City Counciled


There are a number of interesting City Council races in Tuesday’s election that may come down to the wire.

District 2, Frank Brown vs. Ben Gray could be a nail biter.

District 3, Chip Maxwell vs. Chris Jerram, the battle of St. Cecilia vs. Holy Cross as the OWH has chosen to call it, features another Republican who could beat a Dem in a Dem district.

District 6 has incumbent Franklin Thompson battling City Hall veteran Walt Peffer, who comes at Thompson from whatever party will have him — though we still think Thompson will take this with some ease.

But the one that the commenters like to rant and rave about here on Leavenworth Street is District 5, Jean Stothert vs. Jon Blumenthal.

Ordinarily, we would treat this race like the blow out that it has shown to be. Stothert beat Blumenthal 65% to 35% in the primary. The matchup hasn’t changed since.

Oh sure the Police and Fire pension issue has come up in various ways. And Blumenthal actually has a little money to get his counter message out.

But we don’t see any real reason why the numbers on this race should change.

Do you?

Let’s put it this way: If Blumenthal should get to within 5%, or even (gasp) win, we would put the Blumie campaigners as a likely Pols of the Year.

But, come on. Likely?

Nah.

We’re guessing that some of you have opinions on these races.

45 comments

  1. 3rd floor watcher says:

    I think Jon had a lot of promise as a future republican candidate. He wasted it on trying to distort Jean Stothert’s record and inflating his resume. The Dodge Street Bloggers have been merciless on Jon every time he has put his foot in his mouth.

    Jean on the other hand learned from her race against Lathrop and worked her ass off. She didn’t let her opponent define her and she has raised over 125k.

    I think Jon has no chance of winning but he has a chance to reform his image if he goes out with class.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Blumenthal has cash? Huh? He only has $5700 and change on hand, and I doubt his last mailer is reflected in this amount.

    Stothert had $41,901 COH at the end of the period and I’ve heard she’s raised over $11K since. Much from former Blumenthal supporters.

  3. seventy/thirty? says:

    Sweeper, I think you missed this one….the question is not if Blumie can win, the question is whether he narrows or widens the gap in the loss from the primary.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Add another Blumenthal attack mailer received yesterday. Same message as the first.

    What an idiot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The fundraising numbers in District 3 are quite astonishing. Jerram raised $47K in the last four weeks alone with Maxwell raising $16K. With due respect to Maxwell, this is a poor showing and shows lack of effort on Maxwell’s part. Buescher, the other R in the primary, raised $39K in the primary and Maxwell barely edged him out because of his name ID. Buescher’s fundraising (along with performances of other R candidates) show there are Republican funds out there. Time is running out and Maxwell needs to get to work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maxwell had a very successful event last night with a very generous crowd in attendance. He’s also been working hard almost every day walking the district and talking to voters. There are rumors that Jerram got a cash infusion from the fire union or members of the fire union leadership. Buescher’s supporters and some donors have joined in supporting Chip Maxwell. Jerram created a major problem for himself when he finally admitted in front of a neighborhood association meeting that he doesn’t think there is a problem with the number of liquor licenses granted in district 3 or the quality of some of those license holders. He had to admit that he will have to abstain from voting on some liquor license issues due to potential conflicts of interest.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The only way Jon can slim the margin is if he actually decides to vote in this election unlike his past voting record

  8. Spicoli says:

    Breaking NEWS

    Jon Blumenthal is riding around in a van painted with his log yelling at people on the streets.

    SERIOUSLY! NO JOKE!

    It’s like a scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High or something…OK, without smoke pouring out of the windows and doors.

  9. Jon Blumenthal's questionnaire says:

    “…I believe the city should consider a 1% increase in the City’s restaurant tax…”

    When asked ANOTHER question about additional funding sources:

    “Again, I believe the possible increase of the restaurant tax by 1% would have a minimal impact on dining…”

    Nice to see he zeros in on a tax increase first thing to address funding issues. Never mind we DON’T HAVE a city restaurant tax, NOW. He still wants to increase it.

    Good idea in these tough economic times.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jon Blumenthal also states he would consider “rolling back library hours to find funds to meet the needs of the Omaha Police Officer’s Association”

    That is right. He did NOT say to meet the needs of the Police Department – he said to meet the needs of THE UNION.

    And he goes after Jean Stothert. How hypocritical!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Breaking news – – Jean Stothert is driving around in an Infiniti SUV paid for by the Omaha Fire Department.

  12. Maggie (Obrien) May by Jon Blumenthal says:

    Wake up Maggie (Obrien), Jon’s got some explain’ to do. It’s late in the campaign and he’s gotta be feelin’ blue.

    I know know it keeps you amused but you should be feeling used.

    Oh Maggie I couldn’t have lied any more.

    I lurred you into a bogus story, just to save my campaign.
    I lied to you, and that’s what really hurts.

    Sing along!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Jean paid for her SUV herself- get your records straight before Blumenthal’s people go spreading fabrications of the truth AGAIN

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jerram has the same issue as Stothert. He said he would give police an annual cost of living raise! Why would he do that! The endorsement of course!

    Rhoades and Buescher were for the increase also.

    Don’t know where Maxwell smart is on the subject. Farho was against.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Blumenthal said he will give them a cost of living increase too. As a matter of fact he said it is something that MUST get done. He just can’t take the political heat right now. I suggest you watch the tape. It is clear as day.

    Some leader.

    Jon Blumenthal:
    I WILL support it but not in the current economic environment…
    …in the long term I think it is something that needs to get done…

    Follow up Q to JB:
    So it’s less of an actuarial funding issue in your mind, then it is a public relations issue, is that what you are telling me?

    JB
    Yeah, I think that’s a fair statement…

    Jean Stothert:
    Yes, I would support it and it would be part of the collective bargaining agreement…
    In the long run during collective bargaining you may agree that you take less salary to have this cost of living adjustment. It’s how it’s going to be paid for is the issue and during collective bargaining you may agree you may put a little more money in to this…
    …in the long run it may even save the city some money if during bargaining you are agreeing to put money into the cost of living adjustment and maybe in lew of taking a 1% increase in salary.

  16. Know what you are talking about says:

    Annon 2:50

    It is clearly too comlicated for you.

    The cost of living adjustment being referenced was part of an overall pension reform plan. This is for FUTURE retirees. Every city in the region of camparable size has a COLA with the only exceptions being Omaha and Lincoln.

    Lincoln did a study last year that indicated negotiating a COLA into the fire contract coul save the city a lot of money.

    Just to clear up the misinformation being spread on this issue, here is the EXACT question asked of the candidates:

    “Currently, Omaha police retirees do not receive a cost of living increase similar to that received by social security and other police pensions. In other words, a supplemental increase that increases with inflation. Will you support as part of a final pension reform plan, that’s obviously been actuarially accessed, the inclusion of a cost of living adjustment for FUTURE OPD retirees?”

  17. KP says:

    I can see that there are a lot of conversations going on here about the Stothert/Blumenthal race…I can’t see why…it will be a huge victory for Jean, but you have to appreciate those that like Jon.

    With that said…I would be negligent if I didn’t talk about the Peffer/Thompson race.

    Peffer got into this race on the last day and had a campaign going for only 35 days before the primary and pulled 44% of the vote. Now I don’t care where/who you are…those are good numbers for Peffer.

    Of course we are talking to all political persuasions, after all this is a non-partisan race. But we have been talking to the voters of the sixth district and they are ready for a change. (Let’s not forget ELKHORN)

    If you take a look at TV spots and the little mail that Thompson has done in this race you will see that he is CHASING Peffer. He is behind and knows it.

    We have been talking about “Focusing on the Basics” for months now…He NOW says it is a priority for him.

    Anyway…Peffer will win (not by a large margin) the sixth district.

    By the way…While Walt is having his campaign appreciation party on Tuesday at Big Fred’s…Franklin Thompson had decided not to support local business in his district and will be at a bar outside Ward 6.

    My 2 (or more) cents.

    KP

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dodge Street is Mike Kennedy, for those of you wondering. He has a bone to pick with Baird Holm because they didn’t hire him when he applied there in law school.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who cares who it is. It’s funny and they talk about Jon Blumenthals very real flubs.

    Come on, you have 5 grand in the bank and you are driving around in a party van? Typical.

  20. Out to dinner says:

    Has Jon Blumenthal not seen the stories about the struggling restaurant business in Omaha. The economy and job fears have people staying at home.

    Now he wants to add a tax on top of it?

    Not for me. Not in my city.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am worried about Maxwell. I have not seen the effort he needs to give to win. As the Maxwell supporter above notes Jerram has some huge negatives that makes him vulnerable. This is very winnable for Maxwell if he works hard enough.

  22. Mike Kennedy says:

    I got the strangest phone call about a post about me not getting a job at Baird Holm. Sorry Blumenthal people, I never applied to Baird Holm because I was already working for Jerry Slusky at Gross & Welch. I wanted to learn from one of the best real estate attorneys in Omaha. Now, if I wanted to go into Health care law that would be a different story.

    Maybe you guys need to make some phone calls or knock on some doors to make up those 30 points you are down. I need to get back to work!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    and, the food fight continues again with another round of baloney. I agree with 3rd Floor
    Watcher from 7:34AM. You never
    build a win by trying to destroy
    your opponent. Jon never defined
    himself clearly with his strengths and brought ridicule upon himself by the immaturity of the company he chose to keep. Kids will be kids, but Jon needs to start acting like a man.

  24. GOP OFFICIAL says:

    Why are we now trashing another Millard School Board Member Jon??? While you were the driving force at KU in law school, Mike Kennedy (a law student at the time) was being elected to his first office and shaping education policy at Metro College.

    Mike has supported the party for 20 years. Say something positive about yourself and quit tearing people down. You have a future ahead of you if you tone it down a bit.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The Stothert/Blumenthal race is minor compared to the big picture. We could easily end up with a Democratic mayor with a 4-3 dem majority on the council unless we get out there and help Daub and Maxwell this weekend. If the dems take control, we would get a GUARANTEED property tax increase to pay off the unions. Please, let’s put our efforts toward races that impact the balance of power.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I just went through today’s mail and what did I find but an eight-page print ad if you can call it that called “Omaha Election News”.

    It featured eight, action-filled pages of features on Jim Suttle.

    I’m sure the creators thought that for sure people would believe it if it appeared in print.

    I never got around to opening it though, because I fell over laughing from the claim on the outside, “For the Only Mayoral Campaign Website with New Ideas for Omaha Visit Suttle Site”.

    I can’t imagine actually having the gall to have someone sit down and write out eight pages of print that are completely devoid of Suttle standing for anything.

    That is right. Eight pages of fluff from the fluffers.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I know this really isnt on topic, but who else is a bit worried that the Legislature spent 3 days debating ditch trapping but only spent 3 hours (and im being generous) debating the $7billion state budget for the next 2 years?

  28. Anonymous says:

    To KP –

    I agree that Peffer has a chance as the District is catching on to Franklin.

    It was hilarious in the OWH endorsement that he brags about his work on the smoking ban as an example of effective leadership. What the…??!!

    He met with Suttle and wrote an ordinance so flawed that it was ruled unconstitional by the Supremes. That’s not leadership – that’s incompetence.

    Then takes a campaign contribution from those that didn’t have to follow the law a few weeks later.

    The council will be better with both he and Suttle removed

  29. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Jon Blumenthal is a hypocrite!!!!! The Omaha Police Union has posted on youtube the portion of his interview where he supports a new tax

    Jon: “If you had a meaningful addition to the restaurant tax that was used solely to bolster infrastructure, fire and police that $30 million or whatever that number comes out to be was dedicated solely for those funds, I think you could get public buy in for it.”

    Remember Jon has denied repeatedly he will raise taxes and has gone after Jean Stothert on Millard’s tax levy. He was willing to admit behind closed doors he will raise taxes, what else has he said he really doesn’t mean!!!

  30. Geosuser says:

    Chris Jerram asked for and received the fire union endorsement and $10,000 campaign donation on 04/17/09 according to his latest campaign finance report. Does that mean that if elected he will also have to abstain from voting on fire union contracts or pension since he now has a clear conflict of interest on those subjects too???

  31. Anonymous says:

    Jerram’s fire union assistance is yet another reason Maxwell should be able to beat Jerram. It is surprising Jerram took that money because Jerram already had around a $70,000 fundraising advantage over Maxwell for the campaign even without fire union money.

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