An "unfortunate" push


Let’s back up one more time to the statement Senator Ben Nelson made when he endorsed Jim Suttle the other day:

Last Monday when I was asked if I was gonna make an endorsement I said, “No. I… gonna stay out of … out of a non-partisan race.”

And unfortunately the partisan blogs and conservative talk show hosts tried to make something out of that to hurt, uhhh, our candidate, Jim Suttle. And, uh, that didn’t seem fair to me and didn’t seem right.

So, let’s look at the history of Nelson’s non-endorsement, endorsements.

Back in February, Nelson attended a fundraiser for Suttle in Washington, D.C. — where Nelson was listed as a “Special Guest”.

The OWH went on to report that:

Nelson said he does not plan to formally endorse a candidate for Omaha mayor because he typically does not make an endorsement in local races.

He said, however, that he is supportive of Suttle and that his presence at Suttle’s fundraiser speaks for itself.

(Note: We don’t have a link for this quote. It was provided by a Nebraska Democrat, and we’re taking him at his word that it is accurate. He may have gotten it via Nexis. But the particular quote is no longer in the OWH story on the intertubes. Was the quote taken out for a reason, or by request? We don’t know.)

So, there you have Nelson in a nutshell: I don’t want to be public about what I really think, but — wink-wink — you know what I really think.

Then, on Monday this week, Nelson told the AP that he won’t be endorsing anyone, because, well…

…he won’t get involved because he has to work with whoever gets the job.

So, which is it then? On the one hand, Nelson says that you can simply look through what he is really saying and know who he is endorsing. On the other, he says that you shouldn’t look at what he really means, because, darnit, he’s all about the good government.

So when Leavenworth Street pointed at him and said, “B.S!”, Nelson called that “unfortunate”.

Well yes that is unfortunate…for Ben Nelson.

It means that he isn’t allowed to sit on the fence when it comes to politics.

It means he while he supports his Democrat buddy he can’t sell the Republicans and Independents that he’s just non-partisan about it all.

It means he has to get off the damn fence and take a stand.

What’s unfortunate is that he had to be pushed.

It sure would be swell if he could be Senator All-Things-To-Everyone. Unfortunately, sometimes one has to actually take a stand.

Too bad, for Senator Nelson, it took a push from Leavenworth Street.

***

Hal Daub and Jim Suttle debated yesterday at the Omaha Press Club, and actually got into it a little.

They discussed crime, and Daub pointed to his published, detailed plans for fighting crime.

Jim Suttle, on the other hand has presented no plan said that the only way to fight crime is by getting everyone employed. (Oh, and remember that Suttle’s “jobs” plan for all the gang-bangers is to build a bridge to Iowa and hope that a business grows out of a field.)

And then Suttle mocked Daub’s suggestion that Omaha could use 100 more cops.

Here’s Suttle’s money question:

“Let me just ask a hypothetical question here. If each person in this room had five more police officers at their personal disposal, where would you put those officers?” asked Suttle.

“I want them to think about this because every time I ask it, I get silence. You see, we can put more and more officers here, there and everywhere, but it’s back to the jigsaw puzzle (of creating more jobs),” said Suttle.

Silence? Here’s an easy answer to Mr. Suttle’s question: I’d put one in front of my house; one in front of my kids’ school; one in front of where ever my kids hang out; one in front of the business I run; and one in front of YOUR house (to keep an eye on you).

There. I feel safer already.

So yeah, fuuuuuullllll employment is a noble sort of quest — but Suttle hasn’t come up with any sort of plan to achieve that. And the suggestion that proper policing is not a deterrent to crime, is simply ignorant.

As Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you.” And some of those poor are going to resort to crime. And then some of the not-poor are going to resort to crime. And then some of the just pure deviant are going to resort to crime.

And may Jesus help you if you don’t have the proper number of cops on the street to stop them.

***

There was one final zinger at the debate.

Along with Suttle’s droning on about “civility at City Hall” crap, he has also been trying to hit Daub as a “professional politician”.

Hal came back and:

…quizzed Suttle on how long he had served as public works director under former Mayor Mike Boyle.

Suttle served six years under Boyle and four years on the City Council. Daub has served about 14 years total in Congress and as mayor.

So apparently Suttle wants the Mayor’s gig so that he can reach the “professional” ranks in four years, too.

But, on second thought, maybe it would be best if Suttle stays an amateur. For the benefit of everyone.

55 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wait, so public works is now a political position? I wasn’t aware that fixing potholes was so partisan.

    Give me a break.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sen. Nelson wasn’t going to make a formal endorsement in the Omaha mayoral race for principled reasons. The manipulation of that stance to make a cheap attack on Jim Suttle forced Nelson to reconsider.

    There’s nothing controversial about that. And, uhhh, you’re just being lame trying to convince readers otherwise.

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    The only “principal” Nelson had at stake was his own political interest.

    We asked why he would be trying to pretend that the Mayor’s race was different from all the other candidates he has endorsed. He never answered that question, and instead called US partisan??? Ha.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All the deparment heads are political. What did Scarpello know about the City Parks when he was hired by Fahey.
    Scarpello-
    “Hey Mike I need a job. I’m a loyal democrat and I mowed some lawns in high school.”

    Fahey-
    “mowed lawns..hmmmm…how about heading up the parks department.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    BTW, I’m sure that Hal Daub appreciates the fact that you pushed Nelson into an endorsement. Whatever his reasons were, Nelson was a pretty big get for Suttle, and Daub blew his high-profile endorsements in one shot.

    Between this and the firefighters union, it’s been a pretty bad week for Daub.

  6. Geosuser says:

    From your keyboard to God’s ear Sweeper. Suttle is apparently a moron and every time he speaks, he confirms that observation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    There’s a difference between political appointee and politician. A politician has to run for office.

    Oh, and I’d say that as a civil engineer Suttle was actually qualified to run the Public Works Department.

  8. SS, be fair... says:

    ok, if we’re going to count public service director as political, let’s add Daub’s time for his work with SS and Meca as political. i don’t know what he did in the 70s before he ran for congress but i wouldn’t be surprised if he was a staffer somewhere…

  9. macdaddy says:

    SS, the better Daub zinger was his point that Suttle was an engineer and wouldn’t put out a detailed plan. Engineers need details as much as they need oxygen. Daub should tap into the “what are we really getting with Suttle” line of attack. I notice on Suttle’s website that nearly the entire thing is for organizing GOTV efforts. Suttle doesn’t need his voters to be informed. Might confuse them. Maybe Daub should use the line, “There’s nothing subtle about Suttle’s plans for Omaha. They’re just non-existent.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Actually, there is more than GOTV efforts on the Suttle site. The video of Sen. Nelson endorsing Suttle is there.

    It is amazing that when thanking Nelson for his endorsement Suttle doesn’t even look at Sen. Nelson.

    Suttle’s body language seems pretty ungrateful and downright arrogant considering the favor Sen. Nelson did him and the flack Sen. Nelson is taking for it.

    Also, I understand John Ewing standing at attention because he is a former cop, but that is the most unenthusiastic crowd I’ve ever seen at a political press conference.

    Only one person is nodding in agreement with Suttle compared to nods, grins and giggles when he mentions the job Fahey did. Pretty bad when you get a lackluster response from your own supporters.

    I thought the Suttle camps argument about not having a crowd for press conferences was well thought out and the bland audience reaction on the Nelson endorsing Suttle video proves that point very effectively.

    Apparently, sweeper is getting lots of folks to change their minds recently.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I guess that makes two people that sit on the Sign Examining board politicians since they are appointed by the mayor.

    Sweeper, I come to the website for intelligent analysis. Have you suffered head trauma recently? If you are going to compare a political appointment to an elected official, then you need a civics lesson.

  12. Insider says:

    Does anybody consider the Attorney General or Secretary of State to be political positions? I think most people would. Sure, they are appointed, but are of a political nature. I don’t believe he said “elected position”. Just thought I would toss in a new perspective.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is this the Leavenworth Street Blog or the Republican Party spin machine?

    How can you even pretend to be fair?

    Sad.

  14. Insider says:

    I’ll bet there are some interesting things out there about Suttle too. Shall we post those? The facts are that Hal is far more qualified for mayor…period! I am somebody that knows both sides of this coin.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Nice photos of US Senator Ben Nelson looking old and intimidating and then with his mouth open.

    Real classy Leavenworth St Blog.

    This site is just turning into a petty, Republican partisan attack blog.

    I thought you would be better than this.

  16. Street Sweeper says:

    Nice comments people (those deleted).
    Just stay the hell away, OK?

    And the photo of Nelson is from the 2008 Democratic convention. I figured the Dems would be honored by it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Come on, you purposely post photos that make your political “enemies” look bad or foolish.

    You should be better than that. You should try to lift up the civic discourse and stay away from throwing red meat to the partisans.

    The country needs unity and common ground and service and purpose, not more division and partisan attacks.

    This place could have been a site to elevate the dialogue.

  18. Insider says:

    Geez, I think Jim Suttle has started posting on this blog. Calm down Jimmy. Take losing gracefully, and maybe Hal will give you your old public works job back. Being an engineer makes you qualified for that right?

  19. Insider says:

    Sorry if I was redundant with my last two posts. It didn’t look like it went through so I tried to quasi-repost it from memory, but only got the highlights. Gettin old sucks. I am assuming SS has to dilligently watch the posts now with all of the slander being posted. All is good though, it’s a sign they are losing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It appears that EBN has a BS in PR.

    As far as a comment from your last post that EBN takes a “judicious approach” to his decisions-BS!

    Ben Nelson plays both sides of the card on every issue he approaches. Vote for cloture, then vote against the Bill-on almost every friggin’ Bill in the Senate! Cloture is the important vote! Without cloture, the Bill can’t pass-you must think we are all a bunch of idiots Nelson.

    I for one am glad for EBN, his Ass will feel a LOT better now that it doesn’t have that fence post sticking up it all the time.

    Thank you Senator Nelson, for finally showing Nebraska what kind of a politician you really are.

    BTW, how is that blame game playing for you in during this Spring Work Period? You did it all when it is good, but you really had no control of the decisions when Nebraska gets screwed. Real nice EBN.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Who is RJ Brown endorsing for Mayor?

    I liked Hal Daub better when he slicked back all his hair.

    What do you all think of Brinker Harding's stylish glasses?
    I think MECA President Roger Dixon got a new style to copy.

    Jim Suttle is bringing retro back – the checkered striped suit, the red winter coat.

    Hey criminals, are you scared of Hal Daub coming after you?

    The anger is rising in the suburbs, west Omaha is going explode over taxes. Grab your pitchfolk and join the teaparty revolution!! Viva Ed Jascha & Ne Taxpayers for freedom!

    Live & Local
    Straight ahead…

  22. Anonymous says:

    SS keeps deleting my posts about Hal’s heavy-handedness, which some people mistake for a good use of power. Shouldn’t the talk of Nebraska politics include all voices? Or are you and Hal just trying to shut up opposing voices?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mike Johanns had a saying that the first campaign to go negative usually loses. That’s not always true. But often it says a lot about the state of the race when one campaign goes on the attack first.

    Suttle spent the last month building up a positive public image in his television ads. Daub tried to rehab his image, but it didn’t quite work. Now he’s got to go on the offensive against Suttle, but facing extremely high negatives already, Daub risks alienating more voters with typical attack ads.

    Honestly, the new ad from Daub has to be more about firing up Republicans than anything else. Daub has to bring the sizable percentage of Republicans who voted for Vokal back home, or he will lose handily.

  24. Insider says:

    Heavy-handedness?! I recall Suttle saying something recently about it being better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission; and that if something needs to be done, you don’t ask permission, you just do it. That seems heavy-handed to me. It sounds like a man with his OWN agenda.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You might hone in on the real talk of this blog…might as well rename it to something more reflective of your real beliefs: Nebraska politics exclusively for rednecks, and proud of it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    As a Democrat and a reader of this blog, I will be the first to admit that sweeper hasn’t lowered the level of discourse on this blog, certain individuals posting comments have and only in recent days I might add.

    I would encourage readers to look back at the level of civil discourse between D’s, R’s and I’s prior to recent criticisms (more by individuals leaving legitimate comments than sweeper’s criticisms) of Sen. Nelson and Suttle and look at them now since Sen. Nelson’s comments about conservative pundits.

    I’ve seen a majority of the comments before sweeper deletes them as I check this site regularly and can say they are pretty low class.

    Since the Suttle camp couldn’t win the argument legitimately after engaging in civil discourse for weeks I might add, they are apparently looking to discredit the medium entirely.

    That is truly unfortunate for all sides involved. It lowers the level of civil discourse rather than heightening it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    First Sen. Nelson suggests poisoning Neb. GOP leaders (see Grand Island Independent story)and now his minions are trying to end discussion on Leavenworth Street by crashing your blog. Without a doubt the most thin-skinned politician in Nebraska history.

  28. Anonymous says:

    It’s important to remember that the Daub contrast ad is very mild compared to the ads voters in the district have become aclimated to in recent campaigns.

    Remember the DCCC, RNCC ads from last fall.

    The Daub campaign hit a very effective tone with this ad.

    Empathetic and believable.

    And most importantly legitimate, unlike some of the persuasion calls that have been going on out there.

  29. Anonymous says:

    When/where did Ben Nelson say he wanted to poison Republicans? I’ve seen people mention here and fahleson put it on his twitter. Can I please have a link?

  30. Anonymous says:

    It actually seems as if Suttle was the first to go negative calling Hal’s plans, “saying they hold no room to engage the public. Making fun of them, etc., etc.

    Fact, Hal Daub engaged neighborhood associations, many Omaha citizens and groups. Those listening sessions that Hal had BEFORE he announced his intent to run for Mayor helped develop those plans.

    What are Suttle’s plans?? Jobs help cure everything? We don’t need more police on the street, we need jobs? Even the OPD says they need more police on the street. Jim, says they don’t.

    What is Suttle hiding? He isn’t ready to lead on day one. He has no plans! All he has is talking points.

  31. Anonymous says:

    He said he “wanted to put something in their tea” in his comments in the Grand Island paper. If I can google and find, then you can.

    Also, it is the NRCC you boob! When trying to make a snide point, it is alwaya best to actually know what you are talking about.

  32. macdaddy says:

    The actual quote by Ben Nelson about the tea party protestors is: “I wondered if they were putting something in their tea more than sugar.” It’s from an interview on KOLNKGIN. Senator Nelson apparently feels that if you don’t like what he and Obama are doing, then you are a drunk. But he didn’t want to personally poison people. Good to know he’s not a psychopath. He’s just classless.

  33. Not Anonymous says:

    Oh good lord. The slander and misinformation on this blog is getting way out of hand — on both sides. Here’s what Nelson said:

    I wonder if they’re putting something in their tea other than sugar. I wish they’d been there eight years ago when the last administration doubled the national debt and increased the deficit. Where were these people then? It would have been helpful if they would have been pounding on the door of the White House at that point in time.”

    (I’d link it but SS has a no link policy…)

    See!? No comment about “poisoning” Republicans or the teabaggers. The reason you wouldn’t post the real quote is in the hopes that ill-informed voters will just blindly believe what you are saying. Pathetic.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Not Anony…

    so you are saying that our current president tripping Pres. Bush’s Deficit in under 75 days is no cause for concern?

    Wake up! Stop drinking the coolaid… ill take my tea any day!

  35. Anonymous says:

    To 9:21

    Snide – Derogatory, in a malicious, superior way.

    Obviously, you must have the same understanding of “bully pulpit” as Jim Suttle.

    Did you have anything to say about the point in general or do you normally just pick on dyslexics?

    Sounds like a little bitterness after a hard pill to swallow for Suttle supporters to pick on a detail that minor.

    That would be like me saying an s comes at the end of always rather than mocking your complete misquote.

  36. dieseldawg says:

    I am not an Omahan but am conservative. It seems interesting though that you have Daub’s 100 endorsements. Then when Suttle gets one granted Nelson said he was going to but he did, then there is something wrong. Endorsements don’t win or lose you elections candidates do. I believe that Omaha loses with either man as Mayor.

  37. Not Anonymous says:

    I’m certainly concerned, my only point was that Sen. Nelson wasn’t talking about poisoning Republicans. That’s some serious misinformation — if not an outright lie — on the part of anonymous bloggers and Mark Fahleson, the chair of the NEGOP.

  38. macdaddy says:

    Not Anonymous was just quoting Senator Nelson. Senator Nelson, BTW, obviously sees nothing wrong with Bush doubling the national debt, nor with Obama doubling it again. Also in the interview, he tries to change the subject by going on about how Nebraskans are getting a tax cut because of Obama’s plan. I guess he thinks that $13 a week extra is a good enough bribe, so what are we drunkards complaining about? That’s at least 2 6-packs a week! Well, heck, what was I complaining about? Obama’s buying us free beer!

  39. Anonymous says:

    You’re a moron. Your readers are morons. I’m a moron for reading this blog and more of a moron for commenting.

  40. Street Sweeper says:

    6:16,
    Nice to see our readers have come full circle on their guesses.

    6:50,
    I fully agree with your points #3 and #4.

  41. Mark Fahleson says:

    Well, since my veracity has been called into question, here are Sen. Nelson’s own words according to the Grand Island Independent:

    Nelson said what the GOP didn’t say in its press release is that 37 percent or more of that money was in the form of tax cuts that are putting $9 million a week into Nebraska’s economy.

    “In Nebraska, there are 800,000 Nebraskans on this tax day that are going to be paying less taxes,” he said. “When I read that news release (from the Nebraska Republican Party), I wanted to put something in their tea more than sugar.”

    Rest assured Nebraskans be reminded of this rather telling quote again, and again, and again . . .

  42. Not Anonymous says:

    Alright — fair enough. I found it.

    But to be fair again, it’s not like he wanted to poison actual Republican voters in Nebraska. He only wanted to place an unknown substance into your tea Mr. Fahleson (or, rather, whomever ever wrote that desperate press release you sent out.)

    Then again, I’d be desperate too considering how popular Sen. Nelson is statewide.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I guess after reading the comments I have to weigh in on the mayors race. I would really like to support Councilman Suttle, but he has no real plan.

    The only thing that is close to a plan he has presented is that as Mayor he will bring a large manufacturer to Omaha that will help with the unemployment issue and by extension decrease criminal activity. My issue with this is why is an issue one would need to be mayor to be concerned with?

    He is a city councilman and a former business executive. I am sure if this were a feasible plan he would be able work to bring a manufacturer here. If anything, being Mayor would actually be somewhat of a hinderance to this process as it would dictate some kind of public-private relationship – and I for one don’t think the City of Omaha should be involved in manufacturing anything.

    So, here is what I would like to see from Mr. Suttle that would garner my vote: 1) Come up with a plan to better deal with the respective city union contracts and any associated budget shortfalls. 2) Work with police leaders to develop a plan to make sure the police force is fully staffed and dynamic. 3) Talk about a plan city infrastructure development. 4) Actively lay out plans to cover his ideas that can actually be actively pursued my the mayor.

    I don’t even particularly care what the plans are, as long as they are plans and not abstract ideas. Even if the plans involve bringing a Papal approved stadium mounted bobsled run manufacturer to Omaha. Real plans can be visualized, discussed and reformulated if needed. Overly abstract ideas cannot.

  44. Anonymous says:

    “So, there you have Nelson in a nutshell.” Well said. The man is thin skinned and paranoid. Senator Ben Nutshell.

  45. Nebraska Democrat says:

    Wrong again Fahleson.

    Don Walton (LJS):

    “The video record of Nelson’s remark last week about partisans selectively criticizing budget deficits and the growing national debt only after Obama took office: “I wonder if they’re putting something in their tea more than sugar.” One newspaper story had quoted Nelson as saying: “I wanted to put something in their tea more than sugar.”

    Looks like the Grand Island Independent got it wrong. I presume a retraction and apology on your part is in order?

  46. macdaddy says:

    Nebraska Democrat is right about the quote. I watched the video interview myself. The Grand Island Independent was wrong if they got the quote from that video.

    Of course, do you realize that Nelson is OK with Obama quadrupling the annual deficit in his first year in office? That’s right folks. Our esteemed Senator sees nothing wrong with $1.85 trillion in red ink.

  47. Voice of Reason says:

    Anon 11:45 mentioned a quote from Johanns. Where is he now? And what is he doing? I heard he was trying to get a little money to help sponsor the Special Olympics in Omaha, but he forgot to tell the NE GOP’rs and they still all voted NO. Gotta hurt Iron Mike some, since he was the Admiral on the flagship for mental health in Nebraska.

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