Lakers for Gov: Who is excited?

Mark Lakers started his Nebraska Gubernatorial campaign last week, and immediately hit the radio airwaves and the coffee shops.

So what have we learned?

Well, first there was his interview with Coby Mach on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln.
You can hear it here:

Coby talks with Democrat Mark Lakers about filing to run for Nebraska Governor.


We are hearing that Lakers has a real plan for this campaign and job and has thought about it, etc, etc. (More on that below.)

But, let’s just say that’s not the impression one gets from his discussion with Mach on KLIN.

Lakers sounded…indecisive.
And in need of a few sessions at Toastmasters to get rid of the “umms” in his speech.

We’re sure he is a knowledgeable guy about his business. But a hog farm financier does not a political candidate make. At least not automatically.


Which gets us to the LJS’s Don Walton caffeine sit-down with Lakers.

Here is Walton’s assessment:

Smart, confident, organized, soft-spoken.

Hmm. Let’s take ’em one by one.

1) Smart: Can the man rip apart an SAT if need be? We wouldn’t put it past him.

But diving into a statewide race without a campaign plan or maybe some talking points? Not sure we’d call that “smart”.

2) Confident: You listen to that radio interview and let us know if you think Lakers exudes confidence.

 Maybe we’re missing something from the one-on-one or face-to-face, but we just didn’t hear it. And he is confident of what? That he can take down Heineman? Well, based on what? (We’re getting back to #1.)

3) Organized: Now we’re just calling B.S. here.

Sure maybe Lakers showed up to the java house with an accordion file folder, alphabetized with color dividers — like George Costanza handling the Penske file.

But here’s what he didn’t show up with: A campaign manager. A campaign plan. Talking points on what he hopes to achieve. Breakdown of positions on different issues. Detailed knowledge of various bills before the legislature and Governor.

These are all things that shows that one is “organized” for a political race. We saw none of them on display on Friday. Oh, and by the way, he has until March to file. Why not wait a few days, get one’s sh*t together, and THEN announce that you’re going to announce?

What was the rush? Did the state party and a certain U.S. Senator convince him that he needed to get out there “right now!” so as not to further embarrass the party? Hmm.

4) Soft-spoken: Well, Don nailed that one anyway. But frankly that brought us back to #2.


But a commenter here on Leavenworth Street made a great point:

Unless you’re just a sacrificial lamb, why, if you really think you have a good chance to be Governor, would you be running now? Why not cool your heels for a few years, then run when it will be an open seat? You would have a much better chance in four years, and in the mean time could build your political base, get better known, etc. etc. (And don’t tell us a loss helps for 2014.)

Again, it seems pretty obvious that Lakers was pushed into this race because no one else would do it.

Of course, maybe someone thinks this challenge will soften up Dave Heineman for a 2012 Senate run.

But who would think such a thing? Who…who…?


  1. Macdaddy says:

    I'm excited. Well, more like quietly pleased. Oh, hell. Who am I kidding. It's only been a couple of days and already the thought of the dems offering a sacrificial lamb has me bored.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nelson wants someone to run against DH so they can try and get him, ala Gerry Spence, to sign a pledge saying he will serve his full term and not run for another office. Don't count on DH taking the bait.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Is this guy kidding? I missed DTL that night. Let's just say that it's a sad day (or month, or year,) for Ds.
    No question that in August, Mr. Lakers will be still be, 'hitting the campaign trail soon.'

  4. macdaddy says:

    Somebody put him up to it. Either that or he's got a huge ego and no sense.

    I think that if this were designed as some sort of attempt to pigeonhole Heineman, it was a piss-poor attempt. A better strategy would have been to get a Tea Partier to try to split off…ah, hell. None of this makes any sense. So did Pierce finally move out of that van down by the river? Is that why his check bounced?

  5. Samp Watch says:

    Must be another one of Samp's boys

    "At least one Democrat is interested in the job. Adam Hilt is a 20-year-old student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Hilt tells Nebraska Watchdog he worked on Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle’s 2009 campaign. As of last Friday Hilt said he had not spoken to Suttle about the council seat."

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is disgusting and I will be pissed as hell if Suttle pushes for a 20 year old errand boy on the Omaha City Council!!!

    I would hope the Council would not be that stupid!

  7. One Out In The Third says:


    Like a gift horse…you shouldn't look a sacrificial lamb in the mouth.

    To say this will make Heineman commit to his entire next term is ludicrous…even though I wish it would.

    How about Mike Foley for Senate in 2012? What's his story? He seems to be a straight shooter looking out for the wee people…or is Joe Jordan just making him look that way?

  8. Macdaddy says:

    Jim Esch should throw his hat in the ring for the city council seat. Freebie seat and in 2 years he gets to challenge Lee Terry while actually having something on his resume.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Once upon a time, Jim Esch DID put his name up for a City Council seat. Lee Terry's seat, actually. Kind of funny when you think about it.

    The kid obviously just put his name in the mix without much thought to how unlikely it was he would get it. No one is going to seriously put a 20 year-old kid on the City Council.

  10. Mike Fahey Street says:

    Excellent! This is so much better than the "Suttle" and "Vokal" puns that we had to deal with all of last year. "Lakers" just lends itself to better jokes, especially if you're a Celtics fan!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Heard tonight that Sen Kent Rogert was hit by a car this afternoon while walking near the capitol. He is doing well but has a fracture in his cheek bone and is going to be sore in the morning.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Downtown lofts are not in CC district 7. Now, if he moved back in with mommy and daddy, then, he would be in the right neck of the woods.

    Maybe that is Dennis Esch's plan. Force Suttle to push the Council. Then resign when Jimmy's in 6 months after Jimmy has his time in.

    Just a thought.

  13. Wolves Fan says:

    With more coming out about Lakers Dave can begin to set his strategy. As an adept politiician need to know thy enemy in order to defeat. While also positioning himself to defeat Nelson. A pledge, BSDC, signing safe haven are not going to hurt him. The economy and budget is his biggest worrty. What will be ironic is that the stimilus money to bridge last years budget deficit will help him the most in reelection. Whateveer the hole this coming year will be harder to balance with just cuts and still be able to keep his standing with the schools and not raise property taxes. Probably will need to dip into cash reserve a bit and perhaps a big tobacco tax increase like a buck (similiar to what Johanns did in 02).

  14. Anonymous says:

    You can say what you want about Lakers, I still think its to early to make any rash judgments. Its DH That you need to put on the stand. He needs to tell us WHY he should be able to stay in office. He is a carrer politician. DH has never had a JOB. What does he know about job creation? When you dont perform you need to leave…

  15. Watching a fool says:

    "But in an interview with Nebraska Watchdog, Sakalosky insists he has spent the last several months quietly, very quietly, knocking on anywhere from 6,000 to 7,000 doors in the 2nd Congressional District."

    It must have been quiet, I have not heard of one person saying SAKman came to their door. I think Sak's statement is kind of like OTOC saying they had 1000 coffees at Omaha homes.

    I think Hilt has a better chance of being a councilman than Sakman beating Lee

  16. curbfeeler says:

    Sweeper, great job dissecting Walton.

    Walton's assessment of Lakers is actually Walton's own pleading wishlist laid out like a splayed trout on a cleaning board. News folk like Walton never think they are transparent even when the blind can see through them.

  17. Pol Observor says:

    From OWH:
    "Rogert said that he thought he was OK, but was urged by a colleague, Omaha Sen. Tom White, to go to the hospital. "From his boxing experience, he knew what was coming," Rogert said."

    If I was Sen. Lathrop I would get the retainer papers down to Rogert's office immediately. I think Tom White may have beaten you to the punch!!!!

  18. ttg says:

    Having proved your willingness to fight in combat for the very thing you have the gall to suppose you can lead as an elected official, is the difference between a free adult and a perpetual adolescent.

    Yes, there are Republicans who have been too busy to don a uniform. But in truth, it is the Liberal Democrats who crap on our Constitution's demand that military defence be goverment's only real job and that all the rest is added fluff.

    If you want to decide things about goverment, first show some real willingness to risk your life in its service. Frankly, that should be a requirement to run for office.

    Yes, DH's military service is a "real job".

    The question is, is ML being a pig sty juggler anything near as real or credible?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am very glad that some one will be running against deficit Dave. It will be a tough race for Lakers and the democrats to win. I think they realize it. But who ever heard of Senator "GOP" Brown of blue state Massachusetts. Plus if the stories about Heineman gutting state aide to schools is true, then your right it may not be a close race. The democrats would win in a walk.

  20. Smells like Bacon says:

    If Governor Dave has to slash the budget because of Obama's economy, he has my support. So Anonymous above, how would you balance the budget? With Pig S@!T !!!

  21. Hog Suey says:

    Love to hear how Mark Lakers is going to fund a 100 million dollar shortfall in state aid to schools. Figuring he gave money to Obama, it will be in higher taxes!!!!

  22. Two Men Enter One Man Leave says:

    Remember Master of Master Blaster? You know the midget that lived below Barter Town and lived in Pig S#*T in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Reminds me a lot like Mark Lakers. I think Gov Dave will swat this political midget worse than Johanns did Kleeb

  23. Anonymous says:

    Finding the money for State aide can be done with out making schools gut their own budgets and firing teachers. 1. Take some money out of the State savings. This is what that money was supposed to be used for. 2. Raise the Booze and tobacco tax. 3. Make sure the Stimlus money is used for this. We still have lots of that money that has not been used. Yes our roads are in bad shape but they will last one more year. Hopefully by then the economy will be turned around. I am sure most GOP don't want the economy to turn around because that would make Obama look good. But most GOP say they love America but seem to hate many Americans.

  24. Pulled Pork says:

    To anonymous above: Just as I thought, RAISE TAXES!!! Second the stimulus money is already being used to balance the budget and it runs out next year!!! Finally you want to take the money out of the Roads fund??? Does the Pig man know the roads dept is already underfunded and that anymore cuts will hurt rural Nebraska. Are you saying we take the gas tax and put it in the general fund??? Please enlighten us.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You Right wingers. You make me sick. All you care about is Money. Your precious taxes may go up a few cents.You rather save a nickel than see kids get a good education. You rather save a penny than see Americans get decent health care. Go back to the slime pitts you dragged your self out of and let people have a chance. There are a lot of ways to balance the budget. Raising taxes along with the correct cuts must be looked at. I am waiting to see some one say what they would do. Instead I hear nothing but complaints, and insults. Two or more can play that game.

  26. Hog Wild says:

    Taxes go up a few cents??? Ok liberal Lakers backer. I'll support a tax that raises 2 cents more a person. Will you then stop whining. The only problem is, it is never a few cents. Obama promised not to raise any taxes on families making under 250k a year. He lied and so are you!!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Name one tax increase that any American has got this year from Obama? 95% of Americans including me got a tax cut this year. Has for tax increases hurting or helping the economy? That is a good question. It depends on the situation. In the 1950's taxes were very high. Our economy was booming Clinton did the same thing in the 1990s. In the 60's and the 80's JFK and Regean cut taxes that seemed to help the economy. For this time period we seem to be more like the 50's and the 90's

  28. Nick Naylor says:

    "For this time period we seem to be more like the 50's and the 90's"

    You sir are in need of some serious help. You really think our current economic situation warrants tax increases? Go back to school.

    Also Obama has skillfully raised taxes on a number of things that affect those under 250k a year. Cigarette taxes anyone? Who do you think that effects more? The 'rich' or Joe Six pack trying to unwind after his days work?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Anony 6:25, you did not get a tax cut, you got a tax credit. The whopping $14 bucks a paycheck you got last year, you borrowed it from your tax refund that you would have gotten this year.

    All I ask is that you don't go "postal" on the poor instant refund tax preparer when he or she tells you that you're not getting back a couple hundred to play with, you're getting back a couple $20's to put in your gas tank.

    Don't shoot the messenger-they didn't vote for the stimulus last January AND NEITHER DID A SINGLE REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I already filed my taxes and I definitely got a tax cut compared to last year. And I continue to love the new deduction allowed last year and again this year – $1000 for property taxes. Given my property taxes have gone up 35% in the last eight years, that deduction helps to pay the bill Heineman's people have jacked up on me.

  31. I hate lying liberals says:

    Funny Anonymous above, you are a liar!!! The state of Nebraska's constitution forbids state property taxes. Read your statement!!! You Laker's people are idiots!! Blame OPS, Jim Suttle, MAT, and all the other local entities that levy a property tax.

  32. Piggly Wiggly says:

    Jim Suttle and Chris Jerram are Heinemann's people….lol!! Those are the people raising your property taxes. You guys must have brains made of pig s@!t!!!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, you left wingers are fiscally inept. You think the money that goes to schools from "The Government" comes from some magic place other than your own pocket. You feed needless bureaucracy and then thank it for its tyranny.

    No wonder your symbol is an ass.

  34. Anonymous says:

    As Heineman's people pull money from schools, the local districts have to find ways to up valuations. I've known people who work for the State that go out to work with the Counties, and all purposely work to find ways to increase a valuation. If Heineman was serious about helping with the property tax issue, there are a lot of things he could have done to reduce the need for increases at the state level. He's refused. She it is Heineman and his stooges that are responsible fore continual increasing of property taxes.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yes the 50's and the 90's both of those decades had recessions that were solved by giving the middle class a tax break and making the rich pay more. With more government pending. It is called Kenyessian economics. Go read a history book it will tell you that. I am sorry that trickle down does not work. It is a great idea if you love corperate welfare and believe that the richer you are the better you are.

  36. Macdaddy says:

    I sure hope that it's the same person putting up all these inane statements about economics. I would be seriously depressed if it were more than one.

  37. Some Pig says:

    I think Mark Lakers needs a lesson in economics. He thinks taxing Nebraskans will create jobs. maybe he needs to take a class from Richard Carter at Metro!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Didya notice how porkmaster Ben Nelson, who actually looks sort of porcine, doesn't generate as much profanity as does Mark Lakers who trades in pig stys?

    Pork smells better than a sty. Still, its all pigs.

    New NDP symbol: A pig riding a donkey.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Here we have all these problems brought on by the Bush borrow and spend policies that hurt all Nebraskans and Americans. Do I hear any solutions? NO! Just pig jokes. You may not like my solutions or the democrats. But at least we have some. The GOP equals the party of NO< NO< NO>

  40. macdaddy says:

    Anon 1:29: Did you actually think about that post before you wrote it? You think Bush's borrow and spend policies have hurt America? What do you think of Obama's borrow and spend policies? They make Bush's look like amateur night. So you think borrowing $200-400 billion a year is bad but borrowing $1600 billion a year is good? That's the Democrats wonderful plan? Tell me, are you currently broke? What's your credit rating?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Republicans are the Party of No.

    No to slavery ( Its a Democrat who was a Klans man)
    No to tax increases
    No to GOVERNMENT RUN Healthcare!

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