The Cornhusker Kickback LIVES

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson took to the cablewaves of FoxNews last night to discuss the history of the Cornhusker Kickback with Greta Van Susteren. See the whole thing here:

First a few superficial items before we hit the meat:

1) Hey, Nelson staffers! Your boss is going on one of the highest rated shows in the country. Clean off the desk behind him for Pete’s sake!

It doesn’t look “busy” or “important”. It looks sloppy.

2) This is the first time we’ve noticed the Benator with his reading glasses. Reminds us of SpongeBob.

***

So the gist of the entire interview is, really, Who Asked for the Cornhusker Kickback?

Now that’s not what Nelson would want you to walk away with. He wanted to keep talking about how the important items to him were Single Payer, Abortion, and Unfunded Mandates.

OK, fine. We had read about those issues for some time.

But let’s hit the question of Who asked for one hundred million dollars to Nebraska, or who came up with that number?

Here’s what we get:

4:30
Greta: “When was the first time you heard…that Nebraska would get … a $100 million provision?”
Nelson: “Probably during the discussions on how we would get an opt-out.”

8:30
Greta: “Who came up with the idea that $100 million would go to Nebraska? Was that your idea?
Nelson: I think it was the idea — someone’s idea to put it in.
Greta: Someone?
Nelson: There were various people involved at various times.”

12:35
Greta: “Is (Majority Leader) Senator Harry Reid wrong when he says you wanted this (the Cornhusker Kickback), that you got it for yourself?”
Nelson: “I don’t know what he means by ‘got it for myself'”.

13:05
Greta: “Whose idea was it for the $100 million? … By whom?”
Nelson: “I didn’t draw the bill so I don’t know the answer.”

Now keep in mind that during the rest of the interview Nelson was pulling out quotes and floor statements and articles (hence the reading glasses), and was trying to be as specific as possible.

But…not on the CRUX of the Cornhusker Kickback.
Not on the $100 million.
Not on who asked for it or who came up with it.

Now you can draw your own conclusions on this.

And of course, millions of Americans have come to their own conclusions — including lots and lots in Massachusetts who cited the Cornhusker Kickback as the reason why Ted Kennedy’s old seat went to a Republican. (Which, for some reason, Nelson is in denial on.)

But here are the facts: It took Nelson three days to come up with an alibi on the Cornhusker Kickback, after it was announced.
And he still doesn’t have an answer for where it came from or by whom.

The spectre and embarrassment of the Cornhusker Kickback is still on Senator Ben Nelson.

33 comments

  1. Shoe Salesman says:

    Why do you think that Nelson's effort to keep you from paying higher taxes to cover the Medicaid expansion is a bad thing?

    He saved Nebraska's butt. Sweeper is buying into the Right Wing talking points – note use of the term "alibi."

    Who needs an alibi for doing the right thing for his state.

    Things are really twisted when you dont want your Congressional Delegation looking out for your interests in Washington. Hey, I guess we should have all seen that coming – look at the other feckless and ineffectual members of Congress from Nebraska. They are simply warm plasma. At least Nelson is delivering earmarks, stimulus funds and jobs, road projects, hospital funding, Medicaid funding all while blocking the public option and prohibiting federal funds for abortion.

    Why the hate, anyway?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sweeps, you didn't watch the video close enough. His office staff had done all they could to clean up after the Benator before the camera crews got there. If you watch you'll notice the staff even left the shovel they use to scoop up his bullshit leaning against the wall behind Gretty.

    On another network, Frontline paid tribute to Ben for getting Scott Brown elected to Ted Kennedy's seat. The man has become a real media star. The national press hasn't been this consumed by anyone from Nebraska since Charlie Sarkweather caught their eye back in '57.

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    Shoe:
    So which is it? Did Nelson get the Cornhusker Kickback, or didn't he?

    The CK is a bad thing because it was buying someone's vote.

    Sorry you can't understand why that's something we frown on.

    Oh, and note the final questions on whether we, the taxpayers, can afford the FEDERAL payment on the Medicare deal. "I don't know" was the refrain.

    Wait, we "don't know" how the Health Care legislation will affect everyone? SHOCKER!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, well, Tea Partiers are racist bigots, so there. Nya.

    And what part of "free" in "free health care" do you not understand?

    Go Ben! Thanks for getting us Nebraskans a bunch of money from the Federal Gov't (which they obviously obtained from taxing people in New York and Florida).

    You got us a bunch of cash and still these racist nimrods complain. Ignore them. Run proudly on your Cornhusker Kickback. You should have no problems getting reelected. None.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You tell 'em, Shoe! Nelson's efforts to keep us from paying higher state taxes in order to cover Medicaid expansion is a great thing! Now, we can pay the money to the Feds instead. If anyone can't see why that's a better deal, Shoe will bop 'em on the head.

  6. Right Wing Professor says:

    Ethics 101, Shoesniffer. Act as if your action, generalized, could become a universal maxim. Or, as my Mom might have put it, what would happen if everyone did that?

    Well, what would have happened with HCR if the Cornhusker Kickback had passed is the flimsy veneer of pretense that HCR pays for itself would have been shattered. Reid couldn't afford to give it to everyone.

    And that's the gaping hole in your argument that Nelson brings home the pork. With 100 Senators, most of them better pork-hounds than Nelson, we are paying as a nation $17 bn a year in earmark funding. That's a couple of hundreds of bucks apiece for each one of us who actually pays taxes — almost as big a bite as the couple of hundred bucks we each had to shell out to pay for Nelson's previous 'bad faith' over the Boyd Co. Nuke Dump.

    Nebraska is part of a nation. And our nation can't afford men like Ben Nelson any more.

  7. Anonymous says:

    MacDaddy, you're just jealous that MY reality is better than yours. Probably because you pay taxes, but that's besides the point.

  8. Oh mander says:

    Money = Good. How's that for a universal maxim?

    PS – "One of the highest rated shows in the country" ???? I suppose it's also "fair and balanced." You're better than that SS.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Greta's an idiot. Ben had to keep explaining process to her and she couldn't wrap her mind around it. What part of "placeholder" did she not understand? If it's not in before going to conference, it won't get addressed. Duh.

  10. Anonymous says:

    2:08,

    Well, that's because Nelson didn't make up the "placeholder" concept until after the sh*tstorm hit.

    Which is why he "can't" name the "someone" who came up with the 100M amount.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 12:33, it must be nice sponging off other people. There used to be a time in this state when people were embarrassed to do that.

  12. Shoe Salesman says:

    Sweeper – Nobody said he didn't "get" the money. You all act like you absolutely know his intentions. Your political libido is in overdrive.

    Nelson wanted the opt-out. they couldn't do that. He took the Nebraska provision as a placeholder to work out the unfunded mandate in conference.

    Im not sure why you cant follow that.

    Nelson saved Nebraska's state budget from a $300 million unfunded mandate – a budget already $1 billion in deficit under deficit dave – and eventually did the same for EVERY state.

    Heine asked him to fix it and he did. Heine saw a political opportunity and took it. Perfect example of how he's nothing but a hack. JOhanns did the same in 2003 when he "refused" extra medicaid funding for states – then in the dark of night used that money to plug a hole in his budget of nearly the exact same size.

    I realize this is a political blog and the appropriate grounds for playing politics. I'm just trying to keep the truth within reach.

    By the way SS – thought you were above the name calling.I've noticed a significant uptick in the personal insults you hurl from your perch lately. Maybe we finally know who you are, Btox?

  13. Street Sweeper says:

    Shoe,

    Uh, yes we get it buddy. We heard BEFORE Christmas what Nelson said he wanted.

    And we heard about what he felt about unfunded mandates.

    But we're not talking about that. Van Susteren asked multiple times who asked for the $100 million Cornhusker Kickback ("Did you order the Code Red!!?!"), and Nelson continually dodged it.

    Harry Reid doesn't have any problem saying who asked for it and who got it. But Nelson continues to deny, deny, deny.

    Apparently you just can't handle the truth.

  14. Macdaddy says:

    That was a good one Sweeper.

    I find it interesting that the leftists are out in full force trying to spin this and insult that. I guess it makes them feel good inside to strike a blow for their own fragile egos. It must be so frustrating when the little people aren't buying what they're selling.

  15. Shoe Salesman says:

    MacDaddy –
    has anyone ever posted more "me too!" or "I second that" posts than you? Sycophant.

    ask the teabagger professor what that means.

    Sweeper – Ben Nelson said what happened. "I asked for opt out." they came back with NE provision. "I wasn't focused on that – more worried about abortion and public option." Plan was to take care of it in conference.

    I realize Nelson's answers don't fit into your small mind and narrow view of the world. And frankly you aint the target audience for Nelson anyway.

    Maybe your bitter that Nelson cant be beat (except by the guy who owns the voting machines). this is your best shot to keep lying about what happened. Eventually, most rational Nebraskans will see the truth of Nelson's intentions.

    Securing 100 million for your state isn't a bribe. A bribe has to benefit you personally in some way. But you keep hammering that theme home because its a POLITICAL argument. Why don't you highlight the killing of the public option as a bribe? or the anti-abortion language as a bribe. Under your definition of bribe nelson admits that. Oh right, because it doesn't help you or hurt him politically.

  16. Street Sweeper says:

    Shoe,

    1) You say, "Securing 100 million for your state isn't a bribe." But Nelson says he DIDN'T do that! He denies that he did it! But would Nelson saying, "slap $100M for Nebraska on that bill and you got my vote" do it? We'll let Nebraskans and the rest of America decide that one.

    2) Gosh you seem confident that EBN could take down, say, DH. Interesting moxie there, cowboy. Though I'd say that anyone else would be a battle.

    3) And you may be right about Nelson's target audience. Clearly, it is "Suckers".

    And thanks for reading!

  17. Shoe Salesman says:

    Sweeper – Im not debating what Nelson says – im debating what you say. You (and most tea baggers here) wanna call it a bribe. it doesn't fit the definition of a bribe. But you keep it up for political purposes. I get it.

    What Nelson says, as you continuously point out – is irrelevant to this discussion.

    What no comeback on the abortion or public option?

    as for DH – he doesnt have the moxie to run against Nelson. He will end up in Sarah Palin's Cabinet!

    MacDaddy – get ready to fist bump…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Shoelicker, would earmarks for a fake company that doesn't do anything of value but provide a job for your son be a bribe or just theft?

  19. Anonymous says:

    NEWSFLASH!

    Shoe = EBN

    If not, they are both from the same gene pool as both are incredibly thin-skinned when it comes to taking criticism.

  20. Street Sweeper says:

    Shoe,

    Look through here and you will see that YOU are the only one calling it a bribe.

    I'm fairly sure it has been called a "kickback" (saw that somewhere).

    Of course the point is, Voters think it stinks and Nelson denies involvement — yet, frankly, no one believes him.

    Oh, and NRTL just stated today they won't endorse Nelson based on that vote. So, not sure what you want to do with that.

    Btw, hope you're not a Congressional staffer. Looks like you may be losing your coverage!

  21. macdaddy says:

    Nelson will not run in 2012. Everybody knows what he did and he knows everybody knows. Rant and rave all you want here, Shooey, what he did was indefensible. His vote was bought with taxpayer money and he doesn't have enough integrity to resign. The personal benefit to Nelson was that he would get to come back to Nebraskans in 2012 and brag about how he was protecting us. He drank 2 pitchers of Kool-aid and thought we would go for it. As for abortion, Nelson sold out on that, too. Lieberman was against the public option so it didn't really matter what Nelson's stance on that was.

  22. GeosUser says:

    The Benator was a featured player in Frontline documentary called "Obama's Deal" last night on PBS. The Cornhusker Kickback was front and center along with photos of the Benator with the President and audio of his "Aye" vote to pass Obamacare. When the lefties at PBS/WGBH/Frontline feature you as a gas bag corrupt pol, you're career is over Ben.

  23. Shoe Salesman says:

    Anon 609 April 4:
    Assuming you are talking about 21st Century Systems – did you forget that company got earmarks from Terry, Hagel and Osborne?

    Fake company? go ask the Navy – who uses their weapons systems to protect our soldiers and military assets if they are fake. Ask the dozens of Nebraska families employed by them if they are fake.

    Nice try – but that company had bipartisan support.

    Sweeper – are you claiming that you haven't perpetuated that the "kickback" is a bribe? You can't be serious.

    MacDaddy I hope you are right about Nelson not running again.

  24. Anonymous says:

    That's the company Shoe. They specialize in setting up phony offices in congressional districts and farming the corrupt earmark process. The fact that they get bipartisan support dosen't make them legit. It just proves that the R's & D's are both corrupt.

    The fact that Congress forces the military to take their sham products doesn't make them legit either. No doubt they will scrap the program you're refering to, if they haven't already, just as fast as they have everything else 21st Century has put out.

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