Click-it or Ticket

We have heard the rumblings in Lincoln that many other also heard. Things have been unofficial for a while. They are getting more official. You want a shake-up in the GOP Senate race?

We are hearing that state Senators have heard from one of their colleagues and that things are getting more and more advanced.

And the OWH’s Robynn Tysver featured former Governor Kay Orr today, noting her support for a Senate candidate, other than Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg.

And who she has encouraged to run.

We have not head of any announcement date, but as Governor Dave has been saying, Click-it or Ticket, baby. It is going to be an exciting ride.


We have been observing the little tit-for-tat between Senator Mike Johanns and Senator Ben Nelson about what Obamacare — of which Nelson was the deciding vote — means for MediCare.

Johanns has been arguing, among other things, that Obamacare cuts $500 million from Medicare, and that the current plan won’t work to fix the skyrocketing costs of the program.

Nelson argues that Republicans who support the Ryan plan want to cut Medicare, and that there are no Medicare cuts in Obamacare.

Well, it is an interesting argument, but we would note that the Assistant Democrat Leader in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, addressed the issue of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts on the Senate floor. Will Obama care cut hundreds of billions from Medicare? Durbin:

The simple answer is, yes.

And the Washington Post has addressed the issue as well, pointing out that Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare come to $500 billion.

So does that mean the case it closed, and the Dems quit harping on Ryan?

Ha, funny question you ask. (Sometimes there ARE dumb questions!)

But what it does mean, is that Nelson’s plan for his TV ads talking about “the GOP’s risky scheme”, showing a seasoned citizen being thrown out of a hospital by a fat guy wearing a top hat and spats, ain’t gonna work.

There might have been a time when voters felt they could simply trust whatever good ol’ Bennie said.

That time has ended for the author of the Cornhusker Kickback.


You may remember that last week the LJS’s Don Walton wrote,

Listed among the clients of Maptitude for Redistricting, a software source that includes a feature allowing you to “update historic election results to new political boundaries,” is the Nebraska Republican Party. Hmm.

Once he discovered it wasn’t true, he Tweeted that, and then deleted that portion from his column.

We pointed out that a printed retraction was in order, and he added this to his column yesterday:

Last week, a column item stated that “listed among the clients of Maptitude for Redistricting” was the Nebraska Republican Party.

That was accurate; the party was listed as a client.

The problem is that the column item was unintentionally misleading because the party no longer was a client and had not been since 2001.

“We have been removed from the online client list for Maptitude,” NEGOP tweeted to its followers later that morning. “Thanks to Howard Simkowitz for correcting the error.”

Error corrected.

And this item sets it straight for any column readers who may have been unintentionally misled.

And hey, we don’t want to get into some sort of pissing match with Don. We just think that when an error has been made, you correct it as soon as you can. In the internets days, it’s easy.

So we would just point out that…

1) It took Don a week to print the correction.
2) It was done long after the debate on the issue had ended.
3) He left out the crux of the matter, which was the implication that the NEGOP was using the software at issue to “update historic election results to new political boundaries“. Without noting that that was false, who cares if the NEGOP was a client, or not?

The whole gist of the issue was Walton’s “Hmm.” So since Don really didn’t “set the record straight”, we will just go ahead and do it for him here:

Don’s implication that the NEGOP was doing something underhanded or sneaky or whatever else with Maptitude software was wrong, misguided and represented something that shouldn’t have been written.

There, that sets the record straight. Not so hard, huh?

Look, this little issue isn’t really that big of a deal. But people on the interwebs and blogs and tweets and facebooks are going to speak up when something false is written. And (to paraphrase funny Steve Martin) excuuuuuuuuse us.

This is why we got into blogging. To address the stuff that appears at the edges of the main-stream-media. That influences people, yet never gets challenged.

Don is a skilled writer, we love reading his column, and we are glad he’s there. And we get it. He wants to hammer the GOP and the Governor for what he thinks are overly political implications to the redrawn districts — like he did in his column today.

But then he went a step too far. And we are also very cognizant that this sort of “mistake” would not have been made against Ben Nelson. It just wouldn’t have. And if it had, it would have been corrected and retracted until we were all sick of it.

And we all know that. But every once in a while, it needs to be said.



  1. Anonymous says:

    According to that Op Ed – always a credible source! – Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare and redirects it to a separate “entitlement program” (i.e. an alternate method to cover healthcare costs). The Ryan plan cuts even more, but that money goes to tax breaks for the wealthy. I’m not saying either plan is a good idea, but Ryan’s is definitely the worst of the two.

  2. Macdaddy says:

    Democrats’ Plan A for saving Medicare: demagogue the Republican plan.
    Democrats’ Plan B for saving Medicare:

  3. To Err is Human says:

    SS: You rightly wrote: Don is a skilled writer, we love reading his column, and we are glad he’s there.

    He’s also – detailed research shows – the fairest of them of all…Nebraska’s newspaper/media political writer/analysts.

    DW is not perfect; who is? But the record shows that he does give equal coverage to Democrats and Republicans, men and women, underdogs and top-dogs… when you compare him to the state’s other political writers.

    Coming soon is a fascinating account of the 2010 Congressional elections that reveals the extent to which the OWH – ostensibly the state’s ‘Paper of Record’ – treated Cornhuskers to journalistic malpractice the likes of which this state has rarely seen.

  4. To Forgive is not in the Liberal Lexicon says:

    Citing ‘research’ showing that Walton is the ‘fairest’ (liberal) political analyst in the state is akin to saying that Mussolini was the ‘best’ WWII dictator because his regime killed fewer people than either Hitler or Stalin. Walton clearly has a ‘bias’ against the majority of Nebraska Voters (Republicans) and needs to ‘get over it’ or find a new job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In all due respects to Kay Orr, but she’s been out to political pasture a long time not to mention off the radar screen while barely a blip. Jon Bruning is an attractive candidate with a solid track record of accomplishments as AG. He needs to forget about the other tired old dogs who are strung as tight as a banjo and focus on his strengths which are many. As for whom, what and where someone is hinting, kinda, sorta, maybe jumping into the Senate race to beat real old and tired not so gentle Ben? Put up or shut up.

    Another thing? Why is nobody in the GOP ranks positioning now to dethrone this mayor?

  6. The Record says:

    Just for the record who gave us Ben Nelson and Bob Kerrey as US Senators? Hint: She was a former Nebraska Governor.

  7. Dennis says:

    The Ryan Plan – which is supported by the Republicans in Nebraska’s Congressional delegation – maintains the $500 billion in Medicare cuts from the 2010 health care reform bill. IMO, Johanns is being disingenuous when he criticizes Nelson for supporting those cuts.

  8. Run Deb Run says:

    Here is to hoping Deb Fischer runs for Senate. Talk about tired old dogs – could you find two people who embody the idea of a perennial candidate anymore than Don Stenberg or Jon Bruning? Deb Fischer would be a breath of fresh air – someone who wants to address the challenges of our state and nation instead of demagoguing them so they achieve their life-long ambition of being a senator.

    And she has something else none of the other candidates have – a proved record of being able to shepherd significant legislation through a legislative body for the good of Nebraska. She didn’t sit on the sidelines and skip votes and make speeches that could be used in political ads for future elective office. She forged coalitions, negotiated, and got the deal done.

    Nebraska would be well served to have Deb Fischer representing them in the United States Senate.

  9. OmahaDEM says:

    Maybe Deb getting in will at least get Brunings campaign to do something, anything. As of right now, his inept campaign is driving right into Nelson’s Buz Saw.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tax Deb Tax – nothing to do today at the Bruning campaign? The roads bill did NOT increase taxes. It set money aside for roads without raising taxes. Brilliant leadership.

  11. Tax Deb Tax says:

    Sorry I don’t work for Jon. Just wondering how Deb takes a huge Chunk out of the General fund for a new spending priority. What is she going to cut??? If I remember we had genera fund money to use for property tax relief. Kiss that goodbye. So Anonymous, do you work for Kay’s former staffer?

  12. Old Joe says:

    Run Deb Run – When was the last time a State Senator won a statewide GOP primary? I’m sure Ms. Fisher has great name ID in the State Capitol, and maybe in her district.

  13. Rob says:

    What exactly has Jon Bruning accomplished as Attorney General? I thought he spent most of his time running for other positions and getting new head shots taken for his latest mailer?

  14. Brilliant leadership says:

    There is a huge difference in getting bill’s passed in Nebraska’s non-partisan legislature than making significant policy changes in the United States Senate. The Senate is the big leagues where the Unicam might as well be whatever league the Salt Dog’s play in.

    It’s a little different getting Utter, and Pankonin to sign on to bills rather than McCain and DeMint.

    If Fischer announces… We’ll see if she can play at this level in the campaign. I doubt it.

  15. Dennis says:

    What exactly has Jon Bruning accomplished as Attorney General? He just lost a big case in the Nebraska Supreme Court. Even though the drug used in the execution chemical cocktail is illegal in the U.S., Bruning pushed for the execution of Carey Dean Moore. The Nebraska Supreme Court had no choice but to unanimously decide to stay the execution. The case was a sure loser and yet Bruning pushed forward at taxpayer expense during a state budget crisis.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bruning co-chaired the National Association of Attorney Generals in regards to the Tobacco Project having to do with the setlement. He took on the wasted funds for the NEOC when they refused to investigate their cases properly while trying to force him to defend them with tax dollars. HELLo?. Sigh. Need I continue? And, I don’t work for the Bruning Senate campaign though I wish I did because someone is sitting on their sorry whatever and ain’t getting the message out there. Besides why does Deb’s Mom keep pitching her here?

  17. Anonymous says:

    If you unintentionally kick Don Walton in the, er, shins, will he find that less painful than if you intentionally kick him?

    Walton talks like he is not responsible for his own inaccuracies as a paid reporter of facts. Yet if Walton’s own kids whined about how they did not intentionally get an F on a report card, he would not give them the free pass he demands for himself.

  18. Rambler says:

    Maybe Bruning chaired a national tobacco project because he voted for a tax increase on tobacco while he was in the Legislature. Just sayin’ that mister “no tax increase” might not be so pure…”

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sure seems a lot of “Staff” is on the board. Kind of gives it away when you refer to Senators by just their last names. But hey who really cares. In the end the more you focus on a opponent the more free press you are giving them. The AG is way out front in terms of money and name recognition, the race is his to lose. However, it would be interesting to see how it plays out if Bruning wins the primary.
    1. Who becomes the next AG? (Please tell me it will be Don)))))))
    2. IF it is Sen. Flood then the next session just got real interesting because a whole lot of deals need to be cut!
    a. If it is Sen Adams then who is chair of Education Howard? Sullivan? Avery?
    b. Who will back whom, and which sitting chair will try to run against Adams thus leaving a potential vacancy? Would it be vacant or is it a free pass to run? Oh the joy of it all…

    Of course if Jon loses…….and Stenberg loses….. why how can the be elected ever again?

    Oh and what does the superstar of the Democrats do? Hmmmmmmm very intriguing.

  20. Bob Loblaw says:

    Everyone refers to politicians by their last name. I call the President by just Obama, just as many people refer to Bush. Doesn’t mean I’m on either of their payrolls.

  21. junior league says:

    SS: You are acting like your friend Don Walton. All of this tripe hype about Deb Fischer is of little consequence in the Senate primary. She will make it about as interesting as Pat Flynn will. She’s no Kay Orr. It is like you are just trying to sell newspapers by screaming “Interesting” “Extra” “Read All About It” when It is really not that much. Quite beating the drum; there is no parade behind you.

  22. JL,
    I agree with you…IF
    1) she fails to hire a competent staff and,
    2) she fails to raise enough money to make her competitive.
    But if she does NOT fail in those two endeavors, then the game has changed.

  23. campaigner says:

    Being a state senator is great in all, but not really the best place to run a statewide campaign from. Especially during session.

  24. RWP says:

    Walton is a NY Yankees fan. Spend huge amounts of money with only limited and intermittent success; now why would a Yankees fan be a liberal?

    I’ve been reading Don for years. I think that, particularly recently, he’s been trying hard to be fair and balanced, but his heart just isn’t in it.

  25. Macdaddy says:

    I would rather that Walton be honest about his political leanings. If he’s a flaming liberal, then he should feel free to write like Paul Krugman and his wife. He ought to come out of the closet and be an opinion journalist rather than this facade of trying to be fair and balanced. That, of course, in no way excuses him from not correcting mistakes he makes, but I would much rather have someone be forthright about their opinions instead of being two-faced about it.

  26. Grundle King says:


    If Walton did as you suggested, and wrote what was in his heart, then his columns could no longer appear under the “News” section of the LJS…though they shouldn’t even be there now. Why the powers that be have yet to correctly identify his column as opinion is beyond me.

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