L. St. Exclusive: Why Esch switched

We contacted Jim Esch and offered space on our blog to explain why he recently switched his voter registration from Democrat to Independent.

Here is his response:

Basically, I never have been a big fan of either party. Not from a local sense, but nationally. So, I feel truer to myself by going back to being an independent.

Furthermore, the VOICE group is my top political goal right now. But in order for it to be legit, it needs to have more Republicans involved. I hope by making this switch, it will at least demonstrate my commitment to that principle.

However, one danger for VOICE is for it to come off as a “let’s get Jim Esch elected” sort of ploy. So I need to stay behind scenes as much as I can. I’ve come to realize I can get much more done behind the scenes than I probably ever could as an elected official anyway.

Never say never, but I am very content and happy with doing what I’m doing now, I’m still in the fish bowl to a great extent but at least I don’t have your blog ripping me to shreds everyday. (Smiley face deleted by Editor.)

Lastly, I don’t see the need for parties at the local level. I’m a big believer in [former New York] Mayor La Guardia’s statement, “There is no Democratic or Republican way of cleaning the streets.”

I believe there exists a pragmatic third political base, but they are disenfranchised by the current system. Now nationally this thought is nearly impossible, but at the local level I think they can be reached.

That’s when real change will occur, in my opinion.

Thanks Jim.

So there you go politicos.

Are you happy? Sad? Indifferent?

© 2009 Leavenworth Street


  1. Anonymous says:

    What he meant to say is that the Democrats won't donate enough money so he needs to get good Republican philanthropists in there to pay him a salary so he can afford his RiverFront Loft Apartment and its bar bill downstairs.

    But hey, whatever kind of oil you want to sell, I'm sure there's a market for it somewhere.

  2. Lormong Lo says:

    Yes. Very Mayoral. Doesn't have support from one party, hated by the other. Sounds like a total winner to me, and I know a good winner when I see one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    On the day of Ted Kennedy's funeral its sad to see someone as young and promising as Jim Esch totally throw away his commitment to the ideals and principles of the oldest political party in the country.

    So much for working together as a team, with history of many flawed men and women but under the same banner have risen up to fight for civil rights, working people, universal health care, public eduction, peace, human rights, etc. If Jim Esch can't see that I just shake my head. Maybe FDR, JFK, Paul Wellstone, Robert Kennedy, didn't do anything as important as Esch launching of the urgently needed VOICE so we can all know about Omaha's upcoming social calendar.

    Go it alone. Do it yourself. Seperate yourself and wash your hands of the flaws of your fellow co-workers. I thought Jim believed in a team effort, a community, an organization working together towards a goal. Democrats stand for something higher than themselves, now Jim Esch stands only for himself, his views, his agenda, etc.

    I voted for Esch both times but feel much sadness today. I was there at the presidential caucus chanting his name. He just lost a lot of respect today.

    We all can complain about how bad politicans are in general and how the two parties aren't perfect, there's no great courage in that Jim.

    Oh and thanks also Jim for explaining your decision first to the Leavenworth Street Blog, a site that has done nothing but ridicule you at every turn instead of explaining it to the people (DEMOCRATS) who worked their butts off for you, who donate money, who put up yard signs, who made phone calls, etc…maybe the Leavenworth St Blog is potentially a business client for your upcoming venture so now its your new best friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Be careful, you might start actually believing what you are typing.

    Lincoln fought for an end to slavery.

    Republicans fought for the right for women to vote.

    I don't have time to school you in the history of this great Country and it would obviously be a waste of time if you are locked up in you
    home in Omaha on a BEAUTIFUL saturday sobbing like a pile of mush over the end of your beloved Camelot.

    Get a life-one of your own.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
    • Addressing Democratic National Convention, August 1980. Ted Kennedy

  6. Anonymous says:

    you are correct, Lincoln, and the women's suffrage movement, those were the last times Republicans actually stood up for blacks and women…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ted Kennedy haters can't even show any respect and decency even in the moments of his death. No class. All of Kennedy's many sins and flaws were very well known and public. I am sure he lived with all those pressures and guilt every day of his life (haters would constantly bring up his failings) and yet, Ted Kennedy did many great things that helped many people.

  8. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I received an email this morning, from a Democrat friend, that probably explains a lot more about why Jim Esch is NOT Nebraska's Congressman from the 2nd CD than even he cares to admit, and why he left the Democratic Party.

    I know that Sweeper has a rule against links, so I will just say that it is posted on the 3rd CD Organization blog, if you can find it. Some of you Republicans might want to consider a little introspection, such as I recommend there, yourselves. Ask yourselves if Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are REALLY the voices you want speaking out on your behalf.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What changed for Jim Esch between last November and now?

    What about the Democratic Party doesn't he like anymore, how and why did he change.

    Ironic he changed on the day of Ted Kennedy's funeral.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ted Kennedy was a dinosaur and a loser. He couldn't even beat Jimmy Carter. He couldn't even get his party to pass the Civil Rights Act…the Republican's saved the day. Ask Mary Jo Kopeckny about his bravery. He was a blow hard that was happy making rules for other people that did not apply to him. I hope his votes to murder the unborn caught up with him this week. Notice the vatican has not said one word on this!

  11. Anonymous says:

    BTO–thanks for the post–I read the email at the CD3 blog.

    You said a member of your state central committee just left the party as did Esch. (Might want to update it to mention that Richard Carter left too.)

    You asked "why"?

    There was a dog food company. Their sales tanked. The president called a meeting of the staff and said, "we have a solid product . . . the best sales staff . . . and the best distribution system anywhere. Why is our dog food not selling?"

    From the back of the room came a voice: "Dogs don't like it."

    Could it be your party is now selling something that people just don't want? (i.e. 'public option'–support for which has cratered in Nebr. according to the Research 2000 poll.)

    Have a good weekend.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anon 12:56–as far as Jim telling LS "first" about his switch and not NNN, maybe it is because Sweeper asked him to and Kyle never did.

    Anon 2:21–agree. That speech by Kennedy was one of the best I ever heard. I recall that he lost the race the day before when the convention refused to allow delegates to switch their commitments from Carter to him. (Mainly non-primary states). If that had happened, Kennedy would have defeated Carter at the convention.

    Reagan would have beaten him too though.

  13. St. Peter says:

    Anonymous at 3:41pm. I will explain it to you I turn you away at the pearly gates. Enjoy the cool weather why you can.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Republican's must frighten you Anonymous at 4:24pm. I like the republican Cavanaughs and Kennedys we have here in Omaha just fine. Oppd, Mud and Millard are the best run public entities in the state of Nebraska. Name a good Democratic run government????

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mike Kennedy and Republican Cavanaughs owe their success to being elected due to the good name of Democratic Kennedys and Cavanaughs

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yeh you're so right, because we are sooooo blue….that's how Kennedy won in the HA. Give me a break. Could it be on his own merits of being a great Millard
    School Board member where the majority of voters who vote are
    solid REPUBLICANS? Nope, that couldn't be. Those voters are so dumb they just don't do their homework and remember Camelot.

  17. Anonymous says:

    BTOx has really gotten under Michaelis' skin over on NNN. Ha ha ha.

    It looks like you don't mess with Ben Nelson, or you suffer the consequences. Esch got out just in time. I wonder how long before Osborne is gone?

  18. Anonymous says:

    BTO is making interesting points at NNN.

    BTO–it would be helpful if you can give examples of where Kyle 'misused' his position as Young Dem chair (as you stated in the post).

    Also, how much in consulting fees did the NDP waste on Lisa Hannah, Matt Samp and Ian Russell the past 4 years?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anon @ 3:34PM: "Notice the vatican has not said one word on this!"

    Did you watch the graveside service? Because the priest was reading a letter from the Pope.

  20. Mel says:

    "a great Millard School Board member"…LOL.LOL.LOL. Got news for you, no one gives a rats ass who their school board members are..agreed, no one does their homework before voting for their school board members. They are nothing more than puppets for the school superintendent.
    Further, "little pin head" for that Kennedy out there in Millard is such a good description..LOL!

  21. in the game says:

    Sometimes the more I read here makes me realize that people who "think" thay know how to get elected are really complete idiots.

    A lot of people don't like certain pols…like Mike Kennedy, but they keep getting elected.

    What the idiots don't realize is that people like Kennedy reresent their constitiuents. Answer calls and e-mails – do the work needed.

    Same is true with many Democrats I don't like. They do the work.

    So, put your damn name on the damn ballot and see how you do. If elected, take the calls and do the job.

    Until then, you are just a complete wuss with no life,liking

  22. Anonymous says:

    to "in the game": with your punctuation, spelling, and grammar, I hope you are not a school board member, or are you?

  23. Wins and Losses says:

    Ok Great, Is Esch taking his two embarrassing losses with him to the Independent party?

    New 2nd CD Box Score for 06 and 08:

    R = 2 Ws
    I= 2 Ls
    D= scratch

    Thanks Jim.

  24. Merle says:

    9:30 PM, uh, your last sentence is confusing to me…did I miss something? And are you related to Shaggy…"reresents"? And shouldn't "thay" be "ray".

  25. Anonymous says:

    WOWT is reporting that Chuck Sigerson suffered a stroke and is being hospitalized.
    They also have Garry Gernandt confirming the story.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Want a good laugh? Read NNN–BTO is posting conversations tomorrow on You Tube where Kyle apparently will sound like a blathering idiot and liar. Meanwhile, one D poster said: "Really, I'm surprised we have enough organizational skills to get on the ballot, let alone get anyone elected."

    Today's NDP . . . stay tuned.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is from BTO's post today at NNN:

    "I also found it very interesting when then State Chair, Steve Achelpohl, stated at a meeting of the SCC, that Sen. Ben Nelson had the final say on where the funds in the Coordinated Campaign could be spent. I believe that might be a violation of Federal Election laws, if that statement proves true."

  28. Anonymous says:

    The new Gallup poll puts Obama's approval at 50%–lowest yet. He's tracking downward like Carter and Clinton. Bet he ditches his health plan next week.

  29. Uncle Wiggily says:

    I don't know Jim Esch from a load of hay … I seem to recall he got his beezer squeezed but good last election by one Lee Terry, but other than that ….

    Point is … so he changed his party affiliation (more accurately, he dumped party affiliation altogether becasue in Nebraska, one's only choice besides Dem or Pubbie is … uh … nothing). I did the same thing last November – just got bone-tired of the partisan food-fight – only I went from Republican to non-partisan … so maybe me and Jimmy cancel each other out; each party lost one Nebraskan. BFD. Old news ….

    Wanna see what hyperpartisanship does for the folks? Come out to the 3rd CD and pull up a chair at the knockdown-dragout going on in the Democratic Party out here. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

    If the parties (both of them) want to quit losing members they should start offering solutions instead of spectacle.

    The Gospel According To St. Wiggily ….

  30. Anonymous says:

    4:15, 8:06 & 9:30 – Fascinating to watch BTO's misdirection (to hide it's him) and self-promotion. But BTO is a closet Republican and that's why we love him. He's going to single-handedly destroy the Democratic party in the 3rd District, and I'm pulling up a chair to watch. Where's my popcorn?

  31. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Self promotion? That would indicate that I get something out of all this. If it was just attention I wanted I'd go streak a televised Husker football game.

    Closet Republican? If I were, I would be cast as a George Norris Liberal Republican. How in the world would I ever become a Republican if I am too Liberal for the Democrats?

    I have no intention of burying the NDP. My intent has always been to help it become a true alternative to the Nebraska Republican Party, not just a mere shadow of it.

    My 90 year old Mom fell and I've gotta go to Kearney to help her around the house. She bruised her knee pretty badly. So, the dog and pony show on YouTube will have to wait for a while. It is coming though. Kyle just gave me the legal permission I needed to do it. Gosh he's such a Whiz Kid!

  32. Right Wing Professor says:

    All of Kennedy's many sins and flaws were very well known and public.

    Uh no. Kennedy worked very hard to make sure they didn't become public. That's why his aides spirited Kopechne's body out of Massachusetts after the Dukes Co. DA asked for an autopsy. That's why his lawyers went to court to overturn a 100 year old Massachusetts law and hold the inquest proceedings in secret. That's why his version of events is simply impossible, if you believe the testimony of far more reliable witnesses.

    If Kennedy had ever come clean, or had ever paid his debt to society, his supporters would have standing to ask that the affair be considered 'water under the bridge' (so to speak). But he never did. Kennedy was responsible for an unresolved homicide, and it was unresolved primarily because of his actions and his lies. He doesn't get a free pass on that.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Anyone taking bets on how long it is before Suttle appoints a temporary replacement for Chuck Sigerson's seat? Too bad Chris Jerram isn't twins Mr. Mayor.

  34. Matt M says:

    If you want to know why Esch left the DFL, just ask Arlen Specter or Norm Coleman. He is a politician, and politicians do whatever it takes to improve their positions for future ambitions. Jim knows that the number of House seats held by Dems has peaked, and if he couldn't get elected as Dem at the peak of the party's popularity, then he better try something new.
    I usually vote democrat, but I am increasingly attracted to third party candidates. I am not alone.

  35. Street Sweeper says:


    You wouldn't be livin' in Minneysohduh, now wouldja?

    We usually just have regular Dems down here…


  36. Anonymous says:

    When a vacancy on the Council occurs for any reason, the Council shall by a majority vote appoint a person having the qualifications for the office of Councilmember in accordance with state law.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hey Dems,
    Don't feel too bad about Jimbo leaving the not so cool party. I am pretty sure he is still a commie liberal at heart. He said he made the switch in order to make his top political goal, the "voice group", a legitimate cause. If you check out this group it sounds like the standard old socialist/democrat lies. "Equal opportunity, social mobility, transparency, etc…” It is just another one of the many front groups for liberals. What a joke.

    Republicans and conservatives don't be fooled. Esch is still a clown.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the city could appoint a new independent. Especially if lazy and incompetent are part of the qualifications.

  39. Uncle Wiggily says:


    Just thought you'd like to know … your "Esch Switcheroo" post made the local radio news out here this afternoon (KGFW – 1340 AM). They even credited "the Leavenworth Street blog …."

    Woo-hoo … look out Malkin, Coulter, and Little Green Footballs!

    Well done.

  40. Street Sweeper says:


    I knew the Copyright symbol would get the MSM's notice…

    Thanks though to Jim Esch for responding.

    While Esch notes that he sometimes gets criticism from L. St., he has consistently been a good sport about discussing politics here and has not had a problem communicating with us.

    You can bet that is not the case with many other (though not all) Dems.


  41. Anonymous says:

    Anon 1:39 –
    God forbid that ever need to happen anytime soon, however only the Council can appoint someone to fill any vacant Council seat

  42. MJ says:

    I join those who pray that Chuck Sigerson has a full recovery and speedy return to his Council duties. Though I must ask: Do you think the Sigerson family appreciated the level of staffing among the first responders who arrived at his door after the 911 call.

    Just saying.

  43. One Out In The Third says:


    Late post but KRGI in GI picked up on your Esch exclusive. You better upgrade those Oakleys to Revo. Really not big news…half the Republicans in Nebraska were once Dems. Even BTO is making the switch…he just don't know it…slow learner he is as Yoda would say. Hope your mom bounces back BTO.

    Next thing we know we will be having to pay a monthly subscription to log on to L. Street.

    Did you swear Esch to secrecy re: your true identity?

  44. OneOut In The Third says:

    P.S. Rick "Shoo-fly" Sheehy was out here politickin' in Hastings today…Getting some face-time on the telly for the Governor's run in 2012?

  45. Right Wing Professor says:

    I knew the Copyright symbol would get the MSM's notice…

    You should tell Kyle. The Journal Star's been pilfering his blog frequently these last few months.

    Oh, I wish I had some inside information (other than that incident involving Bo Pelini, Harvey Perlman and the cheerleading squad, which I'm sure nobody cares about.)

  46. macdaddy says:

    RWP: Dude, don't even joke about something like that. I had to quit going on the KFAB website because their Husker countdown clock was way too slow. 6pm Saturday can't get here fast enough.

  47. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I hear the Farmer's Almanac is predicting "numbing cold" this winter. Don't take that as "hell freezing over" 1/3rd, because that wouldn't even be enough to get me to become a Republican.

  48. Right Wing Professor says:

    Numbing cold, eh, BTO? Well, we better get cap'n'tax passed pronto!

    (Might actually be a decent prediction. Sunspot cycle 24 is still stalled, and it's looking more and more like we're entering an extended minimum, like the one that caused the little ice age. But on the other hand, if El Niño starts up, it will make things a little less harsh here in the midwest.)

  49. One Out In TheThird says:


    Don't dig your parka and mukluks out yet…someone reported a pimple on a flea's butt sunspot yesterday. There goes Maunder Miniumum II.

    And besides…we all know that the recent record breaking cold is due to global warning. It's the Ying and Yang Principle…it's on page 12 of the Global Warming Alarmist Talking Points Manual.

    UNL coverup? Where are the hard hitting news investigators when you need them?

    BTO…you're not fooling me…I will continue to watch the voter registrations in Phelps Co. If you need a ride to the courthouse…Uncle W. or myself will be happy to provide transportation…we can do lunch afterward…you have a nice Runza in Holdrege…great french fries. You can even register as an Indy…which your stripe shows anyway. C'mon over…you can avoid the restrictive and smelly caucus rush before it gets started.

  50. Brian T. Osborn says:


    I like their swiss shroom Runza with frings. You should try the pizza at CHEEX some evening when you're in town. Yum!

    I did a graphic that demonstrates statewide voter registration from 1980-2006. If Sweeper didn't have a "no links" policy, I could show it to you here. Best I can do is tell you to click on my "dog" image, then click on my contact/web page link; I put it on there.

  51. Brian T. Osborn says:

    1/3rd and Uncle W.,

    I'm in Kearney for awhile, helping my mom after she fell over the weekend. I'm up for lunch with you guys, or, Kate Fly is playing at Cunningham's Courtyard this evening, how about a beer?

  52. One Out In The Third says:


    I would enjoy sitting down with you and the Uncle for a brewksi…The Cellar would be a good place too…but alas I am working eve's this week.

    As I said earlier…hope everything works out with you mom.

    I will check out your numbers. Didn't learn this until today but the 3rd is composed of 68.5 counties…I need to find out who and why one county is split.

  53. The Pip says:

    One Out, BTO, and Unk, I wouldn't mind being a mouse in the corner of the Cellar for this historical "summit". Should have a camera ready. Might be a great chance to upstage Roosevelt, Chamberlin, and Stalin. I'd bring the antique wheelchair, shawls and cigars. History in the making.

  54. Right Wing Professor says:

    Alas (har har), it appears the flea with the pimple just jumped into a jar of benzoyl peroxide. Sunspot 1025, we hardly knew you.

    My, but it's been chilly the last few nights, hasn't it? Must be the effect of all that carbon dioxide on my brain.

  55. Uncle Wiggily says:

    I think I'll pass on the summit ….

    To paraphrase that well-known arbiter of political propriety, James Carville, I wouldn't drink with anyone who would publically associate with the likes of me.

  56. Right Wing Professor says:

    Sarpy is split because Sarpy plus Douglas would be too big for a congressional district, whereas Douglas alone is too small.

    Nebraska law says you're not supposed to split counties if you can help it, but it seems to me, that if you have the choice of splitting either Sarpy or Douglas, you could choose to split Douglas. Just stick some of the northern parts of Omaha into the 3rd CD, and all sorts of messy problems disappear.

    But hey, nobody asks me.

  57. Anonymous says:

    How much money has rthe cable industry given Jerram?

    He wants every satalite dish installed to pay a fee and be inspected. Not just once upon installation, but every three years.

  58. One Out In The Third says:


    You don't have to be a mouse in the corner…you can come to if we ever find an agreeable date. Wiggily might hedge a bit but he might buckle and show up.

    Heck we could have a Leavenworth Street "West" Confab and include everyone from the Third that wants to show up. Jane and Scott could even come and the can bring the SEIU Folk Singers to provide the entertainment. We should probably throw out an invitation to the "In-Stater's" in the east if they want to drive that far…sort of a State Fair test drive.

    In the meantime I will be taking in the Kite Flight with my grand children in Callaway this weekend. Looking forward to the candy drop. I'll be the old guy elbowing the kids out of the way.

    Damn…I didn't use "alas" in a sentence…I think I will try out "whilst" or "henceforth" in my next post.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Has anybody heard whether Jerram has considered an amendment calling for every single house to be inspected every 3 years to ensure that no improvement work has been done that the owner didn't pull a permit for? This would be a great way to increase private donor contributions into the City coffers.

    If you, say, planted trees to improve your carbon footprint, but did not call for a locate that could be a $200 "fee". If you replaced the wood decking on your porch with that fancy no splinter stuff, you could donate $500 to the City.

    The added bonus would be that the value of your house would also be documented and the City could get more property taxes out of you without having to commit themselves to a property tax increase. It is a win-win for everyone. The City has a back door key into everyone's home(which is what the current Majority in City Hall really wants anyway) and all homeowners in the City of Omaha and its 4 mile wide net will be ensured really safe homes that will never catch on fire, have a tree fall on them or cave in-that is what the permit and inspection process is suppose to be about, isn't it, public safety?

  60. Nate E says:

    On a side note about the satelite inspection fee: If anyone is willing to let me comeover and watch unlimited NFL Sunday Ticket games I'll cover the cost of the inspection fee. I might even bring over a six pack or three.

  61. NE Voter says:

    Jerram absolutely schooled Stothert and Festersen yesterday. He made them look unprepared and clueless.

    Also pathetic was the Thompson/Stothert/Festersen effort to delay resolving the budget. Chicken—-.

    That was fun to watch.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Jerram is a clown. This guy is a 2-bit liquor attorney who now can't take of his own constituents because of his inherent conflict of self-interest. Now he wants to spread his misery to the rest of the city because he's been bought by every special interest who could get his hands on him.

  63. Right Wing Professor says:

    The Klan was a Democrat organization, BTO. Check your history. In fact, your most senior US Senator — I'm sure when he croaks, he'll be dubbed the Hyena of the Senate, or some such large carnivorous beast, is a former Grand Exalted Poobah in the Klan.

  64. Lifelong Nebraskan says:

    To NE voter: Jerram Schooled nobody! The idiot teamed up with the mayor and had the layover meeting rejected. Because of Chuck's illness, 4 council members (a majority) wanted to hold the meeting a week later. The mayor and Jerram said no. The mayor took advantage of Chuck's hospitalization for his own political gain.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Jeez, go figure. A sleazy lawyer from Omaha's third district is a sellout to the fire union and their man in the big chair, Suttle. I guess making a fortune off getting questionable liquor licenses and defending porn sellers wasn't enough of a clue.

  66. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Right Wing Professor said…

    The Klan was a Democrat organization …

    That was true back when Sen. Byrd was a youth; but, like a lot of things … times have changed. Today's Klan is associated with the "conservative" right. Guys like former Louisiana state representative, David Duke, rule the day.

    Sure, nearly a century and half ago, the Republican Party, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, led the charge to liberate blacks. Today's Republican Party leadership (Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, et. al.) strive to undo all that. I doubt that Honest Abe would have anything to do with the party that still bears his party's name, but no longer supports its past ideals.

    Personally, I am glad that today's Democratic Party has little association with some of its inglorious past.

  67. Street Sweeper says:

    "…strive to undo all that."


    That's where this conversation has lead?

    Brother. Looks like it's time for a new post…

  68. Right Wing Professor says:

    Guys like former Louisiana state representative, David Duke, rule the day.

    That would be the David Duke who ran for Louisiana State Senate in 1975 and 1979 as a Democrat. He was still a member of the Klan then. He left the Klan in 1980. Then he ran for President in 1988 as a Democrat. He's also been a member of the National Socialist White People's Party and the Populist Party. Singling out the Republican Party, the only party he joined which actually repudiated him, seems a little harsh. In fact, several national Republicans endorsed his Democrat opponent in 1990, and he never made it out of the primary in most of the other elections he entered.

  69. The Pip says:

    To One Out, I won't be on the hill this year. I kind of liked it when they had the Loup River Regatta instead. Callaway is the shining star of the Sandhills. My clan, several generations ago, settled in the Sand Valley west of town. I dunno if I like the idea of inviting the easterners. I might flex to west of Hwy 281.

    As my late Uncle used to say before the six digit license plates, "With the exception of Custer and Buffalo County, I've never trusted anyone with a single digit prefix!"

  70. Bottom of the Fifth says:

    Compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise.

    Read Sunday's paper. Chuck was willing to vote for good governance.

    Chuck get well soon. The council (Pete and Jean) could use your counsel and wisdom.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Lifelong Nebraskan, are you serious?

    I'm glad Sigerson's doing better, but knowing people who have had a heart attack and a stroke, there's no way he's going to be healthy enough to sit through a City Council meeting next week, let alone two weeks from now.

  72. Jerram is not a smart man says:

    Jerram is an idiot. He gave Suttle a reason to veto the whole thing.

    Throw in something crazy at thast minute when the council is bogged down with ammendments. Sigerson's illness forces the council into a parlamentary nightmare and Suttle forced them to do it without proper time to go through ALL of the ammendments.

    It was cheap and sleezy politics. Recall anyone?

    BTW, aside from being fundamentally wrong, there are several major issues with the Satelite thing.

    1. This will not bring in money, or be revenue neutral. It will end up costing the city money. The city will need to add up to a dozen new inspectors to handle all of the new instalations and three year re-inspects. Even staffed at this level, delays willl slow business for installers and customers.

    2. The city will have to hire a few compliance officers. The inspectors will be tied down inspecting. Someone else will have to make sure everyone complies.

    3. Additional staff will be needed in permits and inspections. They cannot keep up with every day demand right now.

    4. There will be some need for additional staff for other administrative and compliance needs.

    5. Bringing us to compliance. With no grandfather clause and a wide proliferation throughout the city, rest assued the compliance level will be very low.

    In the end, this is a turd!

  73. Anonymous says:

    Proper time? This vote was scheduled for weeks and the budget was introduced in late July.

    Sigerson's vote wouldn't have changed a single outcome. In the end, the Council threw something together to avoid sending it back to the Mayor virtually unchanged. I suspect it'll be torn apart in the next few days, especially by owners of satellite dishes.

  74. NE Voter says:

    Chris Jerram P'Owned. Stothert and Festersen. It was obvious that Stothert and Festersen were woefully unprepared to debate the amendments. Clearly, they expected to ride Chuck's coattails and, when his illness prevented his attendance, they flat out panicked.

    I laugh at those who suggest that "the Democrats exploited Sigerson's illness." People, on September 11, 2001, both the Omaha City Council and the Douglas County Board continued working on their budgets even after the Courthouse and City-County Building were evacuated. One Council member's absence does not justify laying over the budget. Sorry.

    Finally, I loved how, after Thompson; Stothert and Festersen panicked, they tried again and again to pass a motion laying the discussion over. Some leadership — Epic fail.

    Chris Jerram proved himself to be a real leader yesterday. Sucks for you.

  75. Anonymous says:

    No doorknob did you watch the debate? Jerram talked straight for 45 minutes of his tax raising, Suttle loving drivel. Stothert and Festerson should be commended for standing for principle. Jerram will get his pay day from the Fire Union.

  76. Anonymous says:

    NE Voter is right. Jean and Pete had no answers yesterday. There answer is to stick their head in the mud, blame others, and to do the politically easy move.

    I agree with Pete that we still need to address the bond and pension issue, and that it would be best to address them all at once, however, we go to war with the army we got. Bonds and pensions were not before the council.

    What is their solution for the bond and pension issues, lay off city workers for twenty days? Time to stand up, hold your nose, and do what is right Omaha.

  77. Nate E says:

    Anon 7:02
    Standing on principle? You call wanting to force hourly wage earners to go 2 weeks without pay "principle"? I call that cowardly and pathetic. Stothert is a spineless twit and not worthy of praise.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I love watching the Suttle people try to spin this. No one is fooled by the the Weatherman. T-minus 3 months and counting.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Duh, people !!! The weatherman is ONLY a puppet to Jim Suttle. BUT, Jim Suttle is ONLY a puppet to (BIG MAC, the fire chief).

    And, it is 'all said and done'… you know, 'all bought and paid for' Suttle made mayor didn't he ??? How else could he have done it ???

    The ONLY SOLUTION we have now is:

    To RECALL the mayor, and to FIRE the Chief !!! We actually have NO OTHER choice, do we ?

  80. Anonymous says:

    We should all note how the liberal, "tax 'em" posters Nate E and NE Voter are so pleased with the BS Jerram was able to slide through.

    The thought someone would compare the direct working relationship between 7 council people and the parlamentary issues that arise when one, at a late hour falls ill is idiotic at best.

    Not to mention it proves that poster works in city hall. Obviously, they were there on 9/11.

    The right thing to do would have been to give everyone a few days to make sure they aske ALL of the right questions. But, no way…why the heck should they do what is right when they were in a position to stick it to the taxpayers.

    In the end, it was actually a victory for stothert and Festersen. They limited the property tax increase to the "mandatory Suttle Debt service-for no current debt" propert tax.

    Thank you Jean and Pete for not being sleezball attorneys.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Love this invite list for a Justin Wayne fundraiser . . . State Senators – Brad Ashford, Tanya Cook, Brenda Council, * Douglas Co. Commissioners – Mike Boyle, Chris Rodgers, * Douglas Co. Treasurer John Ewing, * Councilman Pete Festersen, * Scott Hazelrigg, * Public Service Commissioner Anne Boyle, and more listed below…

    Hmmmm, and Ashford and Hazelrigg are Republicans?? Yeah, right!

  82. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes governing is ugly but anyone who actually watched all of Tuesday's city council meeting realizes that was governing at its worst.

    To say Sigerson's presence would not have changed a vote is plain ignorant. It would have changed the tally on several ammendments.

    Chris Jerram smelled blood in the water and pounced. It was really disgusting. In the end, he won a small victory but not as large of victory as Stothert and Festersen.

    Suttle will either accept this budget or more than likely veto it. It'll go back to the council where more than likely another series of three to three votes will ensue.

    We'll see what Jerram and Mike McDonnell come up with to respond. This is all fire department driven. Because of the dynamics of the council minus Sigerson, nothing will get through without first being vetted by McDonnell.

    Whatever budget finally get's to Lincoln, it will be a farse. Sticking it to the tax payers, hurting business but protecting the fire department.

    That's how the city is run now.

  83. NE Voter says:

    Anonymous 6:18 and others:

    Sorry, you're wrong – I do not work for the City or County, and certainly not for the Mayor. I am simply an observer of the political scene. Though, by happenstance, I was in the Courthouse on the morning of 9/11, and thus was aware of what was going on.

    I find it hilarious that some of you perceive Stothert and Festersen's performance as strong ad steady. They were complete belly-flops. Even the Democrat-hating Omaha World Herald singled Jerram out for praise in its lead editorial today.

  84. Anonymous says:

    NE Voter

    The proof will be in the results. Looking at what has been sent to the mayor and looking at the likely end result, this will be a disaster. Honestly, there is no real budget or plan. Just numbers on a piece of paper that add up…for now.

    Didn't you just love when our new finance director was asked what the administrative costs for a one cent Entertainment tax would be instead of the two as originally proposed? Her response was "half".

    She was flat out wrong. There would not be any reduction in administrative costs.

    That is the way the process went on Tuesday. Piece meal and rushed. Hurried adding and subtracting, on the fly legal opinions, made up facts on the Satelite fee/inspection administrative costs by Jerram. That process was a huge disservice to the citizens.

    When they couldn't get anywhere after the first round, the responsible thing to do would have been to come back two days later.

    Just wait and see. The unintended (and some very intended) consequences of Tuesdays meeting will bite Omaha hard.

  85. Kratz Watcher says:

    Why does Paul Kratz get a pass in everything that has gone on?

    It was Kratz who wrongfully signed the first SUV lease deal.

    Kratz delayed answering a council information request on the debt service issue until Suttle had a chance to actually propose it, thus boxing us into mandatory implementation of the property tax.

    Kratz's opinion flies in the face of the intent and will of the voters on the issue. That is a tragic blow to the democratic process.

  86. NE Voter says:


    I agree that the budget plan is flawed. However, the flaws are the direct result of Stothert and Festersen refusing any compromise on alternate sources of revenue. If they had the guts t approve a half cent entertainment tax, along with the 2.4 cent property tax, the budget would balance.

    A city in deep financial crisis is poorly served by such cowardice. This Mayor and Council were elected to fix the problem. The Mayor had the guts to be candid with the public about the problem, and the political courage to propose an unpopular tax increase. Stothert and Festersen prefer to play with gimmicks like furloughs that unfairly balance the budget of a city of 450,000 on the backs of 2500 civilian workers.

    Too many folks seem to want to have their cake and eat it, too ("Cut more, but don't touch the pools and libaries!"). Not gonna fly.

    I am also skeptical whether the budget will pass muster. It is riddles with shaky assumptions but, in the absence of compromise, that's what you get.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Paul Kratz is required to follow the law and the law says that he has to sign the purchase lease, apparently. What was his choice? Suttle and his hand picked cronies negotiated the lease. They picked the terms and they agreed to obligate Omaha taxpayers to those terms.

    Blaming Kratz for signing a contract that was legal, but distasteful to most of the citizenry, is like blaming the Notary for stamping a contract that you didn't read before you signed it in front of them.

    Sometimes you just have to cut the apron strings and let the kids live with the consequences of their actions.

  88. GeosUser says:

    Beware of falling satellite tv antennas! Sleaze-ball lawyer Jerram says it's a huge public safety problem. At his recent fund raising event, sponsored by the fire union, I wonder if someone from Cox Communications or Qwest happened to plant this "little dish inspection fee" idea along with a generous campaign debt repayment contribution??? Aren't those "dishes" on cell towers almost as "unsafe"???

  89. Courage says:

    Courage? Courage you say?

    I suppose you beleive the Governors of Michigan and New Jersey have been courageous. Heck, even throw the past two governor's of Califoria into the mix.

    Courage is holding your line against tax increases that will produce Michigan/New Jersey results. Nothing courageous about what Jerram did. He didn't even have the courage to wait a few days so all of the propsed changes could be more closely examined.

    Courage you say? HA! Welcome to Omaha Nebraska…or shal we say California, Nebraska.

  90. Candid Camera says:

    NE Voter

    Blaaaahhhhaaaaa! Haaaaaa! Haaaa!

    Suttle had the guts to be candid? Where was that when he campaigned on tax cuts and increasing city services in spite of knowing the opposite would be his agenda.

    Give me a break! This Mayor has never been candid. He's not candid about the fire departments role in conspiring with Suttle and Jerram for what will end up being a 6.8% property tax. Wasn't candid about Samp, or staff salaries, or the SUV.

    About the only thing he has been candid about is his support for illegal aliens.

    Candid my arse!

  91. Anonymous says:

    Are the dishes businesses use for secure internet financial transactions included?

    Thanks Chris! Another new fee on buisness in Omaha.

    Hello Sarpy County!

  92. Anonymous says:

    RWP – You're right that the Klan originated amongst Southern Democrats over 100 years ago. But a sign of maturing and wisdom is learning from and correcting mistakes.

    Democrats of the last 50 years have worked on behalf of minorities. Democrats have evolved to a party that believes in equality regardless of race. Southern Dems, however, devolved and became Republicans.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Qwest sure as hell wouldn't have supported Jerram's stupidity. How do you think Qwest provides television to its customers? Duh, it's called a dish. You must not use Qwest for anything. If you did, you would know that they are a satelite seller 'cuz there's an ad in their bill envelope every month.

  94. Pol Observer says:

    Hey Anonymous above: was it the same amount of liberals that were at Jim Esch's, Michael Scott's, Todd Simon, the wacky state senator and all of the other political road kill Lee has beat his whole career?

  95. Anonymous says:

    Pol Observer-

    Nope, there were three times as many people as the other candidate fundraisers. There was a line to get into the event.

    White has a strong message for why he wants to run. About the only thing the two agree on are that Plaintiff's lawyers and firefighters are a necessary evils

  96. Anonymous says:

    Chris Jerram said that people complained to him on the campaign trail that they didn't like the way the dishes littered up the roofs in their neighborhoods.

    He then said he started noticing them during his exercise runs.


    Public safety? My ass!

  97. 2 + 2 says:

    Why is it that David Sund and Ron Gerard have so much time to post on the blogs and do the business of the mayor? Hello Nate E and NE Voter.

    Obviously from postings here, Suttle is nervous about having the 6.8% property tax fiasco strung around his neck.Now he needs his lap dogs to go after Stothert and Festersen? How funny is it they have to pump up that baffoon Jerram too!

    It's laughable. Suttle's underqualified and overpaid assistants trying to guide city government. Heck, Sund can't even iron his own clothes yet.

    Funnier yet, what a dynamic duo. Gerard the Weatherman and Sund the willing and able assistant. City Busters extrodinaire!

  98. Anonymous says:


    I know NE (any) voter. I guarantee you he is not the weatherman or Sund; nor is he in the admin or city employ. But he definitely IS in the Kool-aid tank.

  99. Nate E says:

    You call me liberal like its a insult, and I where it like a badge of honor.
    NE voter said it better than I, "furloughs that unfairly balance the budget of a city of 450,000 on the backs of 2500 civilian workers"

  100. Anonymous says:

    That's him. The job was his thank you for bringing all those paid Obama staffers into the Suttle for Mayor race. We should all call the President and thank him for this sh*thole of an administration that he helped fund the election of.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Breaking News: Nebraska has been replaced by Connecticut as the state most embarassed by the actions of Democrat lawmakers.

    While Nebraskans faced a "Summer of Shame" in 2008 due to the direct actions of State Senator Tom White of Omaha, Connecticut lawmakers have surpassed Nebraska (at least temporarily) by embarassing their entire state because they were too busy playing solitaire on their taxpayer funded official computers to pay attention to their state's budget crisis.

    I suppose we will have to wait a few years to see which case of arrogant disregard for your constituents people remember more. State Senator Tom White for refusing to include an age limit on Nebraska's Safe Haven Law that he wrote, or the citizens of Connecticut for having to wear the face of shame that all Nebraskan's were forced to wear last year by State Senator Tom White of Omaha?

    But, then again, what's the big deal about a little deficit spending these days?

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