Heineman will endorse Daub

Leavenworth Street has learned that, sometime before the April 7th primary, Governor Dave Heineman will very likely endorse Hal Daub for Mayor of Omaha.

(Note: This is an official rumor, and has not been confirmed by either the Governor’s office or the Daub campaign.)

While it is somewhat unusual for the head of the state party to pick sides among Republicans in a contested primary (City Councilman Jim Vokal is also a Republican), this likely endorsement is not all that surprising.

Heineman was Hal Daub’s Chief of Staff in his Washington, D.C. Congressional office back in the 80’s. The two are considered to be close politically, if not personally, and if would nearly be a slap at Daub if Heineman didn’t endorse him.

You may also remember that Daub very suddenly dropped out of the Senate race back in 2007 to clear the way for Mike Johanns. At the time, former Senator Bob Kerrey was seriously thinking about renouncing his New York citizenship and attempting to become a Nebraska Senator again.  The party big wigs very much wanted an easy race for Johanns and Daub, and Jon Bruning, dropping out made it so.

Daub ended his very brief run with a fair amount of grace and deference to Johanns. One wonders if there may have been any handshakes on who would promise to support Daub in future runs.

Nonetheless, an endorsement from the very popular Governor couldn’t hurt Daub in what could very well turn out to be a close race.


The other side of that rumor is that there are “other state office holders” who will also endorse Daub. That also goes as, “they will stay silent in the primary, but REALLY support Daub.”

We’ve heard that and are very suspect about it.

Would a, say, Attorney General Jon Bruning support Daub? Maybe in the General against Jim Suttle — but would he take sides against Vokal? And how about State Treasurer Shane Osborn?

It’s interesting to note that both Bruning and Osborn have been or will likely be clients of Vokal campaign manager Jordan McGrain. Now it’s not totally unlikely that they would go against another of McGrain’s clients. But the loyalties within the party can run deep (see Heineman and Daub) and we would be surprised if either of those office-holders sided with Daub — silently or publicly– against Vokal in the Mayoral race.

[Update 10:25 AM
We received word from a person close to Shane Osborn that Osborn has a political team already lined up for any future runs and that McGrain is not a part of that team.
We await any further corrections…]
[Update 3:45 PM
The line we’re getting now is that McGrain is a “friend and advisor” to Osborn.  Frankly we won’t know what any of that means until he actually gears up a campaign, but add it however you like to the above commentary, which was the purpose in the first place… ]

Speaking of McGrain, we heard from him after the “party-crashing” of Daub’s crime-plan announcement.

Some have expressed that it was a d*** move for McGrain to show up at the Daub announcement. We know that some of the Daub people were unhappy about his showing-up. (The thought is that at most he should have sent a subordinate.)

But McGrain’s side of it is that the Vokal camp had just done a release on the same subject and were planning commercials right away. McGrain says he knew that the TV stations and the paper would make a bee-line to Vokal after the Daub presser to get his reaction to Daub’s plan. So, McGrain figured the fastest way to actually be able to see what Daub’s plan was, was to go there himself.

We accept this reasoning, and as said before, don’t think it’s a big deal. But we also understand Brinker Harding’s (Daub’s manager) ire for McGrain showing up unannounced.

Annnd, McGrain also violated one rule of campaigning: Don’t make the story be about you. It should always be about your candidate.

But it does make for a more interesting race…

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a lot of people have made fun of Lisa Hannah for doing the same thing that Jordan McGrain did by going to Daub’s press conference. What’s the difference?

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Well, McGrain didn’t have a video camera.

    And he doesn’t follow Daub around to every public meeting he has, whether it’s a press conference or not.

    And he is not paid for that specific job to follow him around.

    Glad to help.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whatever. How’s that working for McGrain working for both Vokal and Blumenthal? Have Vokal and Blumenthal endorsed each other? Will they? Any conflict of interest there?

  4. itk says:

    What Lisa did was completely different than Jordan. Mcgrain has become part of the story, which is rule number 1 of campaign. The story should be about the candidate and his plan, NOT his campaign manager.

    Looks bad for Vokal!

    Kudos to Street Sweeper for sticking up for Brinker’s ire.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wait. Is Street Sweeper Jordan McGrain? Jordan’s wife? How do you know he didn’t have a video camera? And maybe he hasn’t followed Daub around to every public meeting — yet. And how do you know what he’s paid or what he’s paid for? Are you sitting in on the meetings between Vokal and McGrain? How about the meetings between Blumenthal and McGrain? Do the three of them meet for coffee often? Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just hope Tinymann repays the state for all of the expenses he runs up while endorsing his “yes boss” candidates. Phone calls, e-mails, mileage, State Patrol costs, and time away from work. He has become one of this state’s all time poltitcal mobsters. I voted for him, and regret it, now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh man. Blumenthal isn’t serious with that website, is he? Is he? Is he running for student council? It just keeps getting worse and worse. Look at his donation pop down and also his volunteer contact form. How embarrassing for him!

  8. Anonymous says:

    At least Blumenthal’s website has an option to contribute or volunteer. Stothert’s is just a big pageant picture of herself and a letter written by one of her many consultants.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mcgrain might have been at the Daub Press Conference for many reasons, but most likely the same reason he was at the kickoff Press Conference for Daub’s Senate race. He was then, and is now, running the race of Daub’s chief competition. This is McGrain’s style, in your face, front and center. There is nothing wrong with that-if that’s the sort of race you think will win.

    I guess the good citizens of Omaha will decide what kind of campaign they like: Kinder, Gentler or Upclose and Personal.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I like how in the Volunteer form he has to tell people what they’re supposed to type in the “Name” field, then the “Last Name” field, then the “Address” field, etc. You know, just in case you’re not quite sure what those mean? And what does it mean to fill in the fields “efficiently”?

  11. Anonymous says:

    And can someone say whether or not Vokal is going to endorse Blumenthal and/or if Blumenthal is going to endorse Vokal? Since they have the same campaign manager, they must think alike on everything else, right?

  12. Anonymous says:

    And can someone say whether or not Hagel is going to endorse Stothert and/or if Stothert is a Hagel follower? Since they have the same Protextor, they must think alike on everything else, right?

    Does Stothert think we are becoming a bunch of isolationist isulationist power projectors when it comes to violent crime?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Jeez…Protexter quit on Hagel when he went off the island. Actually before he left us all hanging.

    I love the one or two Blumenthal supporters here hanging on whatever little twig they might have.They talk more about Stothert or her TEAM than they do about their candidate. HELLOOOOO!

    And…who’s the padgent candidate? Blumenthal is more worried about his hair style, beard, metrs*xual persona than anything anywhere near serious.

    Really, before you bash a candidate, you’d better have someone more qualified.

    BTW, McGrain is just doing his job. Look at the candidates.

  14. Anonymous says:

    anon 11:21…

    That is like sticking your toungue out at somone. 😉

    “She’s a tax and spend liberal”

    The levy in Millard is substantially lower than it was before Stothert took office. So…are you saying taxes went UP? Only in idiot math.

    BTW, the Millard Scool District has grown by over 3000 students, saved a ton of money when the thought out of the box and self insured their employees, and they have brought EVERY construction project on time and under budget.

    Can you say that about the City of Omaha?

    I’m sure you wouldn’t want these Liberal philosohies spread across Omaha. Oh…in Millard I heard Christmas programs with Christ in them too! Very Liberal!!! High test scores are a horrible thing too…right?

    That doesn’t even bring up Stothert has been a loyal Republican and supported Republican candidates for years. She was knocking on doors for Lee Terry the day before the election.

    So, tell me, what Ronald Reagan did soon after he was elected Governor of California made him a liberal in your mind too? I guess you’d have to call Stothert a Reagan Liberal!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The post was about the Mayor’s race. Can the 1-2 people from the Blumenthal campaign and the 1-2 people from the Stothert campaign please find somewhere else to post lame taunts to each other?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon 6:05, the thread was about Jordan McGrain. He’s heading up Blumenthal’s race. We can talk about it if we want to. So there.

  17. Street Sweeper says:

    Here, let see if the Blumenthal/Stothert forces can extrapolate on their campaigns based on the following topic:
    Early 18th Century Danish poets.
    (I have faith in you.)

  18. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Jean Stothert has incorporated 18th century danish poetry in the Millard cirriculum and test scores have improved…Jon Blumenthal (Mr. OPS BAIRD HOLM ATTORNEY) has filed a lawsuit stating the children of OPS do not have the resources to sudy Danish poetry.

    How wasthat SWEEPER!…lol

  19. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that Vokal and Blumenthal’s volunteer forms are exactly the same. Hey, if you fill out one, does it work for both? Sort of a two-for-one deal? Or would I have to fill in each one “efficiently”?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Sweeper, I was wrong in 3:57. I just read the “State of the State” speech. The Guv said, “We can be proud that we have the only nonpartisan legislature in the country where policies matter more than politics.”

    I guess as long as you agree with his agenda and policies, there is no need for politics.

  21. concerned voter says:

    This is from Jon Blumenthal’s website

    “Control Spending

    Get city spending under control and hold the line on property and sales taxes to make Omaha more competitive for new jobs and employees.”

    Question to Jon: Tell me how Jim Vokal has failed to control spending while on the city council and what cuts would you make and the amounts of said cuts?????

  22. Street Sweeper says:


    1) Why would Blumenthal address Vokal votes, when he is running for Dan Welch’s seat?

    2) What does your question have to do with 18th Century Danish poets?

  23. Anonymous says:

    I would not eat a Danish leftover from the 18th Century and I would advise anyone I know not to eat one either.

    As far as the races for the City of Omaha, I believe we will all be better off if all the people that don’t understand who is running for what and against who will not go vote in April or May. This is just plain scary and, frankly SS, I can’t figure out how they found your site when they are so politically inept!?

  24. Anonymous says:

    What’s funny is both their sites suck. Did a child design both of them? My kid could do a better job of designing websites.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Who died and made Dave Heineman the KingMaker of Omaha? I was leaning towards Daub but now I am leaning towards Vokal. I am tired of the Republican elite trying to tell us working Republicans who to support. Ronald Reagan would be angry at you, Governor!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Stothert’s previous campaign manager/handler is involved in this race too. This will get expensive and nasty in short order…… besides all these handlers are in “the” business together and will work with one another on one race and aginst in another. Heck if you look up the NADC reports it’s all there in black and white:)

  27. 3rd floor watcher says:

    To anon at 9:23: I’m sure you were leaning towards Daub, YEA RIGHT!!! You call yourself a Reagan Republican???? Hal Daub was one of Ronald Reagan’s go to guys on Ways and Means during his presidency!!! A councilman that votes with Frank Brown most of the time is not a conservative.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh sorry, I asked too soon. I just googled it and found the answer myself. 🙂 The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission for those of you that are still ignorant. 🙂

  29. OmaSteak says:

    I wonder how Jordan McGrain is going to react when both Daub and Suttle post copies of Vokal’s letters telling the Chamber that he’s going to cut $3 million from fire dept. budget (3 men on a vehicle from 4) and then sends all the members of the fire union a letter saying “I didn’t mean it!” If he wasn’t already dead meat due to his record on the city council (and his lame tv ads), he’s toast for sure now. BTW, does Mrs. Vokal sound sort of like a valley girl in the one ad?

  30. Anonymous says:

    If the fire union wants to preserve jobs and wages they would be better off voting for Daub. Hal will be able to steer the city through this recession better than Vokal or Suttle.

  31. macdaddy says:


    Why’d you have to make it so hard by specifying EARLY 18th century Danish poets? Late 18th century would have been easier. But as the famous early 18th century Danish poet Baron Ludvig Holberg used to say:”Mand der går i midten af vej få køre over af hesten, Blumenthal.” I’d translate, but it’s funnier in Danish.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Blah, Blah, Blah, More cronies endorsing each other. If your vote is swayed by our Gov. endorsing Daub then please do not vote. We need intelligent voters to elect Omaha’s next mayor. Not just a bunch of sheep that do what the party tells them.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Wait I know 3 million reasons why the Firefighters won’t support Jim Vokal. I’m confused!! Which of Jim Vokal’s 2 faces is telling the truth!!!

  34. Street Sweeper says:

    Mac, you said:

    “Mand der går i midten af vej få køre over af hesten, Blumenthal.”

    Translated as…
    “Man going in the middle of the road get run over by horse, Blumenthal.”

    So I’m wondering, is Blumenthal the “man” or the “horse”?

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is Jim Vokal’s legacy courtesy of KFAB News

    “Spiked” Pension Approved

    An Omaha Police officer will see his retirement income surpass his base salary by nearly $20,000 a year.
    Friday, January 16, 2009
    Sergeant Jerry Baggett’s $84,000 a year pension was approved this week by the City Of Omaha’s Pension Board. While on the force, Baggett earned a base salary of $66,000 a year. The higher pension is based on Baggett’s final years of service, when the officer’s annual income rose to $134,000 through overtime pay. City officials are attempting to end the practice of pension spiking, which is legal under the current union contract.

    —The Omaha Taxpayers will be paying this guy for the rest of his life because Vokal was asleep at the wheel

  36. Get real says:

    Hey Anonymous @4:52pm

    You should remain anonymous because you do not know what you are talking about!!! You must be refering to Joe Stothert…the trama surgeon that saved several of the Von Maur shooting victims…is the part-time medical director for the fire department!!! He is not a Fire Union Member and he is not a part of the Fire or Police Union Contract. He will not recieve their pension. He is contracted by the city to provide medical advice and training for Omaha’s First Responders. Go ahead and make him an issue Blumenthal supporters there are hundreds of Omaha families that consider Joe Stothert a hero for the lives he saves everday in the OR.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission NADC. You can find it on the State web site. Just type in NADC in google and then follow the candidate filings. You can look up all those who have been paid over 250 and or donated over 250.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I heard Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, will be the Keynote speaker at the Douglas County Republican Party’s Elephant Remembers January 23.
    Can anyone confirm?

  39. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Hey anonymous: You also forgot that Joe Stothert is the Medical Director for Epply Airport and advises the State of Nebraska on Trama Center issues and inspects ER’s across the state.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yes, tell Blumenthal to please make Joe Stothert an issue.

    Then, the Stothert campaign should look into Bob Blumenthal and his business dealings.

    Does the apple fall far from the tree?

    That’d be fair…right?

  41. Anonymous says:

    The next few days must suck for all you Republicans. Ha ha ha! Four long years Baby! How does PRESIDENT OBAMA sound? Pretty damn sweet I say.

    I can't wait to see this country turn around after the incrediable disaster Bush & company (Lee Terry) brought up. Thank you GW, now get the he– out of here, go back to playing around on your ranch in Crawford.

  42. macdaddy says:

    I don’t think Holberg was calling him a horse, although “hesten” in the early 18th century could be translated “Hoss.” Having never met Mr. Blumenthal, is he a big man? I think Holberg was giving advice to Blumenthal to not be wishy-washy. Mr. Miyagi made the same point in Karate Kid, although there he was talking to Daniel-son, a late 20th century Danish poet, and not Blumenthal.

    So you’re saying I shouldn’t give up my day job to become a political humorist?

  43. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10:46: As a Republican who voted for McCain, the next few days will not suck for me. I think “President Obama” sounds just fine. I hope he succeeds, because if he succeeds, this country succeeds. I hope he doesn’t make the economy worse. I hope he keeps our country safe from Islamic supremacists. But then I have the maturity to not think that everyone who disagrees with me is evil.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Annon 10:46

    This Republican is hopeful Obama can do well. I pray for him and wish him well.

    I hope Republicans don’t obstruct and try to tear down the office of the President the way the Democrats have done over the last eight years.

    Uphold our principles but don’t hold our country back just for political gain.

    That’s the difference between most Republicans and Democrats. We wouldn’t be joyful over our country struggling just because it meant we may return to power. We wouldn’t aid that struggle to see that end result.

    Enjoy the Inuaguration.

    I’m praying for President Obama. I am an American…he’s my President.

  45. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Actually I’m looking forward to an Obama, Pelosi, and Reid Presidency. It took Carter to allow a Republican Senate and elect Reagan. It took Clinton to have Ginrich to wik congress bacl and elect Bush over Gore. I’m confident in the Holt Democratic Trinity to have a new conservative republican revolution occur in the mid-terms.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Someone sounds like they are still pissed that they didn’t get the job promised to them because their candidate did not win the election promised to him. Get over it.

    As for Obama, anyone trying to raise a family, send kids to college or prepare for retirement, is very hopeful for Obama’s success. No one is a miracle worker, but it is definitely in the laps of the Dems. They own the Whitehouse, the House and have a Majority in the Senate. Frankly, there will be no one else to blame if they screw things up even more than they already are!

    Restraint is the only thing that is going to save our economy, it was nice to see the Republicans in the House show restraint by blocking the trainwreck of a blank check (okay, it would not have been blank, $350 bil is hardly blank,LOL) awaiting Obama’s signature. I wonder if Pelosi needed emergency Botox to relax her face after she got trumped on Thursday?!
    on Wednesday morning.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why is our all-knowing, all-seeing SS not all over the story of Vikal saying one thing to the Chamber and the opposite to the fire union? Joe Jordan ha opened Pandora’s Box. Is SS jealous that he didn’t have it first?

  48. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I have to stop watching the foootball game and proof my comment. Let me try that again….

    Why is our all-knowing, all-seeing SS not all over the story of Vokal saying one thing to the Chamber and the opposite to the fire union? Joe Jordan has opened Pandora’s Box. Is SS jealous that he didn’t have it first?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to actually bring this back to the subject this article was about…

    Was at a social a few days ago that Daub popped his head into. Overheard him talking to an old lady who asked him about endorsements and he said Heineman was going to endorse him.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Well, apparently at some football award dinner last Thursday night, Fahey pretty much endorsed Hal. He said, “Our next mayor of Omaha, Hal Daub….” or something like that. I think Vokal and Suttle were both there too. Wonder what they thought of that?

  51. Millard Repub says:

    Stothert will do whatever the Fire Union tells her to. It’s a good thing she has experience raising taxes on the Millard School Board. We will need it to pay for the pension giveaway.

  52. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Yes Millard Repub, the Vokal pension giveaway has hurt the taxpayers. I am especially concerned that Jim Vokal has lied to the chamber that he supported 3 million dollars in cuts to the fire department. Very troubling.

  53. Anonymous says:

    You all are crazy if you think the people of Omaha are going to elect Daub back into office. Remember, he has ran and lost for this office before. The people of Omaha spoke then and they will speak again.

  54. Anonymous says:

    McGrain doesn’t have the time….. let alone the desire to be a full time blogger. He is kept quite busy with running campaigns for some and doing the palm cards and flyers for the others.

    Regardless, Daub will be mayor and the others are going to pump a LOT of $$ into McGrain’s et al bank accounts.

    Now who is doing the work for the other races for city openings? I bet you will find McGrain’s name on a whole bunch of work….. i believe the name of the company now is Maverick Political. company

  55. Anonymous says:

    Millard Repub is right. Stothert has experience:
    – Experience leading the most efficient and effective school district in the Metro area. In today’s world of education…THAT is an incredible accomplishment
    – Experience over her ten years LOWERing the tax levy by 29 cents (19.3%) while adding over 3000 new students
    – Cost per pupil is lowest in the Metro and Millard is nationally recognized for high test scores
    – To accomodate the growing student population, she was part of overseeing over $200 million in construction and renovation projects, all on time and within budget (BTW, that’s a lot of jobs and money injected into our local economy…isn’t it!)

    So, Millard Repub…there’s your experience in black and white. We certainly would not want our city run like that…would we?

    Let’s not forget, Millard Repub supported the OPS take over of the suburban schools. Should we compare the two districts (Millard vs. OPS)?

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