Express yourself

The Tea Party Express folks have drummed up some news for themselves and for the 2012 Nebraska Senate race.

The TPE has said that on Wednesday they will make a “surprise” endorsement in the Nebraska race. Hmm.

Well, they have made clear that it ISN’T Ben Nelson, so that’s out. That would have been the only reeeaaalll surprise if the TPEers had given the nod to the author of the Cornhusker Kickback.

So, the next question is what about Attorney General Jon Bruning. Well, we know that Nebraska Tea Partiers have met fairly extensively with Bruning, and generally like what he has to say. But endorsing Bruning would not be much of a “surprise”, no matter how they spin in it.

Sure they could say that it is so early that it’s a surprise. Or a surprise, like when you play peek-a-boo with a baby and they are “surprised” every time they see you again. But that would probably just piss everyone off if they pulled something like that, so we would guess that it it is not Bruning.

So the next two announced candidates are Don Stenberg and Pat Flynn. (Oh and the only other thing that could shock us is if they endorsed an unannounced candidate.) Flynn, who has always tried to sell himself as the Tea Party party candidate would sort of be a surprise, since he is the least well known and conventionally has the least chance of winning the race. But would the TPE really make a national announcement that they are endorsing a candidate who is unlikely to make it out of the Primary, let alone take on Nelson? We don’t think so.

So that leaves Don Stenberg. Stenberg has been pushing and pushing for Tea Party support over the last number of weeks, particularly on Twitter with Tweets like, “Ask Sen. DeMint to support a GENUINE, LIFELONG CONSERVATIVE to replace Nebraska’s Ben Nelson.” — Jim DeMint being the de facto leader of the Tea Partiers in the Senate. And that’s fine. Sort of desperate sounding, but fine. But maybe with that kind of outreach he has gotten their attention.

A Stenberg endorsement would be slightly off the beaten path of the CW favorite Bruning, but not so far as to think he couldn’t win. It could be a slight boost to the Stenberg campaign, and something he could toot about for a while.

Only thing is, the Tea Party Express doesn’t exactly represent the main Tea Party people in Nebraska. Sure they all want to strive to be independent, and all that. But there is some organization to the group, and they are not by any means joined at the hip with the TPE. Look only to the fact that the TPE is making their announcement from Washington, DC to tell you that they are pretty much doing their own thing.

Our understanding is that the Nebraska Tea Party groups have met with extensively with both Bruning and Stenberg, pretty much like what both are saying, but are unlikely to throw support — in the way of an endorsement — behind one or the other in the primary.

So while the TPE thing sends out some national recognition of the already #1 Senate race in the country, it is not exactly the bellweather of Tea Party support in the state. Then again, since they are a sort of disheveled grassroots group, the rest of the public doesn’t know that and may consider the TPE as the end all be all of Tea Partiers.

Anywho. The TPE’s mission is pretty much accomplished with news orgs like CNN covering their statements on this.  Whatever we get Wednesday, will be what we get.


The anti-pipeliners will be rousing the rabble later this week at the capitol.

We are always sort of amused by some of these protests. Sure there are some that are done annually, and people take the day off from work and plan ahead.

But who are the people that can just drop everything and head to Lincoln every time Jane Kleeb wants to fill up her Prius Leaf microbus (we are assuming) with windmill juice and pass out Beanie Babies with catch phrases on them?

Oh, that would be people like Diana Sunshine (we’ll leave off her last name), who pushes for the legalization of cannabis and hemp. Her slogan for the those anti-pipeliners? “HEMP FIELDS NOT OIL SPILLS!” (Now there is an either/or choice for you.)

Funny how in the stories you read you never hear that 87% of Sandhills land owners have signed easements with TransCanada already. They probably won’t be making the trek to Lincoln to hang with the hemp farmers, we would guess.

But in any case, remember folks: Jane Kleeb’s anti-pipeliners are not really anti-pipeline.

They are anti-OIL. And their goal is to halt, any way they can, the Canadian tar sands oil. Their opposition to the pipeline is just a means to their end to stop the Canadian oil.

Even if Wayne Gretsky carried the oil in individual Molson cans from Saskatoon to Texas via moose and beaver caravan, they would still be against it.

And they would just find another group to carry their water on it.


Can you imagine the controversy and cries of racism if Republicans were actively working and arguing to prevent a majority Latino state legislative district in South O, just so certain state Senators could retain their seats?

There would be marching in the streets and protests at the capitol (probably with Beanie Babies involved), no?

Yet that is what is happening with Democrats Heath Mello and Jeremy Nordquist and their part-Latino districts right now. Mello and Nordquist do not want a majority Latino district. Oh, that would be way better at some later time, they say.

Yup, that would be totally cool if they were Republicans, right?

Just cool your jets, Latino community. Two guys named Heath and Jeremy have your best interests at heart.


Did you see the GOP Presidential debate the other day? (No, not the one on SNL.) Those who watched were nearly unanimous that former Godfather’s CEO (and former Chairman of the KC Federal Reserve) Herman Cain was the winner.

They found him the most eloquent with the best direct answers to the questions.

While Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney seem to currently have the inside lane to the eventual nomination, you have to love The Hermantor shaking things up.


  1. HMMM.... says:

    Maybe Jane advocates burning of hemp to create energy. Hemp Fields not oil fields….when in the world will the Nebraska media discredit this nonsense?

  2. Dennis says:

    Tea Party Express’ endorsement record isn’t one to be proud of. They picked Sharon Angle and Joe Miller – who both ran atrocious campaigns. If I were a Republican running for Senate, I’m not sure I would want their endorsement in light of that track record. IMO, the recipient of this “coveted’ endorsement should tell middle class Nebraskans what they think the billionaires who finance Tea Party Express have in common with Nebraska farmers and workers.

  3. TripleHash says:

    The pipeline delay or failure is about transportation of oil/energy. If the pipeline does not get built how will the oil be transported?

    It will get transported one way or the other. There’s no way to shut this off.

    I know. How about trains!? Gee who has a share of Burlington Northern? Could it be WB? Sure! I wonder how much money WB gives to Bold Nebraska?

  4. Kortezzi says:

    My kids and I went to the Tea Party at Walnut Grove Park in W. Omaha this past Saturday May 7th. YES THAT’S RIGHT, I’M BRAINWASHING MY LITTLE ONES TO BE RIGHT WING ZEALOTS LIKE ME! MWAH HAH HAH!!!

    The crowd was about 200-225 people by my count. I was glad to see Omaha Councilman Franklin Thompson is a fellow Tea Partier, and that he’s very outspoken about the need for CIR reform. Flynn and especially Bruning had supporters there with tables and stickers, but I didn’t see anyone from the Stenberg campaign. This gathering appeared to be more of an Americans For Prosperity / Tea Party Patriots event than a Tea Party Expressers thing. My thanks to the organizers who put it together.

  5. MacDaddy says:

    Thank you Mello and Nordquist for exposing yet another hypocrisy on the Left. First the anti-war Left and now the racialists.

  6. Nebraska Tea Partier says:

    Street Sweeper should get an award for excellent reporting here. This article hits the nail on the head – most tea party groups throughout the state are not yet endorsing any of the Republicans in the US Senate race, and are busy taking on state issues like promoting meaningful CIR reform that includes bringing local control back to our local elected officials.

    @Kortezzi – I believe there was a table with Don Stenberg for US Senate stickers at Saturday’s tea party rally in Omaha.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Tea Party Express have $9 million to spend last cycle? This is a big deal, if they decide to use the money here.

  8. David West says:

    Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg had tables at the Tea Party Rally last Saturday, to be more accurate. The Stenberg folks left before I got there, but I talked to the Bruning folks.
    No Nebraska groups that have backed the various tea parties across the state have made any endorsements. My website will not be making any endorsements of any sort, though may link to stories put out by other tea party groups on their endorsements.

  9. Stoney says:

    Hey Dudes,
    I’m all for the Keystone pipe. Why don’t they, like, make it a Keystone hookah, man? They could use it to send all that killer Canadian government weed down here, man. Really, man, all they’d have to do is burn it there and send us the smoke. Man, I’m hungry! Got any Cheetos?

  10. Jonathan says:

    The redistricting issue is one of dilution — consolidating two present districts where the Latino population is large enough to make current representatives consider the Latino community’s needs versus one majority district. I’d take substantive representation any day over simple descriptive representation. This redistricting plan simply trades two votes in the legislature for one.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Tea Party Express announcing its news from DC is like a TV evangelist broadcasting from a whorehouse. Tea Party is anti-federal-power sentiment. You cannot plop your butt down in Washington and maintain credibility as being an answer to Washington.

  12. Bob Loblaw says:


    Funny that you bring up billionaires. How many different left wing groups get money from George Soros or Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates? What do they care about Nebraska farmers? In fact the whold bankroll behing Bold Nebraska is a multi-multi millionaire. What does he care about the sugar beet farmer in Gering?

    Get over this calling out people because they have money. Last I checked both sides have sugar daddies and they all have an agenda.

  13. The Pip says:

    Bob, I’ll take your Buffet, Gates, and Soros bet, and raise you Big Oil, and the Koch Brothers. Even Boehner recognized the road to the top is lined with black gold. They are all corrupt. And ALL of our Senators and Congressmen are no different. Party minions, whores to the dollar, and an almost blatant disregard for the electorate. Makes the Pip sad.

  14. Dennis says:

    Bob Loblaw, The billionaires who support the Democratic party favor policies that are contrary to their immediate financial interest such as the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. In contrast, the billionaires who support the GOP are looking for more tax cuts and more deregulation – they’re just in it for their own selfish interests. Unfortunately, the policies favored by the likes of the Koch brothers have been proven to be a failure since 2001. During the Bush Presidency, only 3 millions jobs were created, median income declined and poverty increased. Nevertheless, the economic fortunes of the billionaires soared. Deregulation of the financial services sector also was a big failure. The financial system collapsed in the fall of 2008 but the bankers on Wall St. emerged unscathed while just about everybody else suffered. In contrast, 22 million jobs were created during the Clinton Presidency after the GOP predicted his economic policies would cause a recession.

  15. CCON says:

    Nice reporting SS, you’re spot on once again. Although our local TEA Party groups have hosted the TPX Bus Tour in the past, we in no way take our marching orders from them. The shared sentiment is that an endorsement this early, made from Washington, without local input makes for bad politics. It is true that we’ve met with all three current candidates and all three seem to be on the right track for now.

  16. Panhandler says:

    What the redistricting committee is doing in Omaha doesn’t compare to what they want to do in Western Nebraska. They have pissed off a whole bunch of folks in the panhandle. To avoid disolving Ken Schilz district, they have proposed to split Box Butte County and the city of Alliance. Schilz is on the committee, and is the author of the plan.

    Schilz may manage to force the plan through, but it will guarantee that he faces a strong challenge in 2014 for re-election. It’s going to be damned hard for him to explain to voters why he chose to put his own political interests ahead of the people he pretends to represent.

  17. Cigar Smoker with a broken AC unit says:

    F#ck its hot in my house.

    (Hey the title of the post is “Express Yourself”)

    Im still not sold on their being a big value in getting the TPE endorsement, no matter who gets it. Maybe in a tight primary race (Stenberg-Bruning does NOT count as one), but certainly not in a general election. Whoever would care about a TPE endorsement wouldn’t be voting for the Democratic candidate anyways.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Stenny’s only hope was this endorsement, and the money it will help raise nationally. It’s a huge fundraising boost. He’d better hope it’s him.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anon 1:30 the reason you do it in DC is to get it covered by the national media. Hoping the Journal Star will cover anything positive is simply Sisyphean.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If Democrat billionaires are so selfless, they’d give ALL their money to the poor and not be billionaires anymore. Yet Republican billionaires are all selfish because they don’t share your party? That’s silly.

    All billionaires get and stay rich by keeping their money, just like you too enjoy an extra buck in your pocket. But there the similarity ends. They aren’t Democrats or Republicans. They are Wealthocrats. And they don’t deserve extra credit for decency. “Donated” buildings with rich peoples names on them are tax deductions. Unlike the working poor who pay straight taxes, the wealthy get to give lumps of cash to charity, they get fat tax benefit for it that most people can’t get, plus a pat on the back for their false altruism. An old lady, Democrat or Republican, on a fixed income who donates ten bucks to a cause, without a tax break on her donation, is more “giving” than any rich person D or R.

    Being wealthy imparts no special qualities. Example, the Oracle disowned a kid and lived in a creepy threesome for decades. His kid is an organic “farmer” ala Prince Charles. And the grandson has an appointment as a Director of Agriculture for the Defense Department where he apparently hammers plowshares into swords or whatever. There’s nothing real about these people. They happen to be Democrats but Greatgranddaddy was a big Republican with a mountain of weird ideas. Sure they all have grit, etc. But they are normal people like you are a flying cow.

    Baby Buffett can win. Nebraskans like Defense, Agriculture and if he has the gab of his GGdad, Gdad and dad, he may be on the same road Joe Kennedy put his kids on. But that has absolutely nothing to do with him being Democrat or Republican. Its not politics. Its mountains of money. And those who have such mountains of money use Democratic and Republican parties to get richer and they use politics as a hobby farm in which they cultivate policies over people. We average people are the organic vegetables they experiment on.

  21. Anonymous says:

    HO, HO, HO, X-MAS comes early . Tea Bagger nuts endorse Bruning. Nelson wins in 12. Pulls upset like Harry Reid. When voters realize what the real Tea Party is all about. (in other words they don’t give a dam about the every day guy or gal. But will kow tow to their corporate sponsors)

  22. Anonymous says:

    How could any of the various Nebraska Tea Party type groups make an official endorsement when none of them have a PAC?

  23. KayOrrfan says:

    Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and… Jon Bruning?

    Time for Kay Orr to enter the race in 3, 2, 1…

  24. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 9:16: The Tea Party endorses the already front-running GOP candidate who happens to be the 2nd highest-ranking state official and you think Bruning is going down because of it? Were you hanging out with Diana Sunshine when you typed that? Isn’t it a little early in the am for a toke?

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Republican” and “Democrat” are distinctions that matter to people who don’t sit atop the biggest personal mountain of cash in the USA.

  26. Anonymous says:

    KayOrrFan: Because a 70 something former Governor who is just now re-surfacing after 20 years is what we need to beat Ben Nelson, right…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Stenny is losing support of some who are on his team. I know of one county leader, in the top 3 counties, is throwing in the towel. Now it is just a matter of time as he thrashes around. Now if Sen Fisher gets into the race then there might be some competition. We shall see

  28. Not a Tea Partier but... says:

    I just wanted to point out that even though the National Tea parties have endorsed Bruning, the local group HAS NOT. And I don’t think they will….

  29. Nebraska Tea Partier says:

    @Anonymous May 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM
    “How could any of the various Nebraska Tea Party type groups make an official endorsement when none of them have a PAC?”
    Didn’t you read the article? They haven’t. That’s the whole point of the article. Tea Party Express, a national PAC, made the endorsement, without any ties, affiliations or participation of Nebraska tea party groups.

  30. Oh Mander says:

    I am surprised that grassroots Tea Party organizations continue to allow the Tea Party Express to steal their thunder. TPE is made up of establishment GOP advisers, fundraisers, donors, etc. While there is certainly some overlap with the principles that Tea Partiers espouse, TPE brass has been and continues to be part of the same Republican network that helped run this ship aground. Isn’t that why such a large number of conservatives felt the need to separate themselves from the GOP in the first place?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Oh Mander: you got that right and while there is much to be said for grassroots remaining at the local level, they are allowing the big monied Tea Party posers to confuse the electorate. The Tea Party local groups (however many hundreds or thousands there are) do need to coordinate at some point and speak with a unified voice, outing the posers and anyone who’s just in it to make a buck off prevailing political sentiment.

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