Sokol haul

We will go ahead and dive in the Bruning – Sokol thing. (Though really, just so we could use that headline…)

And here’s what we noticed:

Let’s see. Bruning made a comment to Joe Jordan, saying that he didn’t believe there was anything illegal about the David Sokol, Lubrizol matter.

And why would he?

At the time — oh that was on April 13th, sixteen days ago — there was no investigation, no accusation of impropriety, and the Emperor of the Stock Exchange, Warren Buffet said,

“Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.”

So, no investigation going on. The Chairman and CEO of the company says there is nothing illegal. And a candidate is asked about one of his friends.

And the Omaha World Herald editorial board and the Senior Senator of Nebraska and his campaign mouthpiece didn’t say a word. (Heck, as far as our 8 second research second showed, the OWH didn’t even do a story on Bruning’s original comments — that they are now damning with full barrels of ink.)


For sixteen days.

OH! But now the Berkshire board has come out with additional information on various issues. (Completely inconsistent with Buffett’s original statement if you ask us, but we’re sure he will parse them out on stage over some peanut brittle and a Chery Coke.)

And NOW the OWH and Ben Nelson don’t like Bruning’s statement.

Well way to get on board the issue gentlemen. Glad you could find time to attack the guy you really don’t like. But where were you, say, sixteen days ago? Were the statements OK then, but not now? And if not, why didn’t you speak up then? Do tell.


State Senators Heath Mello and Jeremy Nordquist are upset that their districts may change, creating a majority Latino district in South O.

But Senators, that should be good, right? A Latino rep for a Latino area, right? Last time we checked, Brenda Council and Ernie Chambers weren’t pushing to break up their district.

Could it be that Mello and/or Nordquist fear a Latino candidate will take their job in the next election? Hmm.

Not terribly progressive of either of those fellows, eh?


And we see that the Merrick County board — potential home to a stretch of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — has sent a letter to the State Department indicating their support FOR the pipeline.

Well, ain’t that a corker. They must be listening to those wacky scientists and experts, instead of those little birds…


And here’s a national question. If things continue to go south with the economy and jobs and the deficit and gas prices and the like. And the President’s numbers continue to drop.

Would or could a draft New Jersey Governor Chris Christie movement pull him into the race?

You can make a decent argument that he could win the nomination and win the White House. Could Christie be convinced? And do any GOPers out there think he could pull it off?

Or even a better question: If Christie got in the race, would any of you Nebraskans be so excited or energized to go campaign for him in Iowa?

Or is there someone else that turns you on?

Inquiring minds wanna know.


  1. Oh Mander says:

    The SEC sure found sufficient cause for an investigation. Immediately – not 16 days later. Why? Because they know better than to just blindly take the word of wealthy business leaders trying to defuse a scandal involving BILLIONS of dollars. You’d expect the Attorney General to at least look into the matter. Well, at least a good AG, anyways. Instead Mr. Bruning defended Sokol and buried his head in the sand. He is a good friend, but a bad AG and a compromised politician.

    Yet another misstep from your boy, SS. If I were you I’d start passing the hat on behalf of someone else.

  2. OM,
    1) Bruning ain’t “my boy” (though the Cornhusker Kickbacker clearly is yours).
    2) Sokol’s guilt, innocence or none of the above will have no bearing on Bruning’s candidacy. Now if he had been the deciding vote on ObamaCare, THENNNNN he’d have some problems.

    And thanks for reading!

  3. Cigar Smoker says:

    Christie might run for Prez, its unlikely he would win gov of New Jersey again! Maybe New Jersey is getting exactly what they deserve.

  4. NE Voter says:

    The only draft associated with Chris Christie comes about an hour after he snarfs down a couple pizzas and a bag of deep fried Cheetohs.

  5. Oh Mander says:

    1) You coulda fooled me.
    2) Regardless of what happens to Sokol, this incident will absolutely affect public perception of Bruning. How could it not? He comes out looking like a ring-kissing shill for big business, and I don’t think that will sit well with Mr. and Mrs. Rural Nebraskan Voter.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If Bruning had sold out his friend, the haters would be making THAT their story.

    I love that EBN is so worried about Bruning that he is on the attack and thereby admitting Bruning’s high name ID and popularity. Nelson should know the 2012 election will be a referendum on him, regardless of who else runs.

  7. NE Voter says:

    Um, Grundle, Gov. Christie is fat. I suspect if you asked him, he would tell you he’s overweight.Having said that, he actually strikes me as a pretty smart and stute politician. In light of those qualities, he won’t walk into the 2010 Republican primary meat-grinder.

    Now if he pulls a full Huckabee and the weight of about 5000 hard-cover bibles (or holy Quorans if that’s your bag), he’d be in the neighborhood.

    I love it when conservatives bellyache and caterwaul when we tease their kind. Umm, tell me again, what was the nickname the conservatives used orf Hillary Clinton back in the day? I’ll give you a li’l clue: The initials were PIAPS.

    Try the Google. Then come back and tell us where it took you.


  8. Macdaddy says:

    I think that this was a dumb misstep by Bruning but not a politically fatal one. It’s a long time between now and November 2012. Long enough for the SEC to get their investigation done and then when Sokol gets hauled into court, Bruning simply says that he had an error in judgement by speaking before he had all the facts and was going on the public pronouncements of Warren Buffet. Of course, when Buffet gets hauled into court, Bruning might have to tweak that last part.

  9. RWP says:

    I’m not sure what to believe right now, but if the initial reports are true that what Sokol did was common practice at Berkshire, the company itself might be in deep do-do.

    Or it would be if Buffett weren’t a FOB and major Democrat donor.

  10. Uncle Wiggily says:


    Not one a my personal faves, but Fred Thompson is making waves (little ones, sure, but still …). He’s done a couple OP-EDs recently … and folks around him notice he’s keeping his shoes shined, he hardly ever says “ain’t” or “hooo-weee” any more and … he hasn’t signed any long-term contracts for movies or TV series that we know of … could be a man on the move …

    Just sayin’ …

  11. Ricky says:

    I think when Mr Sokol gave 50K to try to oust Omaha Mayor Suttle that was the bad karma that brought down the bad news for Sokol.
    Thank goodness the bullying and arrogance and influence of Mr Sokol is gone.
    Over is Mr Sokol throwing money at every candidate and sporting venue so he can see his name on it and buy friends.
    I wonder how much dirty money went to Tom Osborne?

    ricky from omaha

  12. Cigar Smoker says:


    When you referenced “smoker” are you talking about me? All I referenced about him was the fact that his poll numbers are bad, even in his home state comparing him to Obama in a presidential race.

  13. Dennis says:

    As Nebraska’s chief law enforcement officer, Bruning should know better than to prejudge a case before all of the facts are in. Bruning has never been in a tough race or been subjected to much scrutiny in this Deep Red State. Bruning has been able to hit the ball pretty well at the Triple A level but it’s apparent he’s not ready for the big leagues. This kind of unforced error by Bruning has to give pause to the GOP and lead the Nelson people to believe that Bruning is eminently beatable.

  14. Macdaddy says:

    Hmm, let’s see: Deciding vote for Obamacare vs. unwise statement about something that may or may not turn out to be illegal. Refusing to defund Obamacare despite all the outrage vs. standing up for a friend. Refusing to prohibit federal funding of abortion vs. spouting off to Joe Jordan. Voting for repeal of DADT vs. believing Warren Buffett. Voting for a worthless Porkulus bill that threw $1trillion down a rat hole vs. whatever.

    In other words, all kinds of actions by Nelson vs something Bruning said. Yeah, I’m sure Bruning is beatable.

  15. Jenn says:

    Dennis, I agree. It would be one thing for a politician or private citizen to trust the initial reports about Sokol, but Bruning’s JOB is to be the AG. He should have known better. I don’t think his misjudgment here is fatal in itself, but in general I don’t see much reason to trust his judgment. He hasn’t been such a stellar AG. Being a brilliant lawyer isn’t necessarily a good qualification for public office, of course, but being a mediocre one is even worse. I’d much rather see someone who has successfully run a business, for example.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bruning is still the most viable announced candidate out there. Now should things get so goofy he is no longer the “most” viable, then perhaps the GOP (think National) may persuade the Gov to run for the seat. “Governor you know we need the seat and …………..” “Well okay for the team I’ll do this, but I need something from you………”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Nelson has a lot of room to talk given some of his dealings and comments. Isn’t this a matter for the feds with the SEC rather than Bruning? Big deal so Dave raised lots of money for the Bruning campaign. Like all of campaign fundraising is lily pure and Ben is the leader of that movement? Yeah right. Nelson is warmed over stale toast. Burnt. He knows it and he’s already in the drawers looking for the sharp knives. So much for sound leadership based upon your own record and credibility.

  18. BkDodge42 says:

    Since in America, everyone is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, If Jon Brunning said that Sokol was guilty, then he would have prejudges a case. Violations of the SEC are not a state matter. Bruning would not be the one to bring charges for securities actions.

  19. Dennis says:

    Bruning should have kept his mouth shut. He didn’t have to say anything. His foolish and premature comments about Sokol don’t make for an auspicious start for his campaign. Bruning stumbled out of the gate. If I were a Republican, I would be concerned about how Bruning will perform under the bright spotlight for the first time in his charmed political career.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Anybody know why Stenberg brought a virtually unknown person on to be his campaign manager? Lois can’t be the best person available, unless the rest were “discouraged” by a certain candidate? She might have been there for the Treasures’s race, but then again who else with state wide name recognition ran? Yup my point exactly. Now if Fisher gets into the race she will peel off some of Stenbergs rual votes, and some city ones. People who prefer JB aren’t going to be motivated to vote for the other candidates. Not to mention historically women voters don’t vote for other women. Who knows this could be different but……..

  21. Macdaddy says:

    What a sweet day today is. Congrats to our military, our CIA, and President Obama. I would have a few in their honor, but I have to get up early.

  22. CM says:

    Who is brunings campaign manager? Cant be much worse that lois? Word on the street is real politicos in NE don’t want to touch bruning or stenberg.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Dennis is right. Bruning should have kept his mouth shut, but he couldn’t. This type of stuff with Bruning reinforces the phony factor. Stenberg’s “genuine” campaign is quite the contrast.

  24. RWP says:

    Congratulations to the Commander in Chief and to the Navy. Sounds like a good job well done.

    I just hope the taste of OBL’s foul carcass wasn’t too unpleasant for the sharks in the Arabian Sea.

  25. Grundle King says:

    Cigar Smoker, no…I was not referencing you. I was referencing the Commander in Chief.

    NE Voter, good. You’re not overweight…this fact will better help you appreciate the reference I’m about to make. You see it’s okay, for example, for African-Americans to make stereotype jokes about other African-Americans and to use otherwise-derogatory racial slurs…why? Because the jokes/slurs are coming from someone who is the same as they are. It kinda works that way with fat jokes, too.

    Now you can argue, “Hey, they didn’t choose to be African-Americans,” and you’re right…but I can all but guarantee you that nobody consciously CHOOSES to be overweight. Some are genetically predisposed, some have health issues that cause their obesity, and yeah, some are just plain lazy or eat too much. Regardless of the reason, those who are weight-challenged (aka fatties), don’t tend to appreciate fat jokes coming from those who think coach airline seating is spacious.

    You’re probably right…Gov. Christie would probably tell you he’s fat…but he’s a card-carrying member of the Chub Club, you’re not.

    You’re a compassionate liberal…I’m sure you understand.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well Obama cleaned up another republican mess. He did in two years what Bush could not do in 8. That is kill Bin Laden. All of the FOX news BS can’t change that.

  27. Reality for Anon 12:46 says:

    Thank you Obama for pulling the trigger. However, Obama campaigned on taking the toold that were used to get Bin Laden away. This mission/search began years ago and key intel came from:
    – the secret prison camps in europe (oh, the outrage)
    – Intel from Gotmo
    – Secret wire taps
    – and YES…Enhanced Interogation Techniques.

    If Obama had his way, he would have never had an opportunity to pull the trigger. Thank you President Bush and VP Cheney for understanding our Intel agencies need the tools to get the job done.

  28. Stunned says:

    Umm…almost immediately after Sokol’s “resignation”, there were discussions and investigations under way. It’s incredible that you could even write this blog post; nobody bought the press release.

    Except you, of course, Sweeper…

    (I suppose I could post some links, but then you’d delete them as matter of policy. So Google “Sokol SEC” yourself; you’ll find a bunch of stuff from March and earlier in April…)

  29. Anonymous says:

    The Navy Seals gave BinLadin a funeral in accordance with Muslim law. I hope that included stuffing him inside a pig and weighting him down so that he faces away from Mecca for eternity.

  30. Anonymous says:

    In the last year of the Bush term, he was asked Where is Bin laden? Bush replied i don’t know i don’t care. Obama becomes President and he tells the CIA and the military to find him dead or alive. They did. Great job by the SEALS. But great job for President Obama who never took his eye off the ball. But in the long run it is a victory for AMERICA.

  31. Forward Omaha says:

    I am very tired of people criticizing President Obama. So what if he had Osama dumped in the ocean. Who cares if he was not buried facing MECA? TD Ameritrade is nice and so is the Qwest Center, but what does his burial have to do with MECA?

  32. Dennis says:

    One of the talking points we’re hearing from the GOP and the Conservative Media is that we can thank George W. Bush for the raid that resulted in OBL’s death. All I can say is: “Not so fast my friends.” George W. Bush didn’t make the killing of OBL a high priority. On March 13, 2002, George W. Bush said of bin Laden, “I truly am not that concerned about him.” Subsequently, in July 2006, the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden. In September 2006, Bush told Fred Barnes that an “emphasis on bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism.” Let’s also never forget that it was the Bush Administration’s failed strategy that allowed OBL to escape from Tora Bora in December 2001. In contrast, President Obama said that he directed the CIA, shortly after taking office in 2009, “to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority.” It was, in other words, a shift from the previous administration. Thanks to that change in priorities, Obama did in 2.5 years what George W. Bush, despite all of his “dead or alive” big talk and swagger, couldn’t do in seven years.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dennis and the Anons – Congrats on another pot well stirred. No one can argue with your statements, but that doesn’t mean that they are in any way helpful. When you make it to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.

  34. Nate says:

    Regardless of where bin Laden fell on the Bush Administration’s list of priorities, the program they developed made the termination of bin Laden possible. From the AP today:

    “Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

    Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

    The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system.”

    The process of extracting the information that led to the bin Laden assassination began years ago. Obama and the left made political hay for years campaigning against this sort of thing in the run up to the 2008 election, but they sure don’t have a problem reaping its fruits.

  35. Kortezzi says:

    If Buffett initially pronounced Sokol’s actions as legal, and Bruning merely echoed the Oracle, then certainly no stigma should attach to Jon for that comment. If he started weighing in NOW with similar views even after the Berkshire audit committee report, then that’d be something. But he’s not done that, and he’s smart enough to avoid doing so in the future. It’s an SEC matter, not something for a state AG to investigate in any event – – and that’s all Bruning should mention when asked about it in the future.

    The spamming Benator and his hacks are hoping there’s a way to slime Bruning here, but it’s so thin it ought be transparent even to Dennis and his friends. And let’s not forget Sokol is disputing Berkshire’s account of things, either, so let’s wait until the full story is in.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I remember the right wingers taking all the credit for the winning of the Cold war. It was all Reagan who rode his horse to the Berlin wall and tore it down. Forgetting that other American Presidents and thousands of dead soldiers in Korea and Vietnam did most of the work. But when Obama does it right, No that does not count. Time to give credit to the man who made it a priority to blow Bin Laden’s ass to hell. President Obama 2009-2017.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Kortezzi, I thought Bruning was the state’s attorney general, not Buffett. As the OWH editorialized, a rookie cop would know not to prejudge before all the evidence is in. But rationalize away that your likely Senate candidate is not too incompetent for the job.

  38. Dennis says:

    The evidence doesn’t suggest a causal connection between the waterboarding of KSM and the intelligence that led to the demise of OBL. The U.S. last waterboarded the terrorists in question in 2002/03. The Bush Administration shut down the waterboarding program entirely in 2005. The courier wasn’t identified until some time in 2007 or so. Moreover, Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld today said that the information on OBL wasn’t obtained through harsh treatment or waterboarding. This corroborates an AP story from today that indicates that former officials have said that KSM didn’t reveal the names of the couriers while being subjected to waterboarding. Instead, KSM revealed the names months later under standard interrogation.

  39. Super Progressive says:

    According to FOX news, i know a progressive talking about FOX news makes no sense. But all of the evidence that led to the death of Bin Laden is mainly the result of the CIA during the Obama Presidency. Why is that a great victory for America is tainted in the republicans eyes because it happened on a Democrats presidency watch? Does that mean the victory in WW2 is tainted too?

  40. Cigar Smoker says:

    To all,
    How about we not play politics for 1 day and just bask in the achievement of what we did. While we still have more work to do we have also made a giant leap forward. Geronimo, geronimo, geronimo!!!

  41. Macdaddy says:

    I agree with Cigar Smoker. Let’s have at least a day to dance on bin Laden’s grave. The pissing contest can restart tomorrow.

    Personally, I was a little disappointed in Obama’s statement. I was hoping he would have said:” As we speak, bin Laden’s body is on it’s way to the US. When it gets here, I will personally defecate on his face. It will be on pay-per-view. Check with your local cable provider.”

    But I’ll get over it.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Democrats here who want AG Bruning to have presumed Sokal guilty, without evidence, when all associated with the matter said there was no wrong doing. Why? Because I don’t like Sokal. I want him arrested without a shred of evidence. But then AG Bruning can do the same to everyone, including all the Democrats who have their noses shoved up Ben’s kickback. That has to be some sort of felony.

  43. Anonymous says:

    9:39, you obviously have no comprehension skills. Rational, honest people don’t want their AG to declare anyone guilty or innocent before all of the facts are in.

  44. Bob Loblaw says:

    With Bruning not looking completely unbeatable, and Don Stenberg being about as current as an Oldsmobile, who else will step up. I hope Mike Foley takes a shot at it. He has real credibility with voters, and who better to stand up against government waste than they guy who every two weeks seems to take some entity down for playing fast and loose with the taxpayers dollar. I’d be 100% on board.

  45. RWP says:

    By the way, what was the last thing OBL’s wife said to him?

    “Honey, I fed the cat, it’s your turn to feed the fish”.

  46. Reality for Anon 12:46 says:

    The reality is that killing Bin Laden makes us all feel good but in terms of increasing our security it is really not that relevant. President Bush dismantled the Taliban and Al Qeida, rendering them ineffective.

    I’d much rather have a President who does this than dedicate all of the time chasing an old guy who was in hiding.

    Fast forward and we are now hearing Al Qeida cells are growing stronger and scattered all over the world. Especially strong in Yeman.

    Point is, if you think Bush didn’t care about Bin Laden, your a nut job. What he really cared about was keeping us safe from another attack. He succeeded. Since Bush left office, we have had several successful “lone wolf” attacks in the U.S. and a couple that only failed because the attacker failed to execute his plan.

    But…we got Bin Laden, so it is all good.

  47. Anonymous says:

    12:46, you are the poster child for right-wing reality deniers. GW clearly spoke, during an interview in 2002, “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” You are the true nut.

  48. Anonymous says:

    If “Bush dismantled the Taliban and Al Qeida (sic)” please explain why our troops are still in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  49. Anonymous says:

    The best thing about Osama bin Laden being killed is that it cut short all the baloney about the royal wedding.

  50. Macdaddy says:

    The real best thing about bin laden being killed is that he’s dead, we, the Great Satan, killed him, and now people know that you can run, but you can’t hide from us. Showing him to be a fraud is gravy.

    I hope they buried him off the front of the boat.

  51. Reality for Anon 12:46 says:

    Don’t really care if I spell Al Queida correctly or not. 🙂

    Dismantled their oporational capabilities. And, their just like weeds. You have to keep up on them to keep ’em down.

  52. Stalker says:

    I hear Jane and the Bold people are stalking Keystone’s lobbyists in Lincoln. Does Lisa Hannah have her old job back????

  53. Anonymous says:

    The picture up on the Bold Facebook page is fuzzy and distant. Must be a lobbyist talking to a senator but you think whomever would have the kahoonas to go right up to them and snap it, rather than standing across the Rotunda. So much for the surveillance, Jane, you can’t even tell who is who in that pic.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I doubt it. Hannah is criticizing Jane’s Bold Nebraska finances over on NNN. Maybe she’s jealous because she can’t convince anyone to bankroll her own political “expertise”.
    It is funny that Hannah stated, “That’s one thing I will always be consistant on – I don’t care who your group is, right or left. If you’re going to do anything to influence voters on issues, you should be required to publically release who’s paying your salary.” This coming from the woman that won a seat as the NDP’s 3rd CD chair while still secretly on the NDP payroll as Sen. Johanns’ official stalker. She immediately used her brand new office as justification for a seat at the DNC national convention in 2010. Any influence peddling involved in that?

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