Monday meanderings

Can Jon Bruning be beaten in a three-way race?

Omaha attorney, and former Senate candidate, Dave Kramer tells the AP that he thinks it is possible.

Of course anything is possible.

The theory is that Bruning would be joined by two other relatively strong candidates — in this scenario, Don Stenberg and Mike Foley (who gave Don Walton a “maybe, maybe not”) — in the 2012 GOP primary.

We would agree that, of course, in a three-way race the vote is going to be more dilluted. But there is no particular reason to think that votes for Foley would necessarily come from Bruning to give Stenberg a win, as Kramer hints.

Frankly, it could be just as plausible that the Attorneys General could split the AG votes, thus giving Foley a tilt.  Or that anti-Bruning votes are split between Foley and Stenberg, giving Bruning an easy layup.

Then again this discussion is all in a vacuum and does not really mean much.

What are the issues? Who is getting their message out? Who knows?

The best point made in the article is that if Ben Nelson does not run, the candidate list may very well change — to possibly include a Jeff Fortenberry or Lee Terry. Now THAT would shake things up.

And just to round things out, Kramer threw this one out:

“If Ben is the nominee in 2012, whoever his opposing candidate is will be scrutinized like they’ve never been scrutinized before. Ben’s task will be to tear down whoever his opponent is _ and he’ll do it. There will not be a nook or a cranny not explored.”

Now kiddies, Kramer here is making an oh-so-subtle hint that maybe one of the candidates could have background issues to be examined. We will go further to say that DK is suggesting that maybe GOP voters should tilt towards someone more squeaky clean.  You probably haven ‘t heard the last of this.

FYI readers: This primary may not be pretty.


In the mean time, Bruning has Shane Osborn as a campaign chairman. Good to see Shane staying involved, and good for Bruning to quickly gather his team.

And Ben Nelson tells us that when he votes for Harry Reid as Majority Leader, it really means that he is “independent”. Got that?


Lots of Recall circulators on the main streets across Omaha over the weekend. (But were there any at the Qwest Center before or after the Creighton game on Sunday? Would have seemed like a prime spot to be…)

Note that the opposition has gone from, “they won’t get enough” to “they’re illegal!”. Of course those protests are anecdotal, and haven’t proved to be official yet. If the Recallers fail to get enough, we doubt it will be because Wayne Dwops from Keeffaulin, HD signed the petition eight times.

Watch for hints from each side that they’re going into the campaign-vote mode.


Be sure to follow our Tweets at for the occasional update.
(It’s what all the cool kids are doing…)


  1. Anonymous says:

    what we know is that in 2006, Stenberg did not fare so well in a crowded primary. Talk all you want about this or that, Bruning is off and running, as he should be.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This should be about who will hold Mr. 'Independent' Ben Nelson accountable by removing him from office in 2012. As of right now Bruning is the only one that will be able to do that.

  3. Jesse says:

    EBN is not running again and Bruning is going to be the Republican nominee. The real question is who is going to be the Dems nominee? Are they going to have Kleeb be the sacrifical lamb again? He's good at that. Or maybe they could ask the Little Girl out in the third who spent nearly two years campaigning and only has a couple thousand votes to show for it. One thing is certain, the winner of the Republican primary will be the next US Senator from Nebraska.

  4. NE Voter says:


    Tinyman has announced that he will be holding FOUR separate inaguaral balls.

    Given NE's budget crisis, methinks now is not the time to take pages from Louis XIV's playbook.

    Let them eat cake, Sally!

  5. Anonymous says:

    NE Voter, that's actually more like Obama's playbook. Actually, a very small portion of Obama's playbook for "How to spend wads and wads of cash for your inauguration."

    Did you ever read how much Obama spent on his gigantic party? I'd provide you a link but SS frowns on those, so why don't you google it?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Squeaky clean image? Kramer hinting that one of the Repubs has a skeleton in his closet? Oh, gasp, what ever could it be?

    I hope whatever it is has better wheels than the old "gossip reporter overheard someone who looks like Lee Terry say something to the effect of 'Winston, you're drunk' or 'I'm getting drunk' to a comely woman who might be a lobbyist" skeleton.

    Pretty weak broth, that one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Looks like post-election boredom over at NNN.

    Over the past week a grand total of 21 comments were posted. Wow.

    LS gets 4-5 times that on a single article.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What do you want to bet that Mello is planning a run? I bet he may try to run to the left of Ben, much like Halter did to Lincoln in Arkansas. Mello will do anything possible to get his name in the paper, including running against his ole buddy Ben.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A friendly note to hizzz honor, the soon to be EX Mayor of Omaha… better brush up the resume. The Recall Committee is in the final stretch and they have the signatures! There just working on the cushion now.

  10. Who Doctor Who Doctor says:

    anon 6:02

    So if Terry Wallace was calling the race it might be a run away like I always used to do? "And down the stretch they come…pulling away at the end it's Who Doctor Who. Falling further behind it's the West Virginia gray 'Red SUV' with jockey Matt on the mount.

  11. Objecting Conservative says:

    IF Omaha was really concerned with saving money they wouldn't hold their elections out of cycle. As it is it only helps the Unions control the whole process. The thought being with a perpetual low voter turn out they have more of an impact. Maybe someone with courage will do something about it and move the elections?

    Doubt it. Not too many out there in Omaha with the stones to get er done.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it is time for Vile Kyle Michaelis to quit drafting drivel and put his hat in the ring, putting his money where his mouth is as it were.

    Come on Kyle, run for something. Challenge Bruning perhaps? After all, the power behind the throne in the Kleeb family has your back, doesn't she? You've always got all the answers on your little read blog. Show us what you've got.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Steve could win NE-2. Not sure about a statewide race. In Nebraska, that is. Now, if he was from Iowa instead …

    (Maybe he could find a new address like he did for his first legislative campaign.)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lathrop wouldn't stand a chance. He lucked out running unopposed for re-election.

    If you thought Tom White was not ready for the "prime time", he was 10 times better than Lathrop.

    Lathrop will wait to run for Governor and get wiped out by whoever the GOP candidate is.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Do not underestimate Lathrop. He is very smart and knows what he's doing. He also has a decent look for TV/PR and a little experience in that regard (his law firm TV ads, the floor of the Legislature?) NE-2 probably more doable for him than a statewide race but I wouldn't be surprised to see him enter anything that involved a bigger stage.

  16. Anonymous says:

    anon 9:12-seems like i heard the exact same thing about Tome White. The only difference was when they were saying it about White, they added that White would mop the floor with Terry in the debates…didn't happen with White and won't with the even better lathrop.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Lathrop is one of the most boring speakers I've ever heard. He's as much of a back-stabbing lib as Benedict Nelson and wouldn't stand a chance against Bruning.


  18. Anonymous says:

    Will Mark Fahleson become the very first NEGOP chairman who fails at recruiting a candidate to run for Lincoln Mayor because he's too busy trying to get a "do-over" for the Omaha Mayoral election the year before?

  19. ethan says:

    One of the only issues for Lathrop will be his divorce……. never a pretty thing.

    But don't even compare Lathrop to White. White is just an intelligent bully. Where Lathrop is not only intelligent but very engaging. Lathrop also has the BSDC fix in his bag along with a few other things here and there. Lathrop would do very well with independents and that is where the race will be. Bruning has way too much baggage to garner 1/2 the independents. Couple that with all the Trial Lawyers and Unions and you would have a very formidable candidate. Why else would Lathrop be playing along on the CIR reform (he gets a pass from the Unions)?

    Then if EBN and Raimondo get behind Lathrop…… To bad the Gov dropped out as he would be a pretty sure bet.

  20. Anonymous says:

    ethan, thats a pipe dream.

    the problem is a Repub in this state does not need 1/2 the independents.

    A dem candidate needs GOP votes in the General.

    This is Nebraska

  21. Anonymous says:

    So — State Senator Robert Giese (LD17) has had to resign in order to keep from violating a state statute that prohibits dual office-holding. Geise won an uncontested election to the office of Dakota County Treasurer on Nov. 2.

    What genius in the NDP allowed this to happen? Vic? Jim? Ian?

    Who here believes that Gov. Heineman will appoint a Republican to replace the Democrat following his resignation?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I'm already tired of Bruning and he hasn't even entered the race…so to speak. Just doing that Lewis and Clark thing to bide his time and not have to account.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I hear Chad Wright will be moving back to Utah by the end of the year. Glad to see NEGOP recruits candidates that are commited to the citizens of our state.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Bob Giese got a payraise to serve as Dakota county treasurer, how bad is that? We are getting what we pay for in the state legislature. As long as fast food pays better than the state legislature we're always going to have poor management.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Anon 9:28 so you think only poor managers are senators?

    Steve Lathrop
    Tom White
    Brad Ashford
    Scott Laugtenbaugh
    Ron Raikes
    Mike Flood

  26. Anonymous says:

    I don't know what Bruning's negatives are. If they're high enough, Lathrop can win. Yeah, sure, he ran uncontested this year but that wasn't luck. He ran a solid campaign to beat Jean Stothert last time around. His first time around. In a Republican district. If he was so beatable, why didn't anyone challenge him?

    Say what you want, but Steve is a formidable politician with a lot of insight and political instincts. I get irritated with the libs on here who make mindless attacks on quality people like Jeff Fortenberry. I've been called a jackass by BTO and a rightwinger by Bud, so it's not like I'm some democrat shill. And I'm tellin' ya, anyone who tries to claim things like "Steve is a boring speaker" or "Steve got lucky not having anyone run against him" is about as dumb as the moron who is bashing Mark Fahleson for not recruiting someone to run against a popular incumbent mayor of Lincoln (who has governed from center if not a little right of center.)

  27. Anonymous says:

    anon 11:16- Have you ever sat in on any Judiciary Hearings and listened to Lathrop drone on and on nearly incoherently? It's not pleasant at all.
    Also, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have a chance in hell against Stothert these days. She was a virtual unknown back when she ran for the Unicam… not so much anymore.


  28. Right Wing Professor says:

    I don't normally call Michaelis 'Vile Kyle', but his latest effusion on NNN has to be read to be believed. It's 2000 words of hating on Scott Lautenbaugh. Evidently Kyle is worried about redistricting, as well he should be. And for some reason he thinks Scott is going to be an especially ardent and effective redictricter. I like him already. 🙂

    The best part is when Kyle hoists the banner of 'non-partisanship'. This is the guy who keeps a scorecard of how the Democrats in the mythically non-partisan legislature are doing.

    On that point, redistricting is supposed to preserve county lines where possible. That doesn't mean 'Douglas County lines'. I see absolutely no legal problem with a redistricting proposal that preserves the integrity of Sarpy County, and carves out a chunk of Douglas County, to be added to the third district. You can't keep them both intact, so why not divide Douglas County for a change?

    But jeez, you have to wonder about the sanity of someone who proclaims the virtue of non-partisanship on the most partisan blog in Nebraska.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me how part of Douglas County could be carved out to become part of the 3rd congrssional district, considering cd3 starts somewhere around York? Just another example of how much of a novice RWP is to politics. I'm surprised he can even find his voting location…oh yeah he can't.

  30. Right Wing Professor says:

    Why does anonymous coward at 7:46 think the third district can't be extended more extensively into NE Nebraska? It needs population added anyway. Push the second district southwestward. It makes no sense to have Saline County in the third. And Fortenberry's in no danger.

    (Saline County is east of York, by the way. But I know once you get beyond 680, it all turns into a blur for some of you. )

    I voted early, by the way.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Right Wing Professor is so flipping stupid and stubbornly proud he won't admit he made a mistake and there's no concieveable way Douglas county could be in CD3. The man is a sociopath.

  32. Ethan says:

    RWP, the 2CD is completely surrounded by the 1CD. Perhaps this is what you are meaning to say.

    As for the individual bashing RWP, really? This is one of the problems in today's discourse. So little tolerance for even a small misstep. I hope you don't raise your children in the same manner. Perhaps you could elevate your game just a wee bit, and then people might give your comments more consideration.

    RWP- You are so right about NNN and the venom on there.

  33. Frankley says:

    I suspect there will be plenty of fireworks this legislative session.

    1. Redistricting
    2. Fiscal Policy
    3. Winner Take all
    4. Redistricting

    Those on the right need to get their ear plugs out as there will be a LOT of bashing and complaining. It's already started with Sen Nordquist being upset about Sen Gloor running for the Vacated Chair of the Nebraska Retirement committee. See Nordquist is the current Vice Chair and Gloor isn't on the committee. Will be interesting to watch it play out. Perhaps there is a lesson for future Senators on how not to behave for 2 years and then expect all to be forgiven?

  34. Right Wing Professor says:

    Anonymous coward at 9:19 a.m.:

    Want me to draw you a map?

    The problem with the current boundaries is that the current districts

    2nd: moderately Democrat; borders only the 1st
    1st: slightly Democrat; borders both the others
    3rd: not at all Democrat; borders only the 1st

    …limit redistricting. You can exchange voters between 1st and 2nd, but that just makes the 1st more vulnerable. And it doesn't help much to move the western edge of the 1st; there are very few Democrats on either side. They did what they could plonking Saline County, which has some Democrats, into the 3rd, but that's already done, and won't help this time around.

    So what you need is a radical redistricting that transfers a lot of NE Nebraska to the 3rd, and creates a boundary between the 2nd and 3rd along the north edge of Douglas County. That adds plenty of voters to the 3rd, which has to be done anyway, and if it's too many, you can push the 1st district boundary back a little.
    That way, any time the margin in the 2nd district gets too thin, you can move some more of Douglas County into the 3rd, and compensate the 2nd with some more population S and W of Omaha. It's a permanent fix, and the strategic moment to do it is now, given the GOP edge in the legislature

    Until you create a map that allows all three districts to border each other, your options are going to be limited.

    Granted, the editors of the newspapers will scream, but pretty much everyone knows they're political hacks.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Are you all getting this here? District maps are based on geography, not party demographics in each district. RWPs alleged plan, which is only an elaborate way of denying he made a very simple mistake, makes absolutely no sense at all. It would be much easier to admit that he meant CD2 instead of CD3, but he'd rather construct some elaborate plan which makes no sense whatsoever.

  36. Right Wing Professor says:

    Are you all getting this here? District maps are based on geography, not party demographics in each district.

    Surely you aren't this naive, anonymous coward at 10:11?

    Google 'Florida Congressional Maps'. Or pretty much any other large state. Explain how PA-12, or FL-8, or FL-24, or FL3, or IL-17, or… (I could name a couple of score others) are based on 'geography'.

    Do you know the origin of the term 'gerrymander'? Hint, Elbridge Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and 'mander' is part of an amphibian.

  37. All you haters says:

    you can kill the messenger, but not the message. RWP might make your skin prickle, but his ideas on redistricting are right.

    We only have three districts (for now) and a limited amount of opportunity to solve the two problems of increasing population in Omaha and decreasing population in CD3. Getting them to touch now could create an easy way to directly address both problems in the future without it being necessary to involve CD1. As it stands now, and historically, CD1 is the buffer that gets mashed around to solve the problems of the other districts.

  38. Right Wing Professor says:

    If you broke Douglas County into, say, eight pieces, and left all the other counties intact, one could write a computer program that would run on any PC in a fraction of a second that would generate numerous maps in which no county but Douglas was chopped up, all three congressional districts were contiguous, and all had a safe GOP majority. There are actually only a third of a million possibilities, and most can be discarded for non-contiguity or unevenness. Then you rank 'em by which ones leave the current districts the least affected, and present 'em to the party chair. He'd probably discard the really bizarre looking maps, but I'd bet dollars to donuts you'd still be left with a good dozen or so acceptable ones.

    It would be a short afternoon's work. In this day and age, there no reason to do this sort of thing by the seat of one's pants. In fact, I'm pretty sure that they do it this way in most states.

  39. Anonymous says:

    RWP and 11:08, this attitude is why Repubs why eventually be a 3rd party (like in Colorado; google it). Non-political people are sick and tired of political games being played by whichever party is in power, and the Rs are much worse at this (look at Austin Tx for an example). Iowa's redistricting is done by a non-partisan commission. Florida voters passed an amendment to limit gerrymandering. Now you can easily find examples of Dems also doing this, but Rs have been much worse in current times. (Now I understand how your minds work. You can find one example of Dems doing something "political" or unethical when there are hundreds of similar Repub examples, but the R ones are ignored and the Dems are branded as just as bad if not worse.) You don't really give a damn about this state or country. Just want more and more power.. Fine, you'll own the problem when Nebraska's economy goes in the tank after the House Repubs make good on their promise to reduce government, including farm subsidies (though I doubt their actions will match their rhetoric). And there is still that issue of a $1.4 billion deficit.

  40. Anonymous says:

    A simple North/South redistricting, rather than the current East/West configuration could easily bring North Omaha into the 3rd CD (for now.) It would indeed set the stage for the expected loss of the 3rd CD following the 2020 census.

    The future political map of Nebraska could have the northeast corner of the state, dominated by Douglas County, in one CD, and everything left over dominated by Lancaster County.

    The Legislature can redistrict however it so chooses, and with 34 Republican and 15 Democratic state senators, it doesn't take a genius (which I assume RWP is) to foresee the possibilities.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, we can split Douglas County in half diluting black people's votes on the north side and dilute brown people's votes on the south side.

    Crack Douglas County into thirds, even. Redraw the north side into the current rural 3rd, 2nd could include west Omaha and spread westward, and the 1st could be south Omaha and parts of Sarpy going into southeast Nebraska.

    This is about creating permanent majorities, people.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Of course it makes perfect sense to have Saline County in the third district if you are trying to neutralize it by taking it out of the first district where voters that are heavily Dem might make a difference.

    Granted there are some far right counties in the lower southeast area of NE, but they can be countered by those in the north and Lancaster.

  43. Right Wing Professor says:

    RWP and 11:08, this attitude is why Repubs why eventually be a 3rd party (like in Colorado; google it). Non-political people are sick and tired of political games being played by whichever party is in power, and the Rs are much worse at this (look at Austin Tx for an example).

    Look at Illinois for an example.

    Majority parties have been gerrymandering since the dawn of the Republic, and minority parties have whined about fairness for the same length of time. The Florida amendments were passed this year, by an electorate that voted for a Republican Governor, a Republican Senator, and a veto-proof Republican State House.

  44. Piqued says:

    Any thoughts on which 2 districts out west will be moved to the Metro area? Seems to me Sen's McCoy and Price's districts will need to be split. So 2 more R's in the 2CD will neutralize Omaha Libs either way.

  45. Hastings School Board Member says:

    I would redistrict CD 1 to have a narrow strip running down 1-80 then South to include Hastings. Just my 2 cents.

  46. Secretary of State Staffer says:

    It's funny that Gerard Harbison has time to plot how to gerrymander the entire state but doesn't take time to vote.

  47. The Ranch Hand says:

    To Hastings School Board Member: I agree with your comment. Hastings is progressive like Lincoln and should be in CD 1. Plus we have a congressman in the 3rd that doesn't represent our views. We need someone with a solid education background and familiarity with the Green Economy to run against the Fort.

  48. Harvey Perlman says:

    Right Wing Professor, how do think this makes the University of Nebraska look when you get on here and actively promote gerrymandering, or the other crazy things you've said like Obama is a terrorist or he's not a citizen? How do you think it looks when you get into these petty little fights with people?

  49. Anonymous says:

    farmer rick, as it happens, I've testified in front of judiciary as well as several other committees over the last number of years. I ccompare Steve Lathrop favorably with anyone who has served in that body in the last decade or more. He's bright, articulate, has a quick grasp of the issues, is very persuasive and is able to influence other Legislators to support his positions. He's clearly among the most effective Legislators right now.

    And whoever is attacking RWP about redistricting, stop embarrassing yourself. No rule says the geographic bou.daries of the Congressional districts must run north/soutb. They could just as easily make CD1 everything south of I-80. And you can whine that it's Republican gamesmanship, but it's actually practiced by whoever's in charge. Just happens to be Republicans here and now but Dems would do it in a heartbeat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.