2009 Nebraska Politician of the Year

It was a painstaking process, hashed out in a smoked-filled, Scotch soaked back room.
But we figured it out. And give you…

THE 2009 LEAVENWORTH STREET NEBRASKA POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR

Ben Nelson

No other Nebraska politician made more headlines this year than U.S. Senator Ben Nelson. No other politico had to stretch their limits and was challenged as much as Nelson.

He had more at stake and put more of his political capital on the line as he walked the fenceline between appearing as a conservative Democrat and appeasing the liberal Democrat in the White House. His political situation changed dramatically in 2009, and not for the better.

Nelson was continually put on the spot, and forced to make tough decisions about serving the interests of Nebraska and voting with his party. 2009 saw Nelson change from the moderate Republicans could love to the Democrat they want out.

Because of this dramatic shift, he is our POTY of the year.

Starting with the Stimulus Bill, Nelson staked out his position as lead “Fence-Sitter” of the Democrats — hoping to always be that last vote in order to cash in a few chits.

Nelson’s plan always seems to be Holdout. Hint that he just might side with the Republicans. Draw some sort of line in the water that he swears, as a Nebraskan, he just can’t cross.

Then when the heat comes down (from the White House and leadership) claim a prime spot at the bargaining table as a “playa”.

And Nelson did this quite well, twice.

If it was press and headlines and facetime on TV, Nelson succeeded 100%.

But what did Nelson really accomplish in each of his highly publicized holdouts?

In the Stimulus Bill, he and a few others got 6% trimmed out of the $787 Billion bill.

Hmm.

And then Nelson’s concessions are well known in the Health Care bill.

He nailed down the infamous Cornhusker Kickback. He let Pro-Choice California Senator Barbara Boxer draft the abortion language that pleased everyone — well except for Pro-Life advocates.

And he pissed off nearly everyone back in his home state of Nebraska.

Well, these are the slings and arrows one must accept with playing on the main stage, no?

Of course, we don’t expect Nelson to take it laying down in 2010.

He has already shown that he plans to try to lay the Cornhusker Kickback at the feet of Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. Of course, recent polls suggest that Nebraskans are having none of that. Call it what he like, “Heineman Amendment” doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Cornhusker Kickback”. The guy who succeeded in his last Senate campaign uttering “Wall Street Pete” should know.

But Nelson did one thing that few in Nebraska politics have done: he got the entire country to look over at Nebraska — in anger.

That truly makes him Nebraska’s P.o.t.Y.

***

And a few others…

Julie Schmit-Albin

Schmit-Albin was a late comer to the PotY race; the Health Care debate brought her and the Nebraska Right to Life to national prominence as it seemed the bill hinged on NRtL’s interpretation of the abortion language — and whether they could sell their longtime supporter Ben Nelson.

She spelled out for 60th vote Nelson what would work for abortion language, and what wouldn’t.

Nelson continually came to her to see what would pass muster for her group — as Nelson had a continued desire to be Nebraska’s Pro-Life Senator.

When it came down to the final language, however, Nelson pulled a Lucy van Pelt and yanked the football away from Schmit-Albin, opting for Barabara Boxer’s abortion language.

In response, Schmit-Albin pulled no punches with Nelson, declaring that she had been “Betrayed!”.

Like Nelson, Schmit-Albin and Nebraska Right to Life will feature prominently in 2010.

Don’t expect her to get fooled again.

Hal Daub

Looking at the local Omaha politics, many would assume that new Mayor Jim Suttle would be in this group.

But Suttle was an afterthought.

It was Hal Daub who put Suttle into the 3rd Floor of the City-County building.

Daub nearly forged a political comeback in 2009. He raised more money than any his Mayoral opponents, and was the clear leader early on.

But when facing his Republican primary opponent, Councilman Jim Vokal, Daub saw that if he was facing a conservative Republican, he would have a difficult time in the General. He took to first slaying Vokal.

He succeeded, but in the end even the bland, no-plan, unoriginal and somewhat buffoonish Jim Suttle couldn’t outweigh Daub’s toughest opponent: himself.

Or at least the Hal Daub that voters thought they knew.

The tough, hardworking, boundless ideas and energy in Daub had come to mean “that mean ol’ Hal Daub” to too many people. And that’s the way they voted.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Jim Suttle didn’t win the Mayor’s office; Hal Daub lost it.

But what did the public learn?

When times are tough, you need things done. You need bold decisions and ideas.

You need something more than, “We have to raise taxes!”

Well Omaha, you got what you wanted — or what you thought you wanted.

In the end, Daub even pushed away those who wanted to name a street after him, to compare to the new Mike Fahey vanity nameplates.

Daub was the bigger pol in the end.

Too bad so few recognized that back in May.

***

Thanks for reading everyone, and we’ll see you next decade!

80 comments

  1. NE Voter says:

    The Republicans will continue losing local races if they believe the "Daub beat himself" excuse. The fact is that Omaha is a Democratic city and is becoming more progressive each year.

    Otherwise, the is reasonable.

    Any update on how Jim Vokal's doing paying off his $40,000 in campaign debt?

  2. Are you kidding me says:

    NE VOTER you are on crack. Your boy Suttle ran on not raising taxes and being a civil mayor. He kept neither promise. I have never seen anyone lie more than Jim Suttle has to the voters. (he even beats the Benator) Because of Barry's, Ben's, Jim's poor track record of telling the truth, independents and conservative dems will vote republican in 2010. That is Bad News for Tommy "Obama" White next year.

  3. Mr. Blackwell says:

    Sorry for stealing your blog Sweeper, but I wanted to share my political observations of 2009 with a fashion spin.

    7. Ron Gerrard, Weatherman, or what ever you are called, you keep plugging away in your attempts to hide Mayor Suttle's dirt. Here is a fashion tip honey, get rid of that Purple dress shirt.

    6. Jane Flemming Kleeb I am so sorry for all the trash. But sweetie I can't help it because you and your Cowboy won't go away just like a nasty old rash!!

    5. Tommy White where did your hair go wrong? You can't be a congressman next year with frizzy hair that looks like Tommy Chong!

    4. Matthew Samp earlier this year your future looked so bright. hanging out with people your own age in the future will set certain situations right.

    3. Christopher Jerram 2009 will remember you for conflict of interests and the satelite tax. Try cutting the Fire Departments budget instead next year and give fried food and sweets the axe.

    2. Jim Suttle my boy your campaign promises and commercials certainly take the cake. Too bad its to late for the voters to realize that all along you were a fake.

    1. Benny Nelson my dear you caused many Nebraskans much health care fear. I won't get too excited because Governor Dave in 2012 will bring us much cheer.

    Happy New Years Leavenworth Street Blog

  4. One Out In The Third says:

    I figured Ben would get top billing…I figured Rogert was a lock. Shows what I know.

    Mr. B…I would have ranked the rankiness of the Kleebs much higher.

  5. Mr. Blackwell says:

    My apologies One out in the Third, but the Kleebs just don't attract as much attention as they used to, kind of like Jennifer Anniston.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My favorite 2009 moment is when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) told people to pray that something unfortunate happens to one of the 60 Senators voting for cloture…then Rush Limbaugh had a heart attack. The lord sure works in mysterious ways.

  7. Right Wing Professor says:

    My favorite 2009 moment is when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) told people to pray that something unfortunate happens to one of the 60 Senators voting for cloture

    Taking hallucinogens again?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think you forgot to mention Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray as a significant politcal player of 2009;

    He beat Frank Brown & Ernie Chambers and represents a new type of black elected official.

    He is friends with Susie Buffett a very powerful connection to have. (what will he do with it?)

    He took on the Firefighters Union and won.

    He won the admiration of Dave Nabbity.

    Came up with good ideas such as easing tension in the Emergency room and helping prevent gang members from retaliating.

  9. NE Voter says:

    Oh, almost forgot.

    You can't fail to include Chip Maxwell, who became only the second member of the most exclusive club in Nebraska political circles: Maxwell joins Kate Witek as the only Nebraska pols to lose two elections in a single year.

    LOL and rock on.

  10. macdaddy says:

    Happy New Year, everyone! Except you, Ben Nelson.

    SS, this is your blog, and you can include whomever you want for special recognition, but I'd like to point out that special interest groups have had very, very little impact on people's opposition to Obamacare. People have made up their own minds and think Obamacare is a bad idea. The Democrats ignore that fact at their peril. They think a lame 30 second campaign ad, or a speech to both houses of Congress, or calling people the homophobic epithet "teabagger" will counteract pro-life groups and the Republican party, but it won't. Those groups are riding the grassroots tsunami that's coming. They didn't create it. But we, the poor peasants who will get crushed by Obamacare, do appreciate the help.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think Jane Fleming Kleeb should be mentioned also;

    she is laying the foundation for a progressive politcal presence in Nebraska,

    she was a leader in pressuring Nelson, raising awareness regarding health care reform, moblizing many to make calls, write letters, etc.

    she is married to Scott Kleeb, who despite two losses, remains one of NE Dem's top rising stars

  12. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    I thought I was a shoe-in this year!
    (Kidding– Happy New Year to you, Sweeper, and all of your Anon. friends)

  13. macdaddy says:

    Anon 9:35: If Jane Fleming-Kleeb is truly responsible for getting Nelson to change his mind, go against 2/3 of Nebraskans and vote for Obamacare, then, yes, she should be included in politician of the year. I doubt, however, she had anything to do with it. I think Nelson wanted to do this anyway. As for the rest of your post, you really should go ahead and put your name on it, Scott.

  14. Uncle Wiggily says:

    "… Scott Kleeb, who despite two losses, remains one of NE Dem's top rising stars."

    Kinda says it all about the NDP … when your 'rising star' has already had his clock cleaned twice.

    The Scooter is a three day old cheese sandwich. Move along, fer crying out loud.

  15. Right Wing Professor says:

    Kinda says it all about the NDP … when your 'rising star' has already had his clock cleaned twice.

    'Tis but a scratch. Just a flesh wound.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ben Nelson is a SELLOUT! Nebraskan's will not forget how you followed Reid and Company. SOCIALIST!

    Less care for more money. Tranfer the problems of Medicare to the States Medicade. Thats like taking money out of one pocket and putting it into the other. Way to go Ben. Now we will have higher local taxes to take care of a non federal problem. Tell my where in the Constitution it talks about Healthcare and forcing people to buy it. HMMMM

  17. Anonymous says:

    Julie Schmit-Albin is the msot self involved person in Nebraska politics, and that's saying a lot. She does decent work, but from her speech at the Huckabee rally it's clear she made the entire damn thing about herself, not the pro-life movement.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Google "Julie Schmitt-Albin charged" to see this criminal's sordid past. The charges were dropped and swept under the rug because we had a pro-life county attorney and attorney general. They even petitioned to have the World Herald and Journal Star articles records removed. Julie agreed to do community service work to have the charges dropped.

    How can you Republicans have any respect for a criminal?

  19. Right Wing Professor says:

    I had already seen the video, Anonymous, and he didn't tell people to pray something unfortunate would happen to the sixty voting for cloture. Try telling the truth for once.

  20. Right Wing Professor says:

    If the charges were dropped, she's hardly a criminal, is she?

    From reading the articles, it seems she was a third party provided internal Planned Parenthood emails by a disgruntled former employee. Her actions seem to indicate she was not aware this was illegal; she refused to accept keys to the premises, since that would be trespassing.

    Why do I suspect the person posting this was cheering when Sarah Palin's email account was hacked?

    And FWIW, I think abortion should be legal in the first weeks of pregnancy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    @Right Wing Professor

    Youtube search "Sen. Tom Coburn Learns That Nothing Fails Like Prayer!" and then tell us if we're we're hallucinating.

    Right Wing Professor, this was the biggest, most crucial vote in a generation. There is no way one of those 60 could have missed that vote without something unfortunate happening, so you tell us exactly what Coburn meant.

    YOU try telling the truth for once.

  22. barbwirefence says:

    Nelson is a fence straddler not sitter.

    He has a ton of Barbara Boxer strapped to one foot and a ton of Right to Life strapped to his other foot, and he straddles a fence high enough to rip a normal politican in half.

    For most, this treatment is the height of painful masochism. For the Benator, it is pure joy.

    You make a huge mistake to think this has finished him. His electorate thinks a Unicameral is a good idea. Need I say more?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Re-Julie Schmit Albin – Works on the basis of her heart and her convictions, not her pocket book. If you had worked closely with Ben as she had and in the 11th hour felt the knife in your back as she did, yes it might be about how you personally felt. IF The County Attorny HAD been pro-life..she would have never been charged in the first place. Would you assume you might have criminal charges placed against you because someone anonymously calls you with information? Probably not! That was clearly trumped up for political reasons, to harm both Julie Schmit Albin and the very strong Nebr. Right to Life Organization.
    Every politician in Nebraska comes to Julie Schmit Albin and NRL for an endorsement, because they know she/they work from the heart and have a solid voting block behind them that will vote not for "pieces of gold" but for what is morally right. That vote turns out every time in Nebraska. Abuse them at your peril.

  24. Gerard Harbison says:

    Right Wing Professor, this was the biggest, most crucial vote in a generation. There is no way one of those 60 could have missed that vote without something unfortunate happening, so you tell us exactly what Coburn meant.

    Nonsense. They could have decided to go to the movies. There's excellent precedent.

    You quoted a man saying something he didn't say. That's a lie.

  25. Right Wing Professor says:

    According to Fox today, Nelson called the SC AG and asked him to 'call off the dogs' — drop the suit challenging the constitutionality of the Cornhusker Kickback. Nelson, reportedly, claims the same deal will now be offered to all fifty states.

    In keeping with precedent, the thirteen AGs have refused the return of the thirty pieces of silver.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Julie accepted emails, voicemails, and patient information from this PP former employee, and she got caught red-handed. The police investigators charged her, Gary Lacey and Don Stenberg did nothing to prosecute her after she agreed to community service. I'm curious how they would have applied the rule of law if a former NRTL turned over all that confidential info to PP.

    Julie Schmidt-Albin knew darn well what she was doing when she accepted all that confidential records from Planned Parenthood. An email transmission from her said ""I'm perfectly comfortable taking what you or a third party tells me; what you have access to . . . but putting us in charge of sleuthing is another thing,"
    She got caught because she filed a complaint about PP with the health department based on confidential information she'd stolen from emails.

    Oh really, Julie didn't accept a key to the front door of Planned Parenthood and pull a G. Gordon Liddy? I guess that she's still a hero in NEGOP's book (but then again Liddy is a hero to many Republicans too.)

  27. macdaddy says:

    Any idea if the SC AG told Nelson that he wasn't about to take his word for it and the lawsuit is still on? Did he point out that the bill doesn't say that the deal is available to all other states? Does Harry Reid know about this side deal that's going to significantly increase the cost of Obamacare or did Nelson just make it up out of whole cloth? Is it just me or is it unseemly for a Senator to be pressuring a state Attorney General in a legal matter?

    Way to go Nelson. You're making Nebraskans look like a bunch of duplicitous weasels. Stop bringing shame to our state. Resign now. Oh, BTW, but you're NOT welcome in the Republican party.

  28. Anonymous says:

    RWP
    Nellie wants the same deal for ALL 50 states? Wasn't the deal supposed to be worth 10 million dollars? So, Nellie is now asking to increase the cost of the bill by well over 49 TRILLION dollars?

    Let's see him try and sell that one to the voters of Nebraska.

  29. Right Wing Professor says:

    Julie Schmidt-Albin knew darn well what she was doing when she accepted all that confidential records from Planned Parenthood.

    I don't know what reaction you're expecting here. Outrage? Anyone outraged?

    Democratic Representative Jim McDermott accepted illegally intercepted recordings of Newt Gingrich's private telephone conversations, and then leaked them to the press. He was not sanctioned by the Democrats or the House. He was not prosecuted. So spare me the phony outrage about Julie. If it's good enough for our masters in Washington, it's good enough for us.

  30. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Thanks RWP for coming to my defense. To Anon poster; I didn't "accept" patient med records and voicemails. The Co Atty pulled me in on the thinnest of threads under a wiretapping statute and no, I wasn't wiretapping either. It's called abortion politics. Someday the truth will be put into the record.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Someday the truth will be put into the record

    Julie, let's have the truth then

    1) When the disgruntled Planned Parenthood employee sent you the confidential information did you immediately notify the authorities?

    2) The email transmission saying "I'm perfectly comfortable taking what you or a third party tells me; what you have access to . . . but putting us in charge of sleuthing is another thing," was that really you who sent that from your email address?

    3) Did you file a complaint with the health department that Planned Parenthood knowingly gave birth control to a 15 year old who was having sex with a 21 year old and did you gather that information from intercepted emails?

    4) Did you ever agree to do community service to have the charges dropped?

    Julie, you believe that the truth will someday be put into the record. If you're forthright with me today we can work together to get to the truth.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I'd never heard about this wiretapping stuff with NRTL before. I guess when you're appointed by God to carry out his will on earth like Julie is the laws of man become more like "suggestions."

  33. Anonymous says:

    here's to Phyllis Eby, a longtime volunteer for the Sarpy County Deocratic Party, who passed away at rhe age of 80. You have to be a true believer to be a Democrat in Sarpy Co.

  34. Dayton Headlee says:

    Jane Fleming Kleeb has to be on this list. She has single handedly (well, with a lot of help from the SEIU) made herself the face of the Democrat party/liberal causes in the state of Nebraska. Her ascendency probably has a longer lasting impact on Nebraska politics than any other than E. Benjamin.

  35. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Anon 10:57 am: So as not to further clog up SS's PoY post, e-mail me if you want the answers on what went down or wait for my tell-all book, after a few elected officials leave office.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Fox is reporting how Nelson has called the South Carolina AG to call off the dogs on the Cornhusker Kickback.

    What a fantastic statement Nelson is making for Nebraska.

    Nelson is saying every state is going to get the "DEAL" he secured for Nebraska.

    So he sold us out to advance Obama's agenda of taking the contry closer to a Socialist State.

    Thanks Ben for selling us out for nothing.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Is Julie Schimdt Albin supposed to be in prison? Shouldn't a felony prevent you from getting the "Politician of the Year" award?

  38. macdaddy says:

    Let me get this straight: you guys think somebody should be charged with a felony if they receive purloined emails from an organization, business, whatever? Not if they paid someone to go steal them, but that they received them unsolicited? Seriously? If so, can you point me to any statements you've made calling for employees of the New York Times to be prosecuted for receiving emails and other documents that they did not have express permission to possess? How about anybody else besides Ms. Schmit-Albin? Any statements calling for the prosecution of whistleblowers? Because if you looked at the logic of what you are saying, you are advocating for pretty much all journalists to be behind bars. My advice would be to quit letting your hatred for someone make you look like an idiot. And get some therapy.

  39. Anonymous says:

    macdaddy needs to get his facts straight. Julie accepted all sorts of confidential emails, voicemails, conference call codes, and patient information from a former Planned Parenthood employee. She even once emailed him "I'm perfectly comfortable taking what you or a third party tells me; what you have access to. . . but putting us in charge of sleuthing is another thing," She stayed in correspondence with this individual for weeks, and got caught red handed. This is all public record. She also used patient information to file a report with the health department that a 15 year old was having sex with a 21 year old and she gathered this information from intercepted emails(which means she had to have rifled through enough confidential patient information to find this). I'm sure she has, and still has, all the voter IDs that Planned Parenthood had gathered. Knowledge is power, and Julie gladly accepted their entire database. Gary Lacey, the Lancaster County attorney, and Don Stenberg, the Nebraska Attorney General chose not to prosecute because Julie has deep, powerful connections to the pro-life base that helped elect both of them.

    That's abortion politics.

    If Julie would like to set the record straight she's free to.

  40. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Anon 9:10pm I was willing to take this elsewhere because it deviates from the purpose of Sweeper's post and I don't like to hijack posts; however I won't allow outright lies and fabrications to be spewed in this forum against my character. I did not accept and/or take "voicemails, conference call codes, patient information and Voter ID records" from the Planned Parenthood informant who sent anonymous e-mails to me from April through August, 2002. I turned over allegations he made in these e-mails about possible violations of state and federal statutes and regulations to the Dept. of Health & Human Services, Governor Johanns, the Dept. of Insurance and all of the major media in the State during that four month time period. I have the documentation to prove such. The informant, we later found out, was the former clinic director of the Lincoln PP abortion facility who had been dismissed and apparently one way of getting back at PP was to send anonymous e-mails to the one pro-life organization in the State that he felt would most likely follow up on them, which I did. From August to December of 2002 I was at the mercy of the Lancaster County Attorney's office which even my well-respected Lincoln defense attorney could not believe ultimately charged me in Dec. 2002 with a felony four months after LPD raided my home and seized my office computer. For accepting unsolicited anonymous e-mails and turning info in said e-mails over to the proper authorities and media, the County Attorney extrapolated on the thinnest of threads under a wiretapping statute that I had "encouraged" said informant to commit illegal activity. Rather than go to jury trial in the People's Republic of Lancaster County where I live, the most liberal bastion in the State of Nebraska, I was allowed into pre-trial diversion and did 60 community service hours for my "crime" of turning unsolicited e-mails over to the authorities and media. There was no need for the County Attorney to prosecute because a felony charge against the ED of Neb Right to Life did all the damage that was needed after being spread all over the state's media for days. The informant received the same charge but conveniently his mug shot and info weren't strewn across the state's media, the same media I had asked months prior to look into the e-mail allegations I had sent them. So rather than spewing conjecture/lies, why don't you fess up to your real purpose? Curious to me that someone in this forum dredges up the PP charge and then lies about the circumstances on the heels of my separation from Sen. Ben Nelson and his staff. Perhaps my tell-all book needs to get moved up if this attack on my character is the response from those upset with my role in the healthcare debate.

  41. Anonymous says:

    It's too bad that the email sender didn't just send the emails to HHS and the AG's office in the first place. If they had, then no one would have been charged, or tried. Everyone would have been covered under the "whistle blower" statutes AND, PP of Lincoln and their doctors might have lost their license to perform abortions.

    Unfortunately, the whistle blower can only be the discoverer. Not the person the discoverer sends the info to (and I am betting the email sender knew this and got to kill 2 birds with 1 stone-all those right to lifers that had been picketing his or her house AND the former employer that canned him or her). Julie's attorney obviously knew that and advised her accordingly.

    Funny thing is, I consider myself to be fairly active politically and I read the paper at least 3 to 5 times a week, and I have no memory of this incident.

    BTW, convicted felons are the ones that rightfully have no voter or gun holder rights, not charged citizens.

    SS, could we have a rule about stupid people?

  42. Anonymous says:

    To totally change the subject, in today's OWH, Vic Covalt is talking about the evils of student loans. I would be curious how many people on this blog took student loans and paid or are paying them and what your opinions are of them.

    I think Vic should be more worried by his attorney friends that give poor advice and then collect $$$ from their victims even though the advice is going to cost them dearly.

    If an attorney is telling you something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Hirer the attorney that doesn't tell you to ignore your obligations. Hirer the one that gives you a realistic picture of your particular outcome.

    BTW, I wonder how much Vic Covalt is charging that woman for something she could get help from the State for free?

    Maybe, student loans should require a cosigner?

  43. macdaddy says:

    So Anon 9:10: I assume you are now going to call for the incarceration of any journalist who does the same thing, or how about the prosecution of PETA for running those surreptitious videos of chickens being slaughtered on public access cable. How about undercover investigations by the media? Didn't think so.

    BTW, did Planned Parenthood ever sue Nebraska RTL over this? Or were they too busy explaining why they didn't turn over evidence of a sexual crime against a minor to the authorities? And another BTW, were they ever charged for concealing evidence of a crime against a minor? If they weren't, then perhaps you could say that "Gary Lacey, the Lancaster County attorney, and Don Stenberg, the Nebraska Attorney General chose not to prosecute because" Planned Parenthood "has deep, powerful connections to the" pro-abortion "base that helped elect both of them."

  44. Anonymous says:

    Anon 8:45: I had student loans. I think they are evil. It's a good thing that Obama is now going to pay for everyone's college. Everyone has a right to go to college and be debt-free when they finish. Debt is bad, especially if you have to pay it back. I think college should be free for everybody. College is righteous. As long as you go to a green college.

  45. One Out In The Third says:

    SS…

    Happy New Decade? Even though Obama and his thugs are trying to ram legislation down our throats at breakneck speed…I prefer we take the new decade a year at a time.

    Has Ernie Goss or the bunch over at the Platte Institute broken out their abaci to calculate what the proposed 5 cent per gallon Nebraska Gas Tax increase will cost the average Nebraska consumer in the long run?

    Rising oil prices and increased taxes will only cripple the economy more. If our Governor would have used the stimulus funds he approved of on general road repairs rather than special projects…i.e. the 7 mile extra South Locust lane going into GI for the State Fair (the single lane has been underutilized since it was built with a major bottleneck where it crosses U.S. 34) there may have been money to go around for other necessary projects.

    Another example is the proposed Highway 30/34 project west of GI. Anyone with half a brain can see that this multi-million project is only to serve Husker Harvest Days one week out of the year. Take the money from that project and you could repair Highway 30 all the way to Kearney…better serving our region.

    RE: student loans…helped both our children and the last payment was made this month…woo hoo!! I intend to redirect the funds toward a motorcycle…especially since gas taxes are going up.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The issue with student loans not the loans themselves but how our system is structured. In the 70's students just borrowed money directly from the federal government. Later on the powerful banking lobby petitioned Washington to create "student loan companies" where students were now forced to purchase student loans from these companies, who are just getting the money from the federal government anyway. What they are is basically one large middleman carved out by banking lobbyists. There is no need for them, our system wasn't broken until the banking industry lobbied to change the system.

  47. Anonymous says:

    So a bit off topic but…… what is Suttle going to do with yet another Blizzard on the horizon?

    Hey maybe he can get all the hot air in city hall and perform some localized "Climate Change".

    Something we can believe in there!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Well the 31st came and went. It will be interesting to see how much TW raised. Over on NNN they tried to raise 500 alas they raised 1/10 of the goal. Just about the vote total to expect I suspect.

    GO TW! No really just go.

  49. Uncle Wiggily says:

    I know this is trivial, Sweeper … but it bothers me.

    It's "pains-taking" … not "pain-staking".

    Humor me … I'm old and cranky.

  50. Street Sweeper says:

    Geez, and here I've been saying "Pain Staking" my whole life. I've been staking my pain, when I should have been taking my pains! (I'm vexed.)

    Well, for what it's worth, it's actually "painstaking" (no spaces or hyphens).
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/painstaking

    (But it was my understanding that there would be no grammar in this debate…)

  51. Anonymous says:

    Tom Becka was a significant newsmaker and political figure in 2009 but you failed to mention him. Come on Leavenworth St think a little outside the box.
    Becka gave voice to the issue of the day, ticked off Suttle and the Firefighters.

  52. Street Sweeper says:

    8:45,
    Becka is an interesting suggestion, though he may be so far away from the box, he escapes the definition.
    – SS

  53. One Out In The Third says:

    Turns out that Governor Dave did send a formal letter to ol' Earmark telling him to keep his blood money. It was on Faux News this evening on the Greta Von Cistern show. Seems our AG Jon Bruning pulled a "Georgie Porgie" when 13 other States AG's threatened to sue Ben on the constitutionality of his orchestrated Cornhusker Kickback.

    Why didn't Bruning join in? Greta thought out loud that maybe Bruning might be a Democrat…but she checked him out and was left holding a bag of consternation.

    Wonder if Ben got the letter?

  54. Anonymous says:

    Nathan,

    Sure is cold. Love shoveling the Man Made Global Warming. Suppose that is GW's fault too. He couldn't even get Global Warming right. Obama is going to make it all better though.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I sure hope Mello Nordquist and "Snow Plow" Conrad were listening to KFAB and Ben Gray this morning!

    Mr. Gray said, and I am paraphrasing, it wouldn't be prudent to dip into Omaha's cash reserve just yet. To do so may jeopardize the city's bond rating.

    Hmmmmmm interesting.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Third:
    Yep..and several of us have been saying that for a couple of weeks now. Too bad some or so anti-dave, they had blinders on

  57. One Out In The Third says:

    anon 8:59…

    As much as I can tell Heineman was slow out of the gate with his formal letter…and more details should be made available as far as a time line and what he told Nelson. I am not giving Heineman a bye yet…all people can say about him is he is a shrewd politician. But being a shrewd politician and getting the job done are worlds apart. While his Republican contemporaries at the national level were quick to reject Stimulus money…Heiny accepted it with open arms…not even a whimper…and now it's going to mysterious zip codes. I wonder if I can set up my own zip code? Not his fault but there is a lot of room for mismanagement and he needs to see that it is spent wisely.

    Heineman's true test lies ahead when the February revenue numbers show Nebraska's economy and unemployment numbers are in dire straits. Last I looked unemployment was just starting to work it's way into Nebraska. Some tough decisions are going to have to be made…cuts or tax/fee increases…that will be the question. The great thing is he can pull a "Nelson" and make the Unicameral the bad guys when the taxes/fees increase. Maybe it's time to rescind some of the tax breaks he has handed out to business like other states are beginning to do???? Get ready for the uproar.

    And where is Jon Bruning with his legal beagle view of Cornhusker Kickback?????

  58. Anonymous says:

    SS, if we throw out grammar in our writing aren't we just left with a bad public education that makes us all feel good about ourselves?

  59. Balh Blah Blah says:

    Guess you can count out Mike Boyle on 2010 POTY. Looks like he decided he wasn't ready for the ass whupping Heineman was gonna give him.

    And SS why would OUR National Grammar Rodeo be in Canada?

  60. macdaddy says:

    Ol' Ben is spreading more lies about Obamacare. He had a pretty pathetic interview with the Freemont Tribune. He must think we're as dumb as he looks. His comment about the Cornhusker Kickback really being for all 50 states is not only laughable but an outright lie. His comment about 9 out of 10 people that come up to him thank him means that he needs to get out of the echo chamber once in a while. People are pissed about Obamacare and he's absolutely clueless.

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