Nelson BOOED at Omaha restaurant (and cutting new ads)

“It was definitely a scene in there.”

Those are the words of Omaha dentist Tom Lewis, speaking about Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson getting booed out of an Omaha restaurant recently.

The story is featured this morning on The Politico website.

The Politico continues…

Nelson and his wife were leaving dinner at a new pizza joint near their home in Omaha one night last week when a patron began complaining about Nelson’s decisive vote in favor of the Senate’s health care bill.

Other customers started booing. A woman yelled, “Get him the hell out of here!” And the Nelsons and their dining companions beat a hasty retreat.

The pizza place is the relatively new Dante Pizzeria Napoletana on 168th and Center in the Shops of Legacy. (We hope to update with additional details.)

**UPDATE at Noon**

Here are the details Leavenworth Street has received from someone who was there:

Friday night, at Dante Pizzeria Napoletana, a customer hailed Senator Nelson to his table as Nelson walked by, saying, “Ben, Ben, Ben!”

Simultaneously people at the the other table started booing and giving him the “thumbs down”.

The person who hailed him said to Nelson “I’m very disappointed in your vote Senator.”

Nelson replied, “Ok, thank you.”

But the booing continued and as Nelson picked up the pace to get out of there, a woman yelled very loudly “Somebody get him the hell out of here!”

***

Now, we here at Leavenworth Street frankly don’t condone such behavior.  Nelson and his wife should be able to go out to dinner in peace.

But… how much of this has Nelson brought upon himself?

He goes on for weeks and weeks about how he won’t support the Health Care Re-form bill “unless”, then changes his terms, sells out, gives Nebraska a horrible name nationwide, and goes on TV during the Husker game claiming he’s been “listening” to Nebraskans.

Really? Listening?

***

Well, Nelson isn’t done with his damage control.

We’ve learned that Nelson’s film crew was shooting a NEW commercial near the Security National Bank on 64th and Center. This time, instead of speking to the camera himself, Nelson is using third-party testimonials from others to tell how swell of a guy he is for voting for the bill.

Amazing that someone who says nine out of ten people support him and claims not to care what the polls say, is already on his second round of ads — two full years before he is up for re-election.

But considering the visceral reaction Nelson is causing in people, it’s no wonder that he is still in massive damage control.

While he criss-crosses the state, and even hints that he could vote against the final bill, Nelson knows that this is the sort of thing that could frame his entire political legacy.

Ironic his choice of pizza places then, eh?

49 comments

  1. Dante says:

    What is more troubling is the Nelson spin machine keeps saying how Nebraskans are telling him that he is doing the right thing. Ben, you were out in public having pizza and your constituents ran you out of a restaurant!!! Not even Jim Suttle gets run out out of places.

  2. Shoe Salesman says:

    Mr. Lewis should be embarrassed. He did himself and Nebraska no favors by orchestrating that "scene" and then pimping it to a DC reporter.

    This is a great example of what Nebraska has become. It is no longer a neighborly, friendly place. It is instead inhabited by right wing nut jobs who have demoralized society with their incivility.

    The irony here is Mr. Lewis probably considers himself a devout christian and probably thumps his bible every once in a while. Too bad he isn't reading it more. Jesus had a simple Golden Rule about how to treat each other. Mr. Lewis and his wife and their goon squad forgot that lesson.

    Ben Nelson is the most approachable public figure in Nebraska. They could have handled that with a bit more class than what was reported. I am embarrassed for them for how they have presented Nebraska to the national media.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Lewis is a Hero!!!! Ben Nelson continues to lie about how Nebraskans support the Senate bill and his votes. It's nice to see the Nelson staffers go after Christians to try to save their inept boss's hide in 2012.

  4. macdaddy says:

    Nebraskans might be nice, but we aren't fools and we aren't patsies. Being a Nebraskan doesn't mean that you have to let people spit in your face and then lie about it. If you think letting your feelings be made known in public is a foreign concept to Nebraskans, then you obviously haven't been to Memorial Stadium.

    Nelson is bringing this on himself. He is absolutely refusing to acknowledge that his constituents are against this. He's even out and out lying about it in the media. When you shut down the proper and civil means of communication, you should expect citizens to improvise.

  5. GeosUser says:

    James Martin Davis and his wife was at the pizza place with Ben and his wife and another couple, and said on KFAB this morning that the incident never happened. Davis said a couple of people came to their table to say "Hello" to the Senator but there was no shouting, etc.

  6. Street Sweeper says:

    My contact, who WAS there, confirms the whole thing, as noted in The Politico, is accurate.

    Davis must have been in the bathroom.

  7. No one is ever guilty says:

    You take James Martin Davis, former Dem Congressional Candidates word over the public. Remember this was the guy that said, "My client was surprised that there was no massage table set up in the hotel room and he became suspicious."

  8. Street Sweeper says:

    See the body of the post updated (with this):

    Here are the details Leavenworth Street has received from someone who was there:

    Friday night, at Dante Napoleon Pizza, a customer hailed Senator Nelson to his table as Nelson walked by, saying, “Ben, Ben, Ben!”

    Simultaneously people at the the other table started booing and giving him the "thumbs down".

    The person who hailed him said to Nelson “I’m very disappointed in your vote Senator.”

    Nelson replied, “Ok, thank you.”

    But the booing continued and as Nelson picked up the pace to get out of there, a woman yelled very loudly “Somebody get him the hell out of here!”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Shoe Salesman talks about how Christians are supposed to act – as he calls Nebraskans "right wing nut jobs", calls Mr. Lewis a bible thumper and mentions something about his "goon squad".

    So it is not okay to boo a politician who doesn't represent his state, but it is okay to call names and verbally attack the people in the state.

    Mr. Shoe Salesman, you should be embarrassed!

  10. theunicycleguy says:

    I thought EBN said that 9 out of every 10 people who come up to him say that he did the right thing. Where were all of his supporters to cheer him on?

  11. Nelson Press Person says:

    Folks you have this all wrong. This is an Italian restaurant. In Italy a thumbs down is a good thing. Back in the days of the Colosseum the crowd wanted a thumbs down from the Emperor so they could see a killing. Also what you take as a "Boo" in Italian is short for Bonjorno or a friendly greeting. Ben Nelson is very popular and many Nebraskans support his health care vote.

  12. From the Bleachers says:

    Listen to the pod-cast of Vorhees' KFAB show this morning (hopefully it is up). The gentleman from Kearney, NE who spoke with EBN for minutes in the restaurant (and gave a blow by blow account how the situation unfolded) indicated that at the time most of these comments were made, the rest of EBN's party was in another area of the restaurant. So JMD may have not have heard any of the comments.

    The gentleman from Kearney was very convincing. JMD was probably not lying (alhough he said they were at dinner there with EBN on Saturday, not Friday as it was reported to have happened), he just did not see it.

    I find it hard to believe anyone that also says that 9 out of 10 Nebraskans are telling EBN he did well by his vote.

  13. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Al Portavoce di Sen. Nelson,

    Lei e' un idiota. Se vuoi spiegare alla gente qui sul Via Leavenworth cosa vuol dire un pollice in giu, almeno dovreste dire la verita', non qualcosa che ha tirato fuori del suo culo. La cosa Lei had detto circa il "Boo" e' una bugia. Ma, poi, ha chiuso con due altre fisserie; AI Nebraskiani, essendo per la maggior parte Republicani, non piacce ciò che ha fatto.

    * Translation:

    Ben's Press Person,

    You are a fool. If you want to explain to the people here on Leavenworth Street the significance of a down-turned thumb, you should at least tell the truth, not something you've just pulled out of your butt. What you said about "Boo" is a lie. But, then, you closed with two other inanities; Nebraskans, being for the most part Republican, aren't happy with Ben, nor with what he has done.

  14. Right Wing Professor says:

    I'm surprised Nelson would dare set foot in a place called Dante's. In the Inferno, Dante consigned corrupt politicians to the eighth circle of hell, where they were immersed in a lake of boiling pitch.

    Seems to me he got off easy with a little booing.

  15. Right Wing Professor says:

    Hey BTO, since we're doing Italian today, here's canto 21 verse 40 of the Inferno (about the lake of pitch they throw corrupt politicans in…)

    a quella terra, che n'è ben fornita:
    ogn' uom v'è barattier, fuor che Bonturo;
    del no, per li denar, vi si fa ita.

    The last line, translated, is

    the no, for money, is made into a yes

    Seems like Dante prophesied the coming of the Benator!

  16. Brian T. Osborn says:

    RWP,

    You're going with the antique Florentine version I see. Dante's epic work had a lot to do with Florentine becoming the base for the modern Italian language. It could just as easily have come from Sicilian after Garibaldi helped unite the kingdoms.

    There's a cool video of the 1911 film of "L'Inferno" but since Sweep won't let us do links here, you'll have to look it up yourself. Just Google … linferno.

  17. Angela says:

    Have you seen the new commercials trying to convince us Nebraskans that what he did was good for the country? This man is delusional if he thinks he is in touch with the people of Nebraska.

  18. Brian T. Osborn says:

    RWP,

    I'm just full of surprises! Actually I don't know how any thinking person could NOT be a Democrat. I understand some of the issues you have with the Democratic Party, since my issues with them are public knowledge, but I'm doing all I can to help my party be what it should. I sure wish those that call themselves Republicans would do likewise.

    I find it very unfortunate that my country is being torn apart by the illogical factions on both sides. The demagogues on the left are just as ridiculous as those on the right. I'm old enough to remember when both Ds and Rs genuinely strove to do what they thought was best for our country. Now all we get is bile spewed back and forth with no one making any progress. One side won't give an inch to the other because they are "the other side." What we really need to understand is that we're all on the same ship. When your vessel is on fire, everyone needs to be a fireman.

  19. Angela says:

    Right, Left, UP The Middle… What Ben Nelson has done to Nebraska is despicable. He is a public figure out to dinner in a public restaurant. The Boo's and Jeers comes with the territory. He can plug a commercial but Nebraskans can't tell him what's on their minds when they see him on the street? Maybe he should rethink his career. The wheelin' and dealin' going on in Washington is disgusting to me. Anybody that can't see THAT has issues that go beyond political labels.

  20. Nathan says:

    Angela,
    Call his office and complain or write a letter. Start a recall effort if you feel that strongly about it. But everyone should be able to go out and enjoy a meal with family and friends without being harrassed

  21. Angela says:

    Nebraskans so disgusted with Ben Nelson they can’t even eat around him – Hot Air is talking about it too.

    BTW, it doesn't help to write a letter any more. This man has the power to change the fate of Nebraskans as well as the rest of the country. What he did was despicable. People have the right to question him and/or share their disdain for what he has done. He signed up for that when he ran for office and again when he accepted the position. Now they are making deals with unions. DISGUSTING!

  22. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Angela,

    If it weren't for the unions we would ALL be nothing but underpayed, uninsured wage slaves to a very small, extremely wealthy minority. Do you REALLY desire a return to feudalism?

  23. Nathan says:

    You do have the right to question him and share your misplaced disdain. I would never act to try and stifle free speech from anyone, Im not GWB. But we all, democrats and republicans and independents and greenparty(ers?) and libertarians have a right not to be harrassed.

  24. Soud O says:

    There is serious defugalty within in both parties here in Nebraska.
    Neither one stands for freedom. I voted for Ben as our Governor after Kay Orr had Spent & Spent like a drunken sailor. The Repubs. overrode Nelsons budgets in favor of more spending. At that time Nelson was more conservative than the (supposed) conservative NEGOP.
    What a Joke!! They are both corrupt!!! and they could not give a damn about our freedom. I am ebbarrassed that I voted for Nelson, but I will never be taken in by Phony Conservatives again. (like Lee Terry)
    If I were there I would Have Boo-ed loudly.

  25. Brian T. Osborn says:

    RWP,

    I'm having difficulty finding an etymological source for "defulgaty." The closest thing I've found was in a proposed ebonics textbook developed for the Oakland school system by the noted LIchtensteiner linguist, Alois Dünser. It seems to deal with something defining a hinderance or a struggle.

  26. Soud O says:

    The citizens of this country are victims to incompetence, or corruption (and we do not need a nanny!); defense of freedom is rapidly becoming the new paradigm.

    When a bill, a tax, legislative proposal, or new regulation is presented; a conversation about its effect on freedom should be as important or more important than the bill itself. (every time)

    I am glad Ben Nelson is paying the price for ignoring the people.

    A change has happened in America, and my hope is that both parties will re-educate themselves about individualism, and true freedom.

    The sad truth is, the NEGOP has proudly beat their chest about conservatism, while being just as responsible for decades of state and federal spending as the Liberals. A pox on both there houses.

    Ben or Lee, If I were to choose a nanny, the government would be the last place I looked.

  27. Anonymous says:

    defugalty- might be a foreign word?

    Either way EBN is toast. This is almost too funny. Oh and about him not getting heckled in public. He chose public life and would be more than happy to take applause so sauce good for the goose is good for the gander.

  28. Soud O says:

    "defugalty"
    Not Actually a word, but a common expression used in South Omaha.
    (my little slice of heaven) I have used this non-word all my life.

    Similar in meaning to the acronym FUBAR.

    Defugalty is imperfect, nonsensical abstraction combining the words "difficulty" with the word "fudge" to exaggerate with accuracy how damn bad the situation really is.

    Definition mine.

    Seemed apropos when talking about Nebraska Politics.

  29. Right Wing Professor says:

    The NY Times 'Prescriptions' blog is reporting Benedict has asked Dingy Harry Reid to remove the Cornhusker Kickback from the Health Bill.

    Which means that Nelson sold out for virtually nothing.

  30. One Out In The Third says:

    Ol' Earmark really did us a favor with his letter to Reid/Pelosi asking to have his "special favor" removed from the Obamacare legislation. Now Reid/Pelosi want to bribe all 50 states with a kickback. Are we living in a cartoon?

  31. Soud O says:

    "Victim" was an incorrect word;
    I do agree with both points.
    To deny the use of the word victim in this context, is to imply ownership of this debacle. I accept that.

    Although, Progressives have had control of public and private education, government, politics, journalism, healthcare and the sciences for generations.

    There is a crucial thing they haven't been able to complete their control of. That is the unflinching expectation of freedom.

    It will be from a small number of freedom loving Americans that we will rekindle and re-inform that uniquely American value "Our Sense of Life".

    If this country survives, I hope the word victim regains its proper usage, but for now what honest person hasn't felt victimized by
    the proponents of this progressive philosophical takeover, and the political system it has produced.

  32. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Soud O,

    Do you live in BIZZARO WORLD!?

    You wrote, "… Progressives have had control of public and private education, government, politics, journalism, healthcare and the sciences for generations."

    Would you like to think about that for a while and see where you are wrong? Because you most definitely are.

  33. Brian T. Osborn says:

    O Soud,

    (1) "Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!"

    (2) I'm not surprised.

    Enjoy smelling your popcorn.

  34. Soud O says:

    Your description,"Bizarro World!" seems to be a correct description for the world you progressives have to created.

    I am glad to have my feet on the ground; like many "adults" I started out where you are, but when I grew up I was confronted with Reality.

    This situation is not political. It is philosophical, and by extension cultural.
    Most Americans care about right and wrong, and enough still care about keeping their lives connected to reality.

    They are opposed by those who default on this responsibility; it is a learned response, they were taught to default and deny reality.

    Open your mind, or this year is going to be a tough one.
    Best Premises Soud O

  35. Soud O says:

    Progressives are not for progress

    US Justice Dept. Scuttles 'Kindles on Campus' test because blind
    students can't use them
    Washington (AP)1-14-10 Three universities testing Amazon's Kindle in the classroom have agreed to shelve the electronic book readers until they are fully functional for blind students, under a deal struck with the US Justice Department.

    The sad truth is; I'm no longer surprised

  36. Macdaddy says:

    Soud O is absolutely correct about progressives. There's a great book on the subject, Liberal Fascism, that does an excellent job explaining the history of fasc….er, uh progressivism and their misguided attempts to "better" us inferiors. A companion book that also deals with the progressives' destructive designs on our economy is The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. It deals with FDR and the Great Depression.

  37. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I just cannot believe the pride that so many of you demonstrate in flaunting your ignorance. You don't want to be bothered with facts because you already know everything you WANT to.

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