Stenberg in on Tuesday

Don Stenberg will announce his U.S. Senate bid at 9:30 am Tuesday morning (March 1st).

And if you were wondering how he plans to attack Jon Bruning in the GOP primary, look no further than the Stenberg logo:

(Also note the giant quote on his campaign website.)

A little more subtle would have been:

“Stenberg: He didn’t write articles in the Daily Nebraskan as a liberal, we can tell ya that doncha know!”

We will just throw it out here:

Not sure what Jon Bruning was back in his Law School days. Was he a raging lib? Maybe he was.

But he has been out of school for a while now, and there is nothing in his legislative or AG record that shows him to be anything other than a hard-core conservative.

Ask any Nebraska Democrat if he isn’t conservative enough.  Or any Republican, for that matter.

After everyone gets over the DN articles, at some point (or maybe already) GOP voters are going to ask, “OK, well what about the candidates after law school?”

Or, what are their plans for entitlement reform? Or their position on trade? Or what do they think needs to be done about helping entrepreneurs and small business? Or big business?

Because those are some of the details where they will probably have to come up with a plan, instead of reading the “social conservative” bullet points.

Do we think either one of these guys HASN’T walked the walk on those issues?

Do tell commenters.


  1. Anonymous says:

    A law school Bruning should know if he was conservative or liberal. But Stenberg also ought to know that Stenberg has the electablity of a garden slug. These guys both have time in office. Bruning has a solid GOP track record and has passed on some iffy opportunities to run for higher office. Stenberg also has a track record of solid GOP. But Stenberg has never passed on an opportunity to throw himself under the electoral bus.

    In the end, it is either an ambitious Bruning or a stupidly ambitious Stenberg. Ambition we can endure, stupidity we cannot. Even with the polls showing Stenberg down, he never lets that stop him from stabbing the elephant so he can drink its blood.

  2. Dayton Headlee says:

    The only thing lifelong about Don Stenberg is his perpetual (unsuccessful) runs for Senate.

    While his DN articles are disconcerting, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat for far longer than Jon Bruning ever was.

  3. buck turgidson says:

    Ronald Reagan, patron saint of today’s Republican Party, was once a Democrat. Closer to home, Mike Johanns, two term governor and current United States Senator, was once a Democrat. Very had to believe that Don Stenberg thinks this is a winning strategy on his part.

  4. NE Voter says:

    Buck, problem is, Ronald Reagan couldn’t win the Iowa caucuses in 2012 because the Republican party has careened so far to the right. Don’t forget, as California’s governor, Reagan signed one of the first abortion legalization bills in the country.

    Some conservative.

  5. Martin Mueller says:

    I’m with Buck. Reagan was a union leader for 8 years – President of the Screen Actors’ Guild. But none of us question his political principles. Nor do we question Senator Johanns when he actually ran as a Democrat… we trust his voting record. The DN article business is short-lived – voters will focus on what Bruning has done the past 20 years, not what he did over 20 years ago. Who is advising Stenny?

  6. anonymous says:

    Stenberg’s campaign team is brilliant. Featured squarely on his sign is the word “Genuine.” He has figured out a way to attack Bruning’s biggest weakness- it is his phony factor. He just doesn’t appear sincere or genuine and Stenberg figured out a way to go right after him. Expect this theme to expand.

  7. Martin Mueller says:

    With all due respect, how can he use the word ‘genuine’ when he was just elected to one position, and only a few months later is running for another? Was he ‘genuinely’ interested in being State Treasurer?

  8. Kortezzi says:

    Don is actually helping Jon! This campaign will make Bruning look like a “centrist”. So liberial media accolades are sure to follow.
    But in fact, Stenberg will put pressure on Bruning to announce irrevocable conservative positions. Which will help Bruning stay in touch with the voters of Nebraska, in contrast to the leftward drift of Ben Nelson.

  9. Oh My says:

    Has Don even started doing the job he was elected to? I’ve heard nothing whatsoever of his work as Treasurer. My understanding is he’s not doing anything. Not surprising when he was already saying he was going to run for Senate 2 days after the election!!

  10. Greg says:

    I am reminded of Winston Churchill, “If you are not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you are not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.”

  11. Oracle says:

    Greg, not that facts are even a minimal requirement to post here, but Churchill never said that. Though it is often attributed to him, a study of his history would make it unlikely for him to have said it. One quote applicable to many posters on this site that is attributed to Churchill: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

  12. RWP says:

    Greg, not that facts are even a minimal requirement to post here

    Ain’t that the truth. Some guy recently on another thread just made a completely false claim about household income, then tried to backtrack and claim it was about weekly wages, and he couldn’t even back that up.

    Some people have no shame.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Don is like Brett Favre, trying to come off the turf one more time from his 5th concussion. Never knows when to hang it up. Let’s just hope he can avoid sexting a massage therapist a picture of his junk during the campaign.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well Don might play well out in the greater Nebraska area, but Jon will slam him in the Eastern Metro Areas.

    Now how about those Dems in Wisconsin! I think they ought to keep the session going to where the D’s are out of the state for 181 days. Then the Gov can declare them non-residents and appoint new representatives who will actually work for the people. As it is the dodgers are working without collecting their pay, and out of state so…… Then the newly minted Republican Senate can pass all the legislation before them in about a 10 hr session. The Gov can sign and a week later the Union members can thank their out of state reps for all the hard work:)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Stenberg like Favre? Try to imagine Brett Favre playing two seasons on a minor team, quitting that to demand he be made the quarterback of a major team, being repeatedly laughed out of the game, and then spending decades showing up at all the big pro games wearing a homemade jersey screaming, “Throw me the ball, I’m open!”, until one day he is picked to be a fiscal water boy in the same election during which voters try to decide whether to replace him with a spigot. By beating the spigot and ending up as waterboy, he knows in his heart he’s super bowl material.

  16. Oracle says:

    Didn’t take RWP long to find the quote that is misattributed to Churchill. But it’s been days since my last post on declining real wages (I admitted that I meant personal, not household, in a correction; unlike RWP I’m not perfect) and still no figures to rebut mine. Talk is cheap.

  17. RWP says:


    All you have an unsourced web page from a left-of-center union flak, supposedly ‘based on’ BLS numbers but with no citation of the actual BLS document, or information on how the data were collected or manipulated. Get serious. My rebuttal is that, without proper sourcing, your numbers are trash.

  18. Oh Mander says:

    One anonymous supporter?! Not much love for Stenberg on this thread… If he can’t count on the LS posters that share his potical ideology, what chance does he have of appealing to the rest of the state? It’s waaaaay too early to call it, but unless they find a family in Bruning’s freezer, it doesn’t look like Mr. Stenberg will be drawing the requisite support.

  19. Oracle says:

    RWP, if you are so sure they are trash, then why not provide a source and numbers that contradict mine? I can’t cite a specific document because the BLS site invokes a query after various selections are made to produce a report. In any case, would you at least agree that real wages in constant dollar terms have increased far below the nation’s GDP growth or any other productivity measure you would like?

  20. Greg says:

    My mistake, no one ever heard Churchill utter the quote I attributed to him. Therefore, I claim the quote as my own since Guizot said, “not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.” You should note Oracle that a rebuplican in 1820’s France was actually a liberal. Either way I believe the quote is fitting in this instance and apologize for misquoting Mr. Churchill.

  21. Yawn says:

    Did something relevant happen in Lincoln this morning? Here is the top headline on the LJS website “Exercise etiquette: dealing with pet peeves at the gym” Sorry Don

  22. Greater Nebraska says:

    “Well Don might play well out in the greater Nebraska area, but Jon will slam him in the Eastern Metro Areas.”

    Exactly! There are approximately 60% more likely voting Republicans outside of the Eastern Metro Areas (Douglas, Sarpy, Lancaster) than live in them. They tend to be older and more conservative than their eastern counterparts – just like Stenberg.

    Has Stenberg been recycled one too many times? Possibly. Does Bruning have a ‘lock’ on the nomination? Not even close.

  23. Oracle says:

    Greg, I’ve just heard that quote attributed to Churchill so often that I checked its validity. No knock on you as I had even been accepting it as from Churchill.

    GK, check out my Churchill quote on the definition of a fanatic. It may apply to you. I’ve done all I can to support my claim. Links aren’t allowed and as I explained, the BLS reports are generated by queries on their web site. If you folks can’t find the data, it’s not my problem.

  24. RWP says:


    I doubt your source made the number up. However, without information on who and what was and was not included in the category of weekly wages, and what other adjustments were made, the data are without value.

    To explain the increase in income inequality starting around 1980, experts point to a shift in demand favoring more educated workers, coupled with a slow growth in the supply of such workers, as well as globalization/outsourcing of unskilled labor. It is likely that unionization would simply have accelerated that outsourcing. Countries with large, centralized union systems, such as Germany, where in effect the Chamber of Commerce sits down with the AFL-CIO and sets wages for the whole country, did see less growth in inequality, but the US has never had such a system. It is notable that the in the UK, which had a very similar growth in inequality after 1980, was and still is more heavily unionized than the US. In fact, income inequality in the UK started growing just as trade union membership was peaking.

    The problem unskilled labor has had in the US for the last quarter century is that there are Indians and Chinese who will do the same work for 1/10 the wage. Unions can’t help with that.

  25. To Greater Nebraska says:

    Good point…..if memory serves me correctly, seems like we had this in the 2006 Gubernatorial election…..Carry the rural, eat at the urban, win the race.

  26. Oracle says:

    RWP, you make some good points. I would have to agree that outsourcing had more of an effect on the stagnation of real wages than the weakening of unions did.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Would someone please tell this fossil to leave the stage already and read the writing on the wall as he leaves?

  28. Mr.Mojo says:

    Lifelong Conservative? I can see tiny little Donnie screeching “who lost China?’ and “Better Dead than Red” at his mommy.

  29. Dennis says:

    I troubled by the fact that Bruning and Stenberg are already abandoning jobs they were elected to do just last November. Did they tell the voters last fall they might skip out on their duties within 60 days of being sworn in?

  30. RWP says:


    Nelson ran for Governor in 2004, and then for Senate in 2006. Same timetable as Bruning and Stenberg. Of course, in the interim, neither Bruning nor Stenberg have cost Nebraska taxpayers $150 million through ‘bad faith’.

    Looks like you’re going to have to sit the 2012 electiion out.

  31. Anonymous says:

    congratulations, Don Stenberg! You claimed your mark today. Nebraska’s conservative credentials are yours, not that phony convenience convert phony conservative.

  32. Dennis says:

    RWP, Nelson was re-elected governor in 1994 and he ran for the Senate in 1996. He waited two years before he ran for higher office. In contrast, Bruning waited about two days to announce his run for higher office after he was re-elected A.G. last year. Stenberg gave the taxpayers of Nebraska all of two months before he announced his run for Senate. These guys don’t seem to have much regard for the people who elected them.

  33. Agreeing with Dennis for the first time.. says:

    Scary, I know. But, he made a good point. BOTH Bruning and Stenberg won their elections about 2 months ago. Do your jobs guys.

  34. RWP says:

    Bruning and Stenberg were elected to their respective offices in 2010, and are running for the Senate in 2012. 2012 – 2010 = 2 = 1996 – 1994.


    In fact, you can assume that Nelson was in the race for Senate as soon as he knew Exon was going to retire. His only problem was that he had pledged to serve out his full term. He broke his pledge and ran anyway. Exon announced he would retire in March 1995, just as long before the 1996 election as March 2011 is before the 2012 election.

    Math is hard.

  35. Anonymostly says:

    Dennis, how long had Burning been AG when he announced he would run for Senate?

    How long had Nelson been Governor when he announced he would run for Senate?

    And how long had Stenberg been Treasurer when he announced he would run for Senate?

  36. Dennis says:

    By running for office in 2010, Bruning and Stenberg were promising the voters they would stick around for more than two months if they should get elected. It’s apparent that they have no regard for the voters and they played them for fools. As long as most Nebraskans continue to vote for the GOP, Republican candidates and office holders can get away with this kind of disingenuous behavior.

  37. Anon. says:

    To Dennis–

    Were you just as outraged when Governor Nelson tried to do the exact same thing? Remember– when HE SIGNED A SPECIFIC PROMISE TO SERVE HIS TERM, then ran for Senate anyway? I don’t recall either Jon or Don promising not to run for Senate. Ben SPECIFICALLY did, then went back on his word. And you accuse Jon & Don of being disingenuous? Wow.

  38. Anonymostly says:

    Soooo, Dennis, you can’t answer the question, huh? Or is the answer just not convenient? Hmmm? Which is it?

    How long was Bruning the AG before he declared a RUN for the Senate?

    How long was E Benny the Gov before HE declared a RUN for the Senate?

    Easy questions, both of them. And here are a couple more:

    If elected to the Senate, how much of Bruning’s most-recent AG term will he have served?

    When elected to the Senate the first time, how much of Nelson’s last term as Gov did he serve?

    I’m giving you a fair chance, Denny. Are you going to answer directly or are you going to divert, evade and avoid? If all else fails, change the subject, right Dense?

  39. Jim j. Enright says:

    Stenberg is a very good and conservative man. Smart too. Just boring. He seems to have improved his retail campaigning skills some. He needs to jazz up his image somehow., Bruning seems overly ambitious, as if he would sell his grandmother into slavery to win an election. .

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