2008 Politician of the Year noms


It is that time of year again. Time to look back at the year that was and name the 2008 Leavenworth Street Politician of the Year!

And, as always, we want YOUR input!

You can look back at our PotY winners of 2006 and 2007 to get an idea.

So, reaching back to 2006, here are the standards:

A Politician may be described as “Anyone involved in Nebraska politics”.

Therefore it could be an office holder, a candidate, a campaign worker, a political party worker, a consultant, a member of the media – just about anyone you can think of involved in Nebraska politics.

That person should be judged on their influence making, news making, difference making, interesting-ness or any other thing that you would like to take into account.

Leavenworth Street will then laboriously sift through these suggestions, and any others we may come up with, to announce our Nebraska Politician of the Year.

You can list your nominee, and the reasons behind that nomination, in the comments section, or you can email them directly to us at leavenworthst@gmail.com.

We will announce the winner at some point the week after Christmas (but before 2009).

Let’s hear from you!

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36 comments

  1. OmaSteak says:

    David Axlerod, the man behind Obama’s plan to become President. He took an unknown and unaccomplished US Senate candidate from Chicago and devised the perfect campaign for a blank slate to win a national election based solely upon constant reference to hope and change.

  2. OmaSteak says:

    Sorry about that Sweeper. In that case, soon-to-be ex-state senator Ernie Chambers. He was able to parlay his legislative skills into a new position on the learning community board from which he will be able to make mischief for years to come while pulling down a larger taxpayer funded salary.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Steve Achelpohl. During his tenure as chairman, the Nebraska Democratic Party was heavily involved in Senator Nelson’s landslide re-election, Mayor Fahey’s landslide re-election, Mayor Beutler’s election, netted five seats in the Legislature in the last two cycles, and – greatest achievement of all – made history by securing an electoral vote for Barack Obama. Pretty impressive work, regardless of your partisan leanings.

  4. Right Wing Rant says:

    The Obama-maniac who is actually driving around Lincoln in a black Honda Pilot with an “OBAMA” Nebraska vanity plate.

    Will she still have it in two years?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Terry Kroeger, publisher of the Omaha World Herald. He is currently using his keen political skills to keep the local media from reporting his plagiarism that would make even jim esch blush. What an idiot! This guy actually had the nerve to steal an entire Kansas City Star article from last month, and turn it into an article about how the OWH is so valuable to Omaha. No links allowed, so just google “omaha world herald plagiarize” and read the first two links. This loser should step down immediately

  6. Anonymous says:

    My vote goes to State Auditor Mike Foley. He exposed major wrongdoing at Wyuka Cemetery, a story that dominated the headlines for a while. Foley also unearthed fraud with Office Depot’s billings to the state and numerous improprieties at an Omaha autism organization where the owner falsified time cards and used state $$ to pay for an addition onto her house and to have her nails done. It is amazing what Foley has accomplished and uncovered in such a short tenure as Auditor.

  7. Kyle Michaelis says:

    John Berge did a fantastic job managing the Obama campaign’s effort in the 2nd Congressional District. Made Hal Daub’s “volunteer army” look like the joke that it was.

    I’d also give props to State Sen.-elect Colby Coash for riding the “progressive” banner to an upset victory in Lancaster County’s Legislative District 27. The guy did a lot with a little – in every sense of the phrase.

    Special mention: Melanie and her fellow Obama-Terry voters, who had just enough doubts about Jim Esch to disregard Lee Terry’s eight years of marching this country towards disaster with unquestioning loyalty to the failed Bush-Cheney agenda. In two years, they’ll hopefully still be paying attention after Terry foolishly stands opposed to every major Obama initiative.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mike Johanns: In a year gift-wrapped for Democrats, he beat his opponent by running a campaign focused on issues rather than ridding the coattails of the now President-Elect.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kyle-
    Credit for the Obama Second CD win goes to Suzie Buffett. She bought and paid for that win. Props to her for catching the GOP with their pants down.

  10. macdaddy says:

    I nominate Lee Terry. He faced down the Obama juggernaut, actually bothered to campaign in areas that weren’t his natural constituency, and won in a hostile year for the GOP. As for 2010, I like his chances. I think he will have lots of things to agree with Obama about now that we know that this is going to be Clinton II. Of course, it’s easily within Nancy Pelosi’s power to freeze him out of everything. Hmmm, wonder why she didn’t do that before to help Jim Esch?

  11. asecurityguard says:

    I nominate Mike Fahey. He got the big contract for the CWS (25yrs). He had his name in the paper for many things, potentially running for congress against Lee Terry, the CWS contract, the cat fight with Dave Sokol, the union contracts, another potential term as mayor, and the list goes on. Read the previous sentence on how he was a difference maker as well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ugh…Fahey got abused in the ballpark issue and by Sokol. He’s about to run away from the office with a huge burden hanging over the city.
    My votes:
    1. Lee Terry. Overcame the Obama factor to win by what was really a comfortable margin.
    2. Rod Edwards. Ran two huge GOP pick ups in the legislature, in two of the most contested races in the state.
    2a. John Murante. No one gave Colby C. a chance.

  13. Anonymous says:

    John Murante and Colby Coash share the honors. No one gave Colby a chance in LD 27 (including the state GOP) and without his hard work and Murante’s campaign plan, Dan Marvin would have easily won that seat. Congrats guys!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Rod Edwards’ “big victories” were in districts where the average Democrat receives less than 30% of the vote. And he needed expensive supporting fire from the state GOP, diverting resources from the effort to beat Haar, Giese, and Sullivan – the Democrats’ big pick-ups this cycle (all in very Republican districts).

  15. 1st CD Dem says:

    Anonymous 4:56,

    Come on Steve, you can use your real name. The most you ever accomplished, without taking credit for the hard work accomplished by others, is patting yourself on your own back.

  16. Right Wing Professor says:

    Ward Connerly. He masterminded the passage of Initiative 424 over the combined opposition of the ACLU, the Nebraska Dems, all the universities, the major Chambers of Commerce, the former GOP state chair, and the kitchen sink. You may quibble he’s actually a Californian, but he spent more time in Nebraska this fall than Chuck Hagel did.

    If you won’t accept Connerly, I nominate Doug Tietz, who ran NCRI like an old pro. Doug is originally from Kearney NE, and so IMO he qualifies.

    As for the other nominees — Mike Foley certainly should be in the hunt, but as for Johanns and Terry, they did what they should have been able to do. The Dems won one electoral college vote, but so what? It didn’t affect the outcome, and meanwhile they managed to lose pretty much everything else. In fact, they couldn’t even get most of the new Obama voters to vote for any of the Dems down-ticket.

    And a booby prize to Arnie Stuthman, father of the ‘safe-haven’ law, who made a national mockery of the state of Nebraska. Not one newborn has yet been dropped off under this misbegotten piece of legislation, but we collected teenage delinquents from all over the country.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Lee Terry? Comfortable margin? Huh? He only won by 700-some-odd votes. And he only pulled that one off because he took the low road and went on the attack about his opponents dui from 7 years ago.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I nominate Jessica Moening. Not only does she only work for millionaires (Pete Ricketts and James Arthur Jeffords) but she also finds a way to drive their campaigns, as well as their reputations, right into the ground.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Annon 11:19

    We love how the NEGOP is the be all end all for Nebraska campaigns. Obviously..according to you…they broke the bank on the races won. Also…according to you… they are completely to blame for the races lost. Pretty awesome!

    Candidates, how hard they and/or their campaigns worked, campaign gaffs and such have nothing at all to do with it. It’s all about the NEGOP.

    Which of the races you mentioned were you attached to? Did you do all you could to win? Did the campaign? How could’ve the NEGOP saved those races?

  20. Anonymous says:

    How about Mark Quandahl for driving the NEGOP off of a cliff. Thanks for all your great work and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  21. Right Wing Professor says:

    ‘Really good looking’ is pushing it. I’ll grant you she’s better looking than Dianna Schimek.

    More importantly, though, she has all the intellectual depth one expects from a former local TV anchorwoman.

  22. Street Sweeper says:

    I’m happy to further this discussion by way of the car analogy.

    It’s more like swerving into and bouncing off of a tree: sure there’s damage to the vehicle, but it’s certainly drivable and you reached your destination intact. Of course now you’ve got a huge mark on the side of the car. But it’s not like it’s totaled.

    Had it been the difference in the election, losing the Electoral vote would have been a bigger deal. It wasn’t, so it’s not.

    LT pulling out his race is significant. Mainly b/c it shows that a huge part of the Dems success was Obama’s cult of personality. Take that away and you lose significant votes. (And you keep a Congressional seat.)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Lee Terry deserves it for two reasons – first for overcoming the Obama assault in Omaha; second for mixing it up with Mr. “buy a Senate seat or we’ll step outside” Jesse Jackson Jr.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Enough already about Jim Suttle’s goofy ideas about what to do with the new baseball stadium! Listen people, he said they were goofy ideas but he wanted us to start thinking out loud. Sometimes that is how good ideas are found, when you start tossing them out loud. Man, it was funny for a day or two, but please let’s not frame the mayor’s race over stupid things like that! Let’s give all the candidates a full hearing and then decide. This election is too damn important you us bloggers to figthing over stupid things. Let’s follow on the real issues. My sister just lost her job and she has a family to raise on her own. There are shootings and robberies every night in Omaha. The housing market is going down, businesses are laying off workers, etc…let’s get serious!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Enough already about Jim Suttle’s goofy ideas about what to do with the new baseball stadium! So he forgot to take his medication. No big deal.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If anyone needs medication its Hal Daub needing to take his “chill pills”.
    Maybe if Suttle had a little more fire and Daub was a little more mellow we would have to perfect mayor?
    Yeah, Suttle looks like a fool for being way off on the new baseball stadium but I bet you the south Omaha folks love him.
    ps- no one cares if we lose the Omaha Royals. Can you say “Bellevue Royals”….

  27. Anonymous says:

    Have to give these props to Ward Connerly and Lee Terry. If you think about the Obama campaign taking it’s tactics from Army General David Patraeus’ manual on counter-insurgency, and the Obama Surge used in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, it’s frankly amazing that Terry and Connerly were successful. Much credit is due not only them but the people in their organization that beat back the infidels.

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