Why the Chatelain Memo?

On Wednesday, Mayor Suttle Recall Committee (MSRC) Treasurer John Chatelain wrote an extensive memo criticizing the actions of David Nabity as they related to Nabity’s involvement with the MSRC.

The OWH and Nebraska Watchdog among others have couched this as a hit by Chatelain on Nabity’s Mayoral ambitions.

But is that all it is?

First, click here to read the entire memo.

(That is sort of crucial to this whole matter, and frankly in this day and age of terabyte drives, Wikileaks and the internet tubes, is there really any excuse for NOT posting the whole thing?
Sheesh.)

OK, we will assume you’ve read it, or will do so when you’re done reading this post.

So here are our assumptions for Why Chatelain Wrote the Memo:

1. He is so caught up in political gamesmanship that he didn’t care if he threatened the entire recall by displaying the dirty laundry for all to see.

2. He is positive that Judge Pete Bataillon is going to rule against them and throw out the signatures and he is covering his ass.

3. He is nervous about how Judge Bataillon will rule, so he is throwing Nabity under the bus with the hope that none of it will stick on the MSRC.

That’s what we’ve got.

So let us break them down.
(Go ahead, refill that coffee, because we are getting in thick.)

***

The idea behind #1 is that Chatelain is wildly upset by the idea that Nabity tried to kick him out of the organization that he “founded” and take it over himself. He is so enraged that he is willing to potentially risk the very recall, just so that Dave Nabity can’t use any benefits he derived from it in order to get himself elected Mayor.

That is pretty much the gist of the OWH’s article on this.

But does that make any sense?

Sure it’s all relatively accurate depending on your point of view, but where does that get Chatelain? He says Nabity tried to take over the MSRC and he needs to “out” that in order to save the “integrity” of the organization.

What integrity?

They’re trying to throw Jim Suttle out of the Mayor’s office. We get it. It is what it is. It is politics. There is no inherit integrity involved. They want someone else in. Fine.

But are we to understand that Chatelain and the rest are simply in favor of Anyone But Suttle after that? Of course not. They want their candidate to step in, and apparently that ain’t Nabity.

But what if it is? Who cares? There are no points for integrity in all of this.

And by the way, one could make a very easy argument that they never would have gotten enough signatures if Nabity hadn’t been proactive to help fund the whole thing.

So if there isn’t more to it, didn’t he just hand the Anti-Recallers and the Judge some juicy info to dig into. So we get that Chatelain has an axe to grind against Nabity, but again, where does writing this three page memo get them after that?

No where. And when you read all the rest of the arguments Chatelain put in the memo, you can see that there must have been another reason for this.

***

So what are the reasons behind #2 — He is positive that Judge Pete Bataillon is going to rule against them and throw out the signatures and he is covering his ass.

Well, note that Chatelain — an attorney — goes to great lengths to talk about the outside groups that Nabity and his money brought in and how they were paid.

He talks about how Nabity “independently” hired Paul Jacobs of Citizens in Charge and how Jacobs would be paid. He then goes into some detail about how the “paid workers” would be paid. (Which paid workers isn’t clear.)

And of course, at the crux of the whole Anti-recallers court argument is how the circulators were paid.

So that gets us back to the reasoning on all this.

Does Chatelain think this is all going kerplooey and he wants to make the case that Nabity is all to blame and the MSRC is otherwise clean as the fallen snow?

Man, if that’s the case, he must REALLY be sure about his position. Because otherwise it would seem like he just threw out some ammo for Vince Powers (unless of course Powers already has this info, and will succeed with it).

***

Then there is #3 — He is nervous about how Judge Bataillon will rule, so he is throwing Nabity under the bus with the hope that none of it will stick on the MSRC.

If we had to bet, this is where we would put our cash. This is probably the argument they will make in their defense on the issue, if it is deemed that there was some sort of untoward payments going on. “It wasn’t the MSRC! Nabity did it!”

And then if they are successful in court, they can attempt to point to Nabity to say, “And HE almost screwed it up! Don’t vote for him!”

Now whether that part of the argument is true or not, that’s really a branch of #1 above. They might get that out of #3, but we would be very surprised to discover that #1 is the only reason for the memo.

***

So while the political intrigue is much more juicy in all of this, we think it is really based in the MSRC’s legal argument on December 20th.

So when the Judge rules, crank your hearing aides towards any mention of Citizens in Charge, what they did, and how they were paid.

There is a decent chance that the whole argument turns on that.

And then we can come back to the Chatelain Memo to see what he really meant.

**UPDATE-Dec 9**

Folks, in order to understand this even better, I think you need to listen to Nabity, Chatelain and Aspen on Tom Becka from last night.

Click here to go to Becka’s podcast page — you can also just click “Listen” to hear it.

Nabity is on the second half of the 4pm one, but then mainly listen to the 5pm one to hear Chatelain and Aspen as well.

After listening (we didn’t hear it last night) we are inclined to change our views on all this, a bit.

We will have another post up later.

32 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    It's more likely that Dave Nabity is a big mouth loose cannon who has a track record of bringing tumult and discord into every organization he joins. He did the same thing when he joined Trinity Interdenominational church as was finally forced out. He's also in serious trouble with his defamation suit and facing a major financial penalty there. He may have some good ideas but he has no track record of actually implementing any of them successfully.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whayever! Buh Bye Suttle.

    Now what about Pelini?

    Oh and who cares about Nabity? Other than a couple of Omaha Senators who got his money that is. He is getting to be a lot like Daub, old and needing to step back. I guess old elephants go to Omaha to end their political lives. A great winter to so I might add.

  3. Tom Becka says:

    Sweeper I know you don't allow links but if I may do some shameless self promotion I've got Nabity, Chatelain, and Aspen all on the air at the same time during the 5PM hour on my podcast page at kfab .com

  4. Anonymous says:

    or option #4 – Hal Daub and friends are behind the recall. Nabity jumped in and funded the thing because Hal couldn't actively do it. Chatelain is loyal to Hal and friends and they became nervous when it appeared Nabity was running for mayor and going to take the credit for the organization they started, but he funded.

  5. NE Voter says:

    Nabity is too bull-headed to realize that anyone who stood between Daub and the 3rd floor would end up as road kill.

    Though fun to see it all exposed, any one in the know has been aware of this since the git-go.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Recall group said it was going to be a neutral organization. Dave Nabity had other ideas. Dave was talking to people about a race for mayor and he got the boot.

  7. Street Sweeper says:

    Folks, in order to understand this even better, I think you need to listen to Nabity, Chatelain and Aspen on Tom Becka from last night.

    Click here to go to Becka's podcast page — you can also just click "Listen" to hear it.

    Nabity is on the second half of the 4pm one, but then mainly listen to the 5pm one to hear Chatelain and Aspen as well.

    After listening (we didn't hear it last night) we are inclined to change our views on all this, a bit.

    We will have another post up later.

  8. Anonymous says:

    After reading the memo, Daub's consultants can verify the contents of the memo? There is your answer right there. Daub push back, keeping Nabity from getting out in front.

  9. Uncle Wiggily says:

    Sweet Jebus … I've attended lectures on the quantum aspects of high-energy particle physics that were less convoluted and full of "yeah, but's …", "on the other hand's …" and "There's also the possibility that's …"

    C'mon Sweeper – give us old Third District reprobates a little something besides inside-Omaha shenanigans. One more post on Suttle/Nabity/Recall/Daub/Yadda-Yadda and I'm going to positively barf …

    Like for instance, has anyone else noticed the adroit insertion of a Herzberg diamond ring in the latest Geico commercial? The one where the lizard croons the gekko mating call? Altogether now … what do these starkly dissimilar companies have in common? That's right … and his initials are WB (and we're not talking Warner Brothers or Wonder Bread here, folks).

    Seems the Wizard of Big-O has found a very clever way to stretch his advertising dollar. No wonder he's rich ….

  10. Anonymous says:

    So why did Chatelain say Daub's consultants could verify and not Aspen or Jesse or other committee members. Why bypass the spokesman of the committee? DAUB

  11. Street Sweeper says:

    UW,
    I feel your pain (I'm biting my lower lip right now, to show you how much I feel your pain).

    But this is the biggest show in town right now and the main political intrigue.

    Here, I'll throw it to you: Who does the third, generally, support in the 2012 Senate race?

    And since I'm just finding out that Berkshire owns both Helzberg AND Borsheims, I may be the wrong person to consult on that Geico ad.

    But if you want to talk Warren, did you see the MSNBC thing where he went to China with Bill Gates and the rest of the zillionaires? Took along Dave Sokol and Mike Harper as well…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hey third district: Get your own recall drama and leave Sweeper alone. GREAT POSTS! Keep them coming. This is hardball at it's political best.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to nevoter for scooping the real story– Daub and his peeps are blowing this up to prevent "defamation dave" from rising to the head of the next mayor's class of candidates!
    Gotta laugh at the recallers– aspen, chatelain, jesse: In the end, they were used by Daub and Dave. They were in the front row of the chess board the entire time and didn't even know it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anon at 11:11, I think Jesse, Aspen and even Chatelain got what they wanted, a recall vote. They didnt have the money, but the folks with egos sure did.

  15. Anonymous says:

    While this inside baseball thing may be fun for us wonks does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Will Joe six-pack or Sally SUV really change their vote on the recall because of some inside fighting on the recall side? If the voter thinks he deserves to be recalled will they keep Suttle in now because of Nabity?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon. 11:03:

    When the Treasurer won't speak with anyone in the Recall office and is unavailable to write checks on a daily basis, donors can give money to the Treasurer, who then pays it into an LLC who can write checks on a daily basis to the paid petitioners. The Recall then reports all expenditures as if made directly by the Recall. See, Neb.Rev.Stat. §49-1478.

    Nothing nefarious, just a Treasurer who burned bridges with everyone on the Recall committee and then decided to go rogue yesterday with the help of the "independent consultants."

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh hell! LS has become as relevant to the 3rd CD as the NDP is. If it doesn't involve Omaha (and Lincoln once in a while), who cares? Maybe it is time for rural Nebraskan to secede and join Kansas or South Dakota.

  18. Street Sweeper says:

    Hey, Kanye West, we care!
    ("Street Sweeper hates 3rd District people!")

    Is there some major political intrigue we are missing? If so, please fire off an email and we'll take a look.

    We've dived into the pipeline issue and will write more on that in the future.

    In the mean time, what's your beef?

  19. Uncle Wiggily says:

    Sweeper:
    I know, I know … ya gotta work with whatever ya got, but I just had to bitch … a little.

    BTW, I obviously meant HeLzberg, and not HeRzberg in my comment above … It's these old fingers – a couple of them seem to have forgotten how to type.

    As far as the 2012 Senate race, most of my crowd still thinks Guv Dave will be the guy – in spite of his current protestations. The rest seem to be split between Bruning and Stenberg. Me personally? I still kinda like Pat Flynn, though I readily admit he is the longest of long shots.

    Keep on keepin' on ….

  20. Anonymous says:

    Here in the "Thirst" (that's First and Third together), we don't all get Omaha TV stations nor the Wierd-Harold so it's hard to care about a recall for some guy we aren't subjected to on a daily basis. If Sweeper wants to designate some foreign correspondents to send in dirt from the sticks we should take him/her up on it so we aren't bored to death by a local race in the big city. And since we're all anonymous here there's no need to enter the Witness Protection Program for spilling our guts.

  21. Агафья says:

    Ну как вам праздники ?
    Кстати со старым новым годом 🙂 Будет повод еще раз праздновать праздник и посмотреть фильмы 😀

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