporters were not being rude, when someone says something dumb, which Jim did often it is normal to snicker and laugh.

    Fact: Jim didn’t answer the questions, he just had pie in the sky answers with nothing concrete.

    Fact: Lee Terry gave specifics and has a proven track record to back it up.

    Fact: The questions presented were totally lame. Jesuit education???–Who cares. Crime and poverty in Omaha—since when are those FEDERAL issues?

    Fact: Terry won the debate hands down.

    Fact: Esch purses are LAME

  18. Anonymous says:

    I believe the fools that don’t think they are paying all of the taxes that the businesses and industry that they support pay in the endrun, are the same people that propose to increase programs the government must fund, but have no idea how the revenue gets there to pay for such programs.

    Hope and Change are pretty mantras to let fall out of your mouth, but where is your substance? What do such statements mean for me and my family, friends, and coworkers?

    As far as Esch having a job or a career, He spent less than 4 years since graduating from CU 10 years ago,in gainful employment. The windfarm is a joke and his assertion that if elected he will build the infrastructure to move said wind energy from the country to the city is very interesting. First of all, it is selfserving to his family’s bottom line-by his own excuse for where he was for several months after disappearing from his career at Prep. Secondly, I wonder how much of said power would be left at the end of the transport? Do you know Jim? Has anyone explained to you what happens to that energy when it gets moved from one rural area to a “big city”? You lose it! Has your cuz’ out in CO thought about that one? Have you? Maybe you are too busy shouting about our pathetic roads and bridges while we are helping to rebuild a better Iraq? How come no one has asked you how much your family has to gain, what with all of their concrete/construction businesses that they own? Does this mean that if you get elected that you will try to change the antinepotism rules? Or, will you at least give up your farming career? You know, you can’t be a lawyer/not for profit fundraiser/windfarm developer/managing partner of your family’s real estate partnership/professional farmer and government aid stealer, AND a Congressman, it is against the law.

    You can, however, still be exactly what you told the League of Women Voters, a Candidate. That is all you are, and from the look of you, it doesn’t agree with you all that much, you looked ill last night.

    BTW, I agree about the Esch purses, they remind me of the idea of mixing ketchup packets with hot water to make soup. Very bag ladyish.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Um, I’m not a voter in the 2nd and I decided to step into the Esch/Terry debate out of curiosity after the Kleeb/Johanns debate. As they were introduced it was clear one side of the room was Esch supporters, the other was Terry supporters. I saw both sides full, both having about equal number of supporters. I had on a Kleeb pin and had someone come by I didn’t even know, as I was standing in the back of the room waiting for it to start, lear at me and say, “you know that Esch is gonna get his ass kicked, so you might as well crawl home now.” Lovely reception.

  20. Anonymous says:

    These funny stories about the Terry supporters make me want to post some of my own.

    However, my stories would be true and have actually happened on the campaign trail.

    Hey Anon, why don’t you post your name and give a full description of the person you claim said that to you. I was their last night and I only witnessed 1 person being an ass, as you suggest, and what he said was said directly to the Congressman. The Congressman smiled and tried to have a conversation with the person who walked away as quickly as he could, kind of a pussy, if you ask me.

    Right back at ya’ Team Esch.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Eric in case you’ve been under a rock, Catholics aren’t happy anyway. They have their dream candidate, brought up through the Catholic schools and yet, sadly, not ProLife.

    They were unhappy long before a voter wanted to know what a Jesuit Education has to do with a race for Congress.

    Hey Kettle, has anyone called you a racist for that blog handle?

  22. Eric says:

    Jim Esch is far more pro-life than Lee Terry.

    The Lee Terry Anti-Catholic Brigade sure does have a perverted idea of what it means to be pro-life.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wow I’m sorry if ONE person went up to our much respected Congressman and said something to him. Much better than an entire group harrassing the supporters on the other side. And yes, young kids (like I said in my first post- whose parents have given Terry money, so he gives their kids jobs) showed up to hold signs, but by the time the debate started both sides were pretty equally represented. I happened to notice Jim got a much bigger crowd when it came time for the standing ovation at the end.And as far as the questions being stupid, take that up with the Creighton students who submitted them. I am not jealous of anything on the Terry side, and because of the way I have seen people treated by both Terry and his cronies, I will NEVER support that team.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, boy the Terry people are a class act, huh? Nice way they’re criticizing the students who submitted the questions for the debate.

  25. Anonymous says:

    In what world are you ProLife when you believe that it is okay to slice and dice embryos just because they are going to be destroyed anyway?!

    You cannot destroy the most innocent of life in the Hope of figuring out how to make someone feel better!

    Is this what Esch means when he says Hope, Change!? He Hopes that no one will pay attention to how many times he has changed his answer about the sanctity of life?

  26. Eric says:

    Listen to yourself. You prefer to destroy embryos by throwing them into a blender rather than using them for stem cell research. Congratulations, you’re pro life. All you have to do is go to Esch’s website, and you’ll see that he agrees with you:

    “I will support ways to unlock the potential of stem cell research that is ethical and does not destroy human life. Therefore, I do not support the current research being done with embryonic stem cells because it requires the destruction of embryos.”

    Terry is pro death when it comes to the death penalty, unjust war, and health care for poor children.

    The only “pro-life” issue where Terry has the advantage is on in-vitro fertilization. But even there, I don’t see Terry out there trying to ban it. He’ll agree to it privately in a back room to get the endorsement of a pro-life group, but he won’t lift a finger to actually ban IVF. Forgive me if I find this distinction negligible.

    Thus, Esch comes way out on top overall on the life issue. End of story.

  27. macdaddy says:

    Anon 5:34: well put! But you did miss the motivation for giving up being a lawyer/fundraiser/windfarm developer/managing partner: earmarks! The guy has done nothing for at least 3 years. We know by his statements that his understanding of how Congress works is suspect, so he hasn’t even cracked a book about government since the last election (what else did he have to do?). So why would the Omaha powers-that-be want to put this underachiever in the House of Representatives? They could have had a guy who had actually done something with his life, Richard Carter. But, no. And the obvious answer is earmarks. Should Esch get elected, I predict he will follow Obama’s lead and go for a cool billion for his buddies here at home.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Eric, you need to know your candidate a little better! This is Jim’s position today. A few months ago he still told everyone that he believed in stem cell research-all kinds. He forgets that if he won’t stand up for the most innocent of life, how will they ever stand up against the horrors of life?

    Jim Esch opens his mouth and whatever he thinks the other person wants to hear is what comes out.

    The Bailout was a good example. He is opposed to it-not on philosophical grounds, but political ones. He agrees with Lee on the first vote, but first would not have voted for the 2nd Bill, but as recent as Monday decided that he does not want to be hemmed in to a decision about the second one so he jumped on the “I don’t have enough info” side. Well, I’ll tell you what Barry Jr., Get the F***ing info and get on the damn fence. If you are in support of someone who can’t figure his way out of a wet paper bag without his mommy and daddy unfolding it, then you too need help and God help all of this if this is what our Country has become.

  29. Eric says:

    Esch was always against the destruction of the embryo. His position before was that if you’re bent on destroying it, then he prefers method A over method B.

    So Terry is allowed to change his position multiple times with the prevailing political winds (*cough* bailout *cough*), but Esch isn’t allowed to change his mind on a detail of a nuanced position on stem cell research?

    I guess I understand. You guys don’t think you can win unless you’re running against Planned Parenthood, so you have to paint your opponent that way no matter what. I’d just warn you that it comes across as seeming that you don’t really care about the sanctity of life, and you’re just exploiting it as a political wedge issue. So go ahead and dupe all the rubes out there. Make them think that Terry is the champion of life while Esch is an evil baby killer. That’ll make sure you can get back to Washington so you can get back to the real business of lining the pockets of all your elitist friends at Lehman Brothers et al.

  30. Anonymous says:

    You called him a “Baby Killer”, not me.

    I don’t know anyone at Lehman Bros and I don’t think we have any interest there, but if we do, I accept that it is worthless now.

    Destroying life one way, because it gains you political favor, is still destroying life. Let me know when Lee Terry ever advocated for disposal of frozen embryos or the destruction of them for the purpose of medical research (that would be the slicing and dicing part). Let me know when he ever thought of them as anything but potential children for someone.

    Jim Esch wants to slice and dice them instead of disposing of them, either way they end up dead in his mind. Yes, you might be very right, that is indeed a wedge issue.

    So what’s your big wedgie? You know you have one.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Boy, anons 6:54 and 9:29, I bet you’re fun at a party.

    The hatred seeping from your posts is almost frightening.

    Do you really want to try and claim that Lee Terry is Mr. Family Values and puts all children first? Maybe he should look inward first before trying to claim he’s saving the world.

  32. Anonymous says:

    “Before the event started, Lee Terry’s “staffers” (kids whose parents donate a lot of money to him, so he gives them jobs) were heckling Esch supporters and telling them to “get jobs” and making other VERY disrespectful comments. This is not the first time this has happened.”

    “Much better than an entire group harrassing the supporters on the other side. And yes, young kids (like I said in my first post- whose parents have given Terry money, so he gives their kids jobs) showed up to hold signs…”

    These claims are rude and ridiculous…not to mention a pathetic attempt to bring down a qualified, experienced, and trusted leader.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I just love abortion debates. They’re so meaningful and you hear something new every single time. Yeah I get it. They both love blastocysts.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Lee Terry Supporter, and I was also holding a sign at the Debate. I don’t think bringing up the fact that James hasn’t held a steady job when he is probably qualified for one. (I hear Burger King is hiring). Isn’t a offensive thing, it’s just the facts.

    Not all of Lee Terry’s staff members come from families with trust funds, or donate to his campaigns.

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