We read various stories recently about Senator Mike Johanns moving out of his U.S. Senate Doublewide trailer into an actual Senate office in the Russell building. We were curious however, to see what the inside of this badboy looked like.
The bright side is that I’ve been kept up-to-date on all the latest news by my staff: what’s happening on the Senate floor, legislative proposals and even the latest events from ‘The Bachelor.’
In fact, the staff is convinced one of our LAs could be a look-alike for the latest bachelor.” (The LA’s name is T.J. Birkel.)
Nebraska Right to Life came out with their endorsements for the city primaries in Omaha and Lincoln. They are as follows:
OMAHA MAYORAL RACE
OMAHA CITY COUNCIL
Dist. 1——Sharon Chvala
Dist. 2——No Endorsements
Dist. 3——Chip Maxwell (sole endorsement due to NRL PAC policy of showing preference to grassroots pro-life activists).
Dist. 4——No Endorsements
Dist. 5——Jon Blumenthal & Jean Stothert
Dist. 6——Franklin Thompson (sole endorsement due to NRL PAC policy of showing preference to incumbent)
Dist. 7——Chuck Sigerson (incumbent)
LINCOLN CITY COUNCIL
3 At Large Positions——Adam Hornung & Ken Svoboda (incumbent)
LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION
Dist. 1——Kirby Young
Dist. 3——No Endorsements
Dist. 5——Norman Dority, Kevin Keller & Mike Laughter
Dist. 7——Andrew Ringsmuth
(Note that Jim Vokal was added yesterday in the Omaha Mayor’s race, as NRtL said they received his response late.)
We often get asked why NRtL and other groups bother endorsing candidates in races for positions where abortion seldom comes up. Here is what we said regarding this last year:
Here is why said candidate’s opinion on a hot button issue, like abortion, matters in a race like City Council, where there are few abortion issues the Council could impact:
The future viability of that candidate.
Say Candidate X gets elected to the Council. Then Candidate X will have a much easier time getting elected to the next level, be that Mayor, legislature, Congress or what have you.
That is why Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups get involved with candidates that don’t have much say on their issues…now.
As he or she gets more political experience and become more a viable candidates, he or she will have a better chance of election to the next level. They will have more of an “incumbent’s chance” than simply coming out of no where, no matter their views on specific issues.
That is why those hot-button issues in a race like City Council still matter.
And here was an additional comment by NRtL’s Julie Schmidt-Albin:
SS said it well on why pro-life PACS care about Weed Board, Community College, County Board and yes, City Council races.
I might add to that that indeed for the Lincoln City Council, abortion was an issue from 1991-1995 while they were voting for money in the city budget to go to Planned Parenthood. Pro-lifers showed up en massse for council budget hearings that went into the wee hours to speak against such funding. At the time we made the case that PP was tied to abortion and in 1995 did open its own freestanding abortion facility in Lincoln.
Former Lincoln City Councilman Ken Haar voted for the PP funding those years. He is the husband of Chris Funk, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nebraska/Council Bluffs. And Ken Haar just happens to be running for Legislature in LD 21. Another PP candidate, Barb Baier, won election to the Lincoln School Board. Now she’s trying to move up the ladder to the Lancaster County Board. There has been controversy about the county awarding Keno funds to PP.
So yes these issues can crop up at the local level but as SS illuminated, candidates with ambition have to start somewhere, and oftentimes it’s county and city races.
By the way, we’re not promoting of demoting any of these candidates because of this endorsement, or lack there of.
The OWH continues their profiles of the Mayoral candidates today, with their review of Jim Suttle.
After going on and on about what a strange bird Suttle is, how Mike Boyle can only say, “He’s very organized, ” and how Mayor Mike Fahey isn’t even endorsing the only Democrat in the race, we get this piece:
The chill continued a month later, when Suttle started to speak during a council meeting. Some of his six colleagues tuned him out. One stared ahead. One stifled a giggle. One studied papers. Another turned his back.
“That’s politics,” Suttle said. “I’m a big boy. I sucked it up and life went on.”
Suttle said that the actions were clearly meant to embarrass him but that the embarrassment belonged to colleagues who played political games instead of doing what was right for Omahans.
That’s some bizarre stuff…
From the OWH, there was just a bit of a RRRrrrrRAR!, cat-fight, coming from the Nebraska Breakfast in DC.
Lee Terry said,
“Now whenever anyone needs money, you know, for a project with the NRD, you go to the guy that’s senior in the Senate on Appropriations. So let’s hear it for Ben Nelson.”
Nelson then got up and said:
“And then when I help you out, Lee will criticize the earmark.”
Later, Terry hit Nelson with the non-apology-apology:
“Ben could call me a hypocrite, but the reality is what I’ve called for is that there needs to be limitations and there needs to be transparency and that earmarks had gotten out of control. I’m sorry that Ben was offended by that.” (emphasis ours)