A special celebration


Ironic that today’s Presidential Innaguration is so close to another special anniversary day huh?

No, not MLK Day, silly.

We’re talking about Leavenworth Street’s Third Birthday, that happened a couple days ago on the 17th!
(Yes, yes, thank you, thank you.)

And then today we have lots of bitter people today rejoicing that George Bush is leaving office.
It’ll be interesting to watch them figure out how to channel their bitterness now….

***

Last week Joe Jordan did a story on Jim Vokal and his discussion with the Omaha Chamber of Commerce regarding his plans for the fire department if elected Mayor.

First some background on all of this:

Vokal, and the other Mayoral candidates spoke to the Omaha Chamber of Commerce regarding their plans for the gig. The interviews were tape-recorded, then transcribed and sent to the candidates and chamber members in a packet marked “Confidential”.

And then Joe Jordan, remarkably, got his hands on it. (Ya know, why even bother with the faux-secretiveness?)

Anyway, in the interview Vokal gave the following response regarding the fire department:

“A reduction in staffing will be expected once I take office because callback will be eliminated as well as sending six fire personnel to non-emergency calls.”

Sometime later, the Vokal camp sent out a message to the Firefighters’ Union saying, Vokal “did not support any staffing reductions.”

So, Joe Jordan has hopped on these statements yelping, Conflict! Conflict!

And, to their detriment, the Vokal camp decided to not comment any more on this to Jordan.

So is this a conflicted statement? We have to say, no.

We discussed this via email with the Vokal camp and here’s what they say:

1) “Callbacks” — overtime paid to off-duty firefighters called back to work so it can maintain minimum staffing levels — will likely be eliminated.
2) Sending 6 firefighters to non-emergency calls will likely be eliminated.

Vokal feels that both #1 and #2 will happen during the next Mayor’s administration.

Therefore, there will be a reduction in staffing, based upon those two factors. (Note here, however, that we understand that the Firefighters’ Union does not consider either #1 or #2 as a “staffing reduction”, though that is how Vokal referred to them in the interview.)

However, those two issues are different from the issue of minimum staffing levels — how many firefighters on a truck for an emergency call. And Vokal has said, per his letter to the Union, that he does not support reduction in that staffing — and Daren Bates, the head of the Union says that he’s comfortable that Vokal wouldn’t cut minimum staffing. 

Follow all that?

Well, we’re sure that commenters will pick the nits out of it all, but we find that it makes sense.

Now, why the Vokal camp chose not to have that discussion with Jordan before he ran his story, we don’t know. It seems like a pretty reasonable matter to go into, but whaddayagonnado.

In the mean time we do not know what the Daub or Suttle camps positions are on the issue of firefighter staffing.

***

Van, we hardly knew ye!

In case you didn’t know, Van Argyrakis dropped out of the Mayor’s race over the weekend.

Well, at least good for him of knowing the difference between a dragon and a windmill.

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77 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why should Vokal give an interview when he has Street Sweeper for a mouthpiece?

    Now we know for certain that Street Sweeper is beholden to Jordan McGrain. How many postings is this now where McGrain is the only source?

    This is a plain and simple case of Jim Vokal talking out of both sides of his mouth, and it’s apparent to everyone except Vokal and McGrain.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Leavenworth St. Blog, you should double check the Vokal camp’s talking points before you post them unfiltered.

    Vokal was not responding to an interview question; it was a written answer to a questionnaire. That means he had the time to edit his response, discuss it with McGrain, etc. to get the wording correct.

    This is not a case of words that came out wrong. He knew who his audience was (the Omaha Chamber of Commerece) and was giving them the answer he thought they wanted to hear. Then, when he realized it could get him in trouble with the firefighters, he told the firefighters what he thought they wanted to hear.

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    Trust me kiddos, we talked to other sources as well. But not everyone speaks on the record.

    Now if there’s something there that you disagree with, please feel free to write it here.

  4. Street Sweeper says:

    Hey kids, this is an open forum.

    If you have a beef with what was written, please feel free to opine.

    But bitching that we allowed the Vokal camp to respond?

    Just a little whiny.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “The remainder, approximately $3.0 million, comes from staffing changes within the fire department.” – Jim Vokal

    “I asked Fire Chief Mike McDonnell about Vokal’s comments…According to McDonnell there’s no way to cut three million dollars from the fire budget, without cutting some three dozen firefighters.” – Joe Jordan

  6. Anonymous says:

    So it’s whiny, and not a legitimate complaint, that you posted inaccurate information because Jordan McGrain told it to you and you didn’t bother to check it out?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m disappointed. SS, I have read this blog for two years, and I have been glad to see how your readership has grown. Your postings are usually insightful. But you are in danger of taking yourself out of the equation for this mayor’s race by being too beholden to one candidate. I will keep reading, but with a critical eye.

  8. Street Sweeper says:

    Hey, we pointed out where the Vokal camp argues there’s no contradiction. That’s the “ISSUE” for you, no?

    So, again, we open it up here for you to argue against that point.

    Or, if any of the other camps would like to email me, we will publish their arguments in a post.

    Thanks
    SS

  9. Anonymous says:

    There should be no reason for the Suttle or Daub camps to respond here. Jimmy has enough rope and is doing more with it without the “help” of the other campaigns.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So now Mike McDonnell is an authoritative source? Sure, he doesn’t have a stake in this issue. He’s never played politics before. Give me a break.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s common sense. You can’t just shave $3 million off the top of the fire department. You cannot physically achieve anything close to that number without getting rid of firefighters.

    Vokal realized his error, and instead of owning up to it, he tried to cover for himself.

    Next he’ll be telling us what the meaning of “is” is.

  12. Anonymous says:

    OMG, Vokal is SO hanging himself with this one. How does he propose to cut $3M in staffing from the fire department without cutting jobs? And how in the world can anyone read this any differently? He totally tried to tell both camps two different things and hoped that neither talked to each other. Good job Joe Jordan! Thanks for exposing his total hypocrisy.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Clearly I’m missing something – the Chamber has apparently given Vokal money and the President of the Fire Union told Joe Jordan this is not a big deal.

    I’m hoping Joe Jordan, Mike McDonnell, and all the Daub supporters here can tell me why this is a big deal when the people Vokal supposedly “lied” to are supporting him.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hay Anon 2:01….uuhhhh dahhhh…the Chamber already gave $ to Vokal before it was revealed to all that he told the union something else.

    Do you think Vokal intended to get caught in his lies?

  15. Anonymous says:

    If Joe Jordan, Mike McDonnell and Hal Daub are on the same side of an issue I am either having a dream or someone (Vokal) has done something so stupid that even enemies are on the same side.

  16. Anonymous says:

    1. The Chamber is giving money to multiple candidates.

    2. The Fire Chief said definitevly that Vokal’s $3 million reduction would cost — not one or two — but “some three dozen jobs.” That’s 30-40 jobs. The union president just vaguely said, essentially, ‘I’m sure Jim doesn’t mean what he said.’

    And anyway, in what alternate universe is the union president a better source than the Fire Chief?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Who cares about all that?
    Today is the day for Mr Obama.
    Check out this reference

    “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”
    That was for Mr. Bush

    Or this:
    ..”men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

    Three Cheers for Democrat Barack Obama!

    Ricky From Omaha

  18. Not Dave Karnes says:

    Sorry for the trouble Daubbies! This road to the coronation is getting bumpier all the time. Just be sure to retract the claws when your rickety wagon goes off the cliff or you might really hurt yourself.

    Until then, just keep pounding away on the message board – makes all the difference.

  19. macdaddy says:

    After reading the anony comments accusing SS of being Jim Vokal’s mouthpiece, I went back and re-read the post. My conclusion? You guys are nuckin’ futs. Holy smokes. I realize that Jim Vokal is Evil Incarnate and must be destroyed at all costs, but still. Oh, and I don’t live in the city limits and have no dog in this fight.

    BTW, congratulations on your 3rd anniversary, Leavenworth St. I stumbled across this blog when I was very frustrated with Chuck Hagel and couldn’t accept that I was the only Nebraskan who felt that way. This blog has been a great source of information and amusement. So on this momentous day, I’ll have a beer (or 2 or 5, maybe 6, OK, 6, since you insist) in your honor and hope there’s another 3 years in store.

  20. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Hey Vokal Camp want to share the current polling showing you in 3rd place and Hal dominating the landscape???? I also hear that donors are turning you down and favoring Hal. Also where are your endorsements from elected officials???? I think someone is on track to get 20% of the vote.

  21. jordan mcgrain says:

    Mr. 3rd Floor,

    I’d love to see that polling, but the problem is it doesn’t actually exist. Something tells me that if your boy had polling showing him, uh, dominating, we’d all know it by now.

    We’re alive and well here. Thanks for checking. See you in May.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Notice McGrain didn’t comment on the Donors not giving to Vokal and not denying that Vokal is in 3rd place. I think someone needs to worry about April and May’s paycheck.

  23. jordan mcgrain says:

    You can have the endorsements, just leave me the votes.

    Just exactly who do you suppose is paying for our two weeks (and counting) worth of TV?

    Wait for it….

    Yep, that would be donors.

    They are also helping out with the full website which is now up and ready for your viewing pleasure!

    And finally, I am VERY MUCH denying your third place nonsense. More to come on that one – glad we could chat.

    Stay tuned!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Word is that Daub did do a poll…a real poll, not a push poll, and the results showed Daub 42, Suttle 19 and Vokal 19.

    I have heard this from multiple sources Mr. McGrain, so I guess we are hearing it from many places.

  25. Incomprehensible says:

    SS – how about a mandatory moniker policy before you can leave a comment?

    Having everyone listed as Anonymous is redonkulous. Both ridiculous, and like a donkey. It hurts my head.

  26. Street Sweeper says:

    I wish Blogger would make it possible, but I can’t enforce it.

    Either I can allow only people who have signed into Blogger, or I can allow everyone. So We allow everyone.

    But I will appeal, once again, to commenters to give yourself a sobriquet, a nom de plume, a monkier of some sort, so we can sort of follow whom is whom. (Or is it who?)

  27. Anonymous says:

    Jordan, you are funny. You claim victory over another’s post by saying (and really confirming) that your guy may be tied for third, not in third alone, but also well behind Hal.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Regarding identity through a moniker or such, I would be very wary of identifying myself in fear of being sued by Jim Vokal when he loses the election. Thank you, street sweeper or whoever the blogger in chief is of this website for allowing anonymous postings.

  29. Anonymous says:

    My primary prediction: (Remember, you heard it here first, folks.)

    1. Daub
    2. Suttle
    3. Vokal

    Vokal is a celebrity in his own mind. Only people in his city council district, 1/7 of the city, even know who he is. Most who do think he is woefully, pitifully, almost offensively unqualified and unprepared for the job. (Just ask them!) So he’s on TV. He’s all show and no substance.

    Suttle is working hard — all over the city — and has been doing so for the last three years. And like Daub he’s actually qualified to run the city.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Are all you Republicans hiding in your basements in West Omaha since you labled Obama as being for surrender and that the terrorists would dance in the streets if Obama won (Steve King)..?

    Hey Republicans, relax, Obama and the Democrats will protect you just fine without torturing people and disrespecting the constitution. We will show you that not just old white guys can contribute to the country. You Republicans will be amazed.

    Its a new day Republicans. Don’t be scared. You may even have some gay family members and you will realize they are just humans like the rest of us.

    My dear Republicans, its a new day!!!!!!!!!!

  31. 3rd floor watcher says:

    To Jordan McGrain:

    I know your campaign plan it is the same one Bob Wickers has sold to 4 candidates here in Nebraska. it only worked for one of them, Mike Johanns and Mike is competent and ran against Jon Christensen and John Breslow. Your buys Jordan are about $20k a week. Wickers told you that Daub will win the primary so spend every dollar you have on TV first to gett a head of Suttle. In a week or 2 from now Wickers does a poll that will show you ahead of Suttle and you will use this to the donors to marginalize Suttle and claim you will get through the primary and in the general get all the Dem votes and pull a third of the I’s and R’s. (Jim Suttle are you listening) Here’s the problem Jordan come Febuary Jim Suttle is up and running and pulls ahead of your bogus poll. It seems Brinker Harding and Hal are not phased by your tactics and are focusing on the issues. (Nice crime plan Hal!) Jordan you have manipulated the press twice, you manipulated the murder numbers and you have tried unsucessfully to weasel your way out of the WRITTEN $3million budget cut to the fire fighters sent to the Chamber. Learn one thing Novice, Joe Jordan doesn’t like lies or being avoided!!! He is the best political reporter and he has Jimmy by the @#$@!!! Here is the poll numbers buddy, Hal4 1% Suttle 23% Vokal 21%. Also Vokal’s name ID is still low. In this market Vokal needs 200k to get the numbers in an acceptable range. Then another $300k on tv on issue and hit pieces. You will never raise it. So here is my prediction Hal 45% Suttle 30% Vokal 22% the mass of humanity 3%.

  32. 3rd Floor watcher says:

    To Sweeper: Thanks for the blog!!! Happy anniversary!! Don’t care who you are or who you support. This is a great service to the community. To the Leavenworth Clones: This is a Blog not a unbiased site. If you don’t like it why do you post here???

  33. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations SS. Despite all your anonymous posters, you are at least having some real discussion here, unlike your counterpart over there on the NNN. Other than Michaelis and Hannah (and their alter ego fake names) no one posts over there any more. Even Sund has quit contributing.

    Eddie

  34. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Eddie (11:52). You get the feeling after reading Negative Nebr. Network that Kyle and Hannah must have sit in a dark basement all night trying to figure out their next attacks, insults and how to best spread their sleaze rumors. Who will they hate now that GWB is gone?

  35. wally says:

    My only requirement for mayor is that he be a coward; a self involved twit who lets others do his fighting for him. You know, the sort that might be missing a testicle or two? That’s what we need. More leaders who believe in risking nothing for society but then think they “serve” by asking to lord power over others. That’s the kind of cowardly tyrant every city needs.

  36. Whoa says:

    Ummm Wally – I think you should maybe take some time off from the ol’ blog. Maybe get up out of the basement. Walk around the block. Take in some fresh air. There’s a whole world out there for you to see.

    Also take down the newspaper clippings. The ones with all the highlights and post-it notes and yarn that you’ve tacked up to your faux-wood paneling. Maybe call a girl. Take her out for a drink. Touch her boob.

    Life is too short for you to be this crazy and weird.

  37. 3rd floor watcher says:

    To anonymous: You should stop eating paint chips!!! Reread the 3%, that was the actual vote prediction I made and not poll numbers. Call Dave Phipps and ask if Undecided is a filed candidate for mayor.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Now sometime soon there should be a report to the NADC on donations to campaigns. IF there is a campaign contribution more than $250 it must be reported in the next reporting period. IF there is no report then there was no donation……. So if there is no report then there isn’t much love being showed to a candidate…. take that for what it’s worth:)

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, Seems that Blumenthal and Vokal have one thing in common.

    Their websites look like they have been done by a school kid. They are simplistic, a total joke and make a complete and utter mockery of online political communications.

    Those 2 need to get someone who knows what they are doing because currently the person or persons responsible have no clue.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Congrats and thanks future Mayor Street Sweeper for the the website.
    In honor of the 3rd birthday, I hope Street Sweeper enters the mayor’s race with ideals that semm 3rd party!…just to screw with things.(even though the race is “supposed to be” non-partisian.

    The Vote third party…..just to screw with things sign guy,

  41. I'm not anonymous, just amourous says:

    SS, ya big tease. For those of us new to town, unveil your reference, please. Who is commander wack, and why is s/he dating? (And who is s/he dating, if you know? Vokal?)

  42. nuts & bolts says:

    Can we please have more detailed and critical analysis like that of “3rd floor watcher” – that is the most interesting stuff on here.

  43. nuts & bolts says:

    Can we please have more detailed and critical analysis like that of “3rd floor watcher” – that is the most interesting stuff on here.

  44. nuts & bolts says:

    Can we please have more detailed and critical analysis like that of “3rd floor watcher” – that is the most interesting stuff on here.

  45. nuts & bolts says:

    Can we please have more detailed and critical analysis like that of “3rd floor watcher” – that is the most interesting stuff on here.

  46. nuts & bolts says:

    Can we please have more detailed and critical analysis like that of “3rd floor watcher” – that is the most interesting stuff on here.

  47. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Thank you Nuts and Bolts for the nice comment.

    Now with Sweepers last comment, I think he is OTIS XII. If he goes of on a Mean Farmer tangent we will have him!!! (ok SS let’s see who knows who they are…lol)

  48. Street Sweeper says:

    “Sometimes on a hot day, I put out caramels for the chickens, and watch ’em get their little beaks stuck! Che che che che!”

    (“Mean Farmer” redux…)

  49. Anonymous says:

    I’ll tell you three things that are wrong with Vokal’s site. 1) All the blank space at the top in the banner section. 2) All the blank space at the bottom of the page — you scroll down on every page and there’s nothing! AND THE BIGGEST PROBLEM, 3) Where are the issues??

  50. 4.0 UNL GRAD STUDENT says:

    I think you Daub and Suttle naysayers need to understand that Jim Vokal is the Future of Omaha politics. Just like Scott Kleb he is young and can relate to the 20 and 30 somethings in Omaha. Jim is about Change!!! Did Obama have all the answers when he was elected??? Jim Vokal is the progressive we need to move this city forward!!!

  51. Eric says:

    SS, I think Space Commander Wack is happy in his current position as the sitting Mayor of Dundee. Although, he might have the right approach for Omaha’s pit bull problem (“Dead Puppies Aren’t Much Fun”). Maybe he can be drafted. Should we start a call-in campaign to KVNO?

  52. Street Sweeper says:

    We may have to do a post on his ill-fated campaign (’81?).

    I still remember the election commission saying that they stopped counting his votes b/c he hadn’t filed.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Hal is going up on TV tomorrow. He can’t be that comfortable if he’s already spending money responding to Vokal.

  54. 4.0 UNL Grad Student says:

    Scott had an uphill battle in a Red State. Jim Vokal has a lot of liberal support because of his support of a hiring a Police Auditor. Hal will make this a police state with his crime proposal. Hal thinks more officers are the answer. I agree with Vokals progressive view of working with gang members to convince them not to do crime. What is more influential a carrot or a night stick!!!

  55. Anonymous says:

    4.0, does UNL grade on a 10.0 scale? Are you listening to many of the “liberal” interest groups? They are against Vokal’s proposal. They even had a public meeting about it and Vokal (or any of his people) didn’t even attend. I also supppose it’s so popular that Vokal is proposing to put off the vote on his motion until the end of February.

    Please try to be more educated in your comments.

  56. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Jim Vokal has a history of flip/flops. Does anybody remember the Field Club road controversy? Jim told the Field Club membership one thing, then told the neighborhood association another. Why should anybody thing the WRITTEN response he gave the Omaha Chamber is his word or what he has told the Omaha Fire Union.

    Jim Vokal will support any position that will get him elected. Just look at the Police auditor issue. Jim has been all over the map on that one.

  57. 4.0 UNL GRAD STUDENT says:

    Thank you Sweeper. You must have graduated from the Harvard of the Plains as well. With such intelligence I don’t know why you don’t belong to the Progressive Movement.

  58. Anonymous says:

    If people keep kicking in doors in West O just to steal some kids’ PS3 or Xbox, I might move to an apartment inside the city limits just to vote for the candidate that is willing to institute a police state. If Obama, Pelosi, and Reid institutionalize Socialism in our Country, we will need a police state to control the rioting! I knew I should have asked Old St. Nick for a gun for Christmas!

    Batten down the hatches, it’s going to be a rough ride!

  59. Anonymous says:

    To UNL Grad Student: Either you are a Vokal supporter or you're very uninformed about the auditor's position. Vokal is for some bulsht citizen's review type position and for one reason only: To court the North O vote. He's all hugs and kisses, lovey dovey with Frank Brown and the other shoe is yet to fall — Frank Brown wants something in return. Trust me, I've been involved with some of these groups pushing for an auditor and there's a rat in the kitchen and his name begins with a V. Hope North O will see the light and we can throw both the losers, Brown & Vokal, out.

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