Fischer’s day

The Deb Fischer for U.S. Senate launch went off yesterday, and we gotta say, she received quite a bit of attention for someone who others are saying can not win or should not be there.

The main culprit for these criticisms: Ben Nelson and the Democrats.

Democrat chief (well, when Jane Kleeb lets him be) Vic Covalt came out saying that Fischer is “another unqualified candidate”.

Another? Wait, so two Attorney Generals (Attorneys General?), State Treasurer, Two State Senators — just naming all the top gigs — are “unqualified”? Har.

This from the party who offered Nebraskans Mike Meister, David Hahn, Scott Kleeb, Ivy Harper, Rebekkah Davis and Jim Esch among others?

Since they brought it up, the GII’s Robert Pore seemed to be the only one who listed Fischer’s whole resume, so we will just quote him:

Fischer was born and raised in Lincoln and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she graduated with a bachelor of science in education. She and her husband, Bruce, have been married for 39 years and own a ranch near Valentine, where the couple’s three sons work.

Fischer was elected to the Unicameral, representing the 43rd District, in 2004. She chairs the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and is a member of the Revenue Committee and the Executive Board.

Prior to running for the Legislature, she was elected to the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education, became president of the Nebraska Association of School Boards and served as a commissioner on the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education. In 1999, Fischer received the Nebraska Association of School Boards Lifetime Achievement Award and the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association Outstanding Board Member Award.

Her legislative initiatives have dealt with education, water policy, statewide economic development and natural resources issues, as well as proposals to improve transportation funding.

Whew! Got that memorized? Good.


So Covalt went on to wonder how many more will enter, “this circus show of yammers”.

Now we want to tell Mr. Covalt to just stop right there. That is uncalled for. He may be a lot of things, but to call Ben Nelson a “yammer” is just over the top!

We aren’t even sure what a “yammer” is, but we are pretty sure it isn’t a compliment for Senator Nelson, so just you hold onto your hat, ya ol’ Dandy! (Or whatever it is people said in the 20’s…)

Even funnier was the response from Ben Nelson’s super-big-time campaign chief, Paul Johnson, in the LJS.  Fischer, like Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg, hammered Nelson on, among other things, the Cornhusker Kickback and the Obama stimulus votes.

And what was Johnson’s response? Telling what Nelson did…while Governor in the ‘90s. He couldn’t even take the time to come up with some other superficial vote that Nelson has made in the Senate. He went back to Nelson’s time in Lincoln.

Well heck, then looks like it is time to get back to Nelson’s $145 million blunder with the low-level nuclear waste facility, yeah? Maybe later…


But the goofy campaign note that the Twitters are all twittering about was the use of Trackers by the parties, campaigns and neo-parties out there.

First, the gals at Bold Nebraska (they referred to Fischer as a “gal”, so we assume that must be the proper term to use for a female running for office — because no female liberal Democrat would have been pissed if Hillary Clinton was referred to as a “gal”) spent more of Dick Holland’s money to send their own video tracker to Omaha for Fischer’s announcement.

And the Fischer folks should give them a firm “thankyouverymuch” because they posted her stump speech, in its entirety, on their YouTube site. See it here:

(Notice how they said “Fischy”??? Get it?! Because it’s funny and clever! Ghheee!)

But the tracking didn’t stop there, as the Democrats — specifically the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee — then sent their own tracker, Justin Solomon, to the Fischer gigs in Lincoln, Grand Island and Kearney. Unlimited funds there, DSCC? Making up to Senator Nelson for something? (More on that below.)

And just to complete the tracking gigs, the Jon Bruning camp sent their own tracker to the events as well — and the Fischer peeps made this little vid of Zach Cain, getting grilled:

We will say that Zach did very well during the brief questioning, though the “investigative reporting” response seemed a little goofy. Apparently former Governor Kay Orr even said hello to young Zach, which would have made his day, had he known who she was.

The whole video tracking phenomenon seems a bit wacky to us, but has provided a full-employment scenario to many nascent campaigners out there. But it has to provide immediate confirmation for the Fischer campaigners that hers is significant. We doubt there was a tracker at the truck-driver guy’s announcement.


Though of course, the most sinister tracker of them all even has his own website…Joe Jordan! (Yuck, yuck.) Joe also caught up with Senator Fischer, and immediately addressed the question no one was talking about…abortion!

Once that was tossed aside, Jordan quizzed Fischer on various other issues. See his report here:


Channel 10/11 (which is it!??!), actually put together a nice piece on the various comments from the parties and campaigns regarding the announcement. See it here:

(Nice job on the cuts with each one talking about “getting attention”.)

And then there is the obligatory poli sci guy talking about how “uncivil” campaigns are today versus how “civil” they were in the past, and how they “used to be about issues.”

What past was that, again? The 90’s? The 80’s? 70’s? 60’s? The 1800’s? 1700’s? Help us out here, because campaigns have had nasty moments since the first caveman yelled, “Neaderthals suck!” during Gog’s LaBrea Tar Pits acceptance speech.

If Twitter had been around in the Founding Fathers’ day, it would have been “@BenFranklin should invent TRI-focals next time. LOL #StupidElectricKite”.

So let us just get over ourselves on that point. It is pretty clear that this is going to be a tough, possibly brutal, primary and general for all involved. So just gird yourself and pick and choose what you think is actually important.

In the mean time, we will handle commenting on the candidate’s hair.


One completely insignificant point for the campaign nerds out there — we liked the vertical hanging campaign banner behind Fischer. Usually you have either the yard sign that you duct tape to the front of the podium or jam someplace behind the candidate. Or you have your giant parade banner that is either too big or too shiny to be seen.

This, “bring your own standing banner” is a nice addition and solves those pesky issues you usually have with the other choices. Nerd aesthetics finished.


And just to finish off, did you see where the Democrats are ALREADY abandoning Ben Nelson’s Senate campaign?

The DSCC sent out a fundraising appeal noting where they would LIKE to put some campaign dollars next year (Wyoming? Really?). But they note that if they do not get the money they need, they will just have to leave off certain states — like Nebraska.


Now many Dems have already jumped in and said, “well, this is just to set a fire under Democrats to raise money.” Yeah, well maybe.

But someone had to draw up that little map, and someone had to leave Ben Nelson OFF of the list.

And you can bet that SOMEONE in the Senator’s chair in Ben Nelson’s office tensed up, bristled and maybe even started making phone calls when he saw that list.

Veins popping? We wouldn’t be surprised.


  1. Grammar's not your grandma, it's your graaaamar. says:

    Ironically, I misspelled “grammar” in my previous post. I’d better get out in front of that error before RWP sees it.

  2. Anonymostly says:

    So, the Fischer camp tracks the tracker and suggests he should have better things to do, huh? Pot, meet kettle?

  3. GeosUser says:

    The esteemed (in his own mind) Senator Ben Nelson had one of those telephone townhall meetings last evening. First, it sounded prerecorded to me. Second, it was all Medicare mediscare crappola. “There’s no need to reform Medicare and if I’m in office nothing will change” kind of BS over and over. That will be Ben’s one and only issue for next year…”I won’t let them touch Medicare”. From the absolute BS he was spewing on the call, he’s sure to get the seniors already on Medicare and the ignorant close to retirement vote. He’s beyond desperate.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bruning has to become more loveable and by sending a tracker it suggests insecurity. Who cares? Watch her on the evening news. He’s the top dog. It’s that petty tit for tat that bores the electorate while making great chatter at the campaign full of novices chomping at the bit to twit their tweeter or tweet their twitter.

  5. Wild Bill says:

    GeosUser, I emailed him last week about the balanced budget amendment, and all he came back with was medicare BS, smeared Paul Ryan and made some lame point about cutting Senatorial budgets by 5%. Its almost sad how little he has to stand on.

  6. Trackers says:

    Campaigns track. Bloggers Track. Activists Track. News organizations? Track. Everyone should just get over it and make sure they don’t say or do something stupid.

  7. Panhandle Slim says:

    Several of us democrats in the western part of the state are forming an organization to support Deb Fischer as a viable alternative to Ben Nelson. He’s done nothing for us and the NDP has done nothing for us but beg us for our money. If it takes supporting a republican to finally get rid of Nelson and his Omaha power base then so be it.

  8. Red State Reader says:

    “Bruning would cross the grave of George Washington to bow down to Kim Jong-Il if he thought he was a vote short of being in the hub of power. Also of note, his former Finance Chairman resigned amid an insider trading scandal. His current campaign chairman is marred by allegations of spousal abuse.”
    Ouch, this is from the Red State blog. With friends like this . . .

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just feel bad for that kid. What did team bruning do? Send some kid that had never done that before with a camera and said good luck? Yikes, that campaign must be a model of organization…

  10. Macdaddy says:

    With Obama sucking up $1billion of democrat donor money, and Nelson already getting a $1million advance as payola for his obamacare vote, he shouldn’t expect to get much more than he already has. But then this election is in the bag for both Nelson and Obama, so no worries, right?

  11. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    @ SS: Been sweet on you – whoever you are – ever since you “Separated Me at Birth” to the lovely fellow Leo Kristen Wiig who just happens to be 21 years younger than moi.

    True Story: I’m in D.C. finishing up a couple of books and the other night at a dinner party, one of the guests arrived with a blown-up version of your side-by-side Ivy Harper and Kristen Wiig photos. “Who is ‘Leavenworth St.?,'” they asked. Wish I knew, I replied.

    Anyhoo, based on my experience as the 2010 Democratic Congressional Candidate for Nebraska’s illustrious 1st CD, I predict that State Senator Deb Fischer will win the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.

    I, alone, predicted that Edward Zorinsky would win his first race when every other one of the “guys” said he didn’t have a chance…including a family of well-known Irish-Americans in Omaha.

    Speaking of John Cavanaugh, here’s my “dream race”: Deb Fischer, Republican; John Cavanaugh, Democrat.

    I’ve always been a dreamer but then again, I was the only “Lincolnite” hired to be a salaried worker on John Cavanaugh’s 1976 successful campaign for the U.S. Congress.

    I, alone, argued repeatedly with the late Thomas A. Fogarty that there was “something off-kilter” about Senator John Edwards.

    God bless Senator Ben Nelson but he’s been on the government dole for more than two decades now. Wish he’d gracefully step down and let a fresh freckled face take over…albeit a mature one.

    To recap my predictions: Deb Fischer, Republican; John Cavanaugh, Democrat.

    I have great respect for Senator Nelson, Attorney General Jon Bruning and State Treasurer Don Stenberg; my brilliant father, Royce Harper, worked well into his early 80’s as an Assistant AG for 8 years under D.S. and 3 years under JB who attended my father’s retirement party and gave a thoughtful – and really funny – perfect speech about my dad’s near 40-year tenure as a lawyer for the state).

    Unfortunately, any race between Sen. Nelson and either A.G. Bruning or S.T. Stenberg will be a replay of the Rep. Lee Terry versus Tom White race.

    Nebraskans are tired of the good old boys club. Women make races inherently more balanced and interesting. The 1st CD borders the 2nd and a whole host of events/parades/fairs etc. that I attended during the summer before the fall election drew voters who could only vote in the 2nd District.

    Guess what I started hearing over and over and over again beginning about August 2010: “We wish we lived in either the 1st or 3rd District so we could vote for you or Rebekah Davis; we’re sick of the Terry/Tom (Terrific) White race.

    And these comments came – I’m sad to say – mostly from Democrats.

    Two men engaging in what I call political antler-bashing is unappealing not to mention boring. Punch. Counter Punch. Repeat ad infinitum.

    The reason the remarkable Rebekah (one “K” Mr. Sweeper) Davis and I were so roundly ignored by both the parties and the press is precisely because with fair and balanced coverage and bona fide support, we could have rocked the state.

    Not by winning, necessarily, but by challenging the GOP/Democratic-we-like-the-status-quo-because-we-have-a-50-50-chance-of-winning-every-election-but-candidates-like-Harper/Davis-are-genuinely-God-forbid…Independent.

    P.S. Mr. Sweeper: Both Rebekah and I remain totally qualified; in my next Post, let me count the ways.

  12. Panhandle Slim says:

    Well, Ms. Harper, you’ve nailed some of the issues on the head of the nail for why some of us will be talking to our fellow democrats about why we should be supporting a republican to run against ‘our’ party’s candidate for senate next year. We too are sick and tired of the status quo and the continuing orders from Lincoln that tell us to support Ben or shut up. Well, we’re not going to shut up, and we’re not taking our orders from Lincoln and Omaha any more.
    The third district now spans the entire state. We may be far between, but the thing that separates us from the democrats in the first and second districts is that we are all rural towns and counties. We don’t like having a bunch of city slicker lawyers telling us how we are supposed to think and telling us what we are supposed to do.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I can almost hear the geesers out there grumbling a response to Ms. Harper now for daring to make her points. I predict nasty attacks ahead so hang on to your Wheaties.

  14. Macdaddy says:

    Thank God, but Senator Nelson wanted to make sure that the Army Corps of Engineers was protecting those nuclear plants. I bet it had slipped their minds. Senator Nelson “called on them.” Phew. Now that’s leadership.

    Senator, your eUpdates are lame, but not as lame as your actions. I am sure the irony is lost on you that in nearly every one of your eUpdates, you are touting how you are protecting the interests of Nebraskans from the foibles, incompetencies and unfair actions of the government: a government that you are more than happy to throw large, large sums of money to get it to grow bigger and bigger. You are the problem, not the solution. Everyone sees it but you.

  15. And just in case there was any misunderstanding: I am not related, by blood or marriage or any other way, to any announced candidates for office.
    Thanks for your interest.

  16. Anonymostly says:

    Hey, vile Kyle (anonymous at post 18), you were so right. Ivy’s post has been up a mere 14 hours and the slew of nasty responses has been overwhelming. It must be a harrowing experience posting on here as a dem. You’re all so brave.

  17. Anonymostly says:

    So, Ivy, just so that we have it down correctly, you (the only Democrat who could figure out about John Edwards what Republicans knew immediately) think it’ll be Deb Fischer against John Cavanaugh in the general election … for U.S. Senate. Correct? Which can only mean that either old Ben steps down and decides not to run OR you have JC defeating Ben in a primary. Or do you think Ben will pull a Paul Wellstone? That’d be cool to see another moving eulogy by Tom Harkin, doncha think?

  18. Andy says:

    Looking on, “yammer” can either mean “to speak incessantly about nothing” or, well, you’ll just have to go look it up for yourself (as well as the def for “yammers”).

  19. Macdaddy says:

    Ms. Harper, you won your party’s nomination. By your definition you rocked the state as did Ms. Davis, who also won her party’s nomination. You both went up against a popular Republican incumbent during an election when your party lost an astounding 63 Congressional seats. You had absolutely no chance and no amount of party support or news coverage was going to change that, hence no party support or news coverage.

    You think of yourself as independent, but that’s just a codeword for liberal trying to win in a conservative district. Ben Nelson ruined that ploy for you. Need another example? President Obama hailed himself as a pragmatist, someone who wasn’t held captive to ideology. Apart from keeping Gitmo open, the Patriot Act, and killing bin Laden, he has not deviated one iota from a liberal ideology. People aren’t buying independent anymore, especially if there is a D after your name. You were always going to vote for Nancy Pelosi and follow her lead even if you weren’t intending to because I doubt you are the next Ron Paul.

    Bipartisanship died in the 2000 election and good riddance to it. Unfortunately, that means that you are going to have to redo your approach if you want to run again. Independent or bipartisan aren’t going to cut it. If it makes you feel any better, Mitt Romney is about to learn the same lesson for a lot more money than you paid.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hey post 23….not vile, not Kyle. As for the geesers not responding with nasty for 14 hours? They were in bed getting their beauty sleep for the strength to take on another round of grumbling.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bipartisan, independent? In a federal race? How can anyone be so silly as to expect We the People will somehow calmly and unpartisanly agree on national matters of policy when no one here can get their own family to agree on what to grill on July 4th?

    Some of this nonsense is spewed by a former candidate who sought serious power over thousands of people. How creepy is that? Congress is nearly devoid of non-affiliates, partisanship rules DC, and yet a Democrat here pushes faux independence while pronouncing which Republican will magically pull the GOP nomination, while simultaneously discounting Ben Nelson. Yes, that Ben Nelson. The one who raped Harry, made Obama cry “uncle”, and tried to give every Nebraska taxpayer the largest slice of federal “pork” ever. That Nelson is toast? Maybe. Maybe not.

    And this comes wrapped in a series of tender self-embraces of, “I alone… I alone…” Yes, you alone deem yourself wise in retrospect. Still, voters dumped you like a dirty diaper. In that, you aren’t alone. Some of those dumped do actually try to learn from it, but the terminally stupid apparently come here and blog under their own name.

  22. anonymous says:

    Hey, Sweep, did you hear about Mark Fahleson’s accidental tweet sizing up the Senate candidates’ willingness to attend some undefined fundraiser or event?

    @fahleson Bruning has, Stenberg is cheap and may have his wife do it. Fischer is his best bet.

  23. I am aware of it. But your guess on what the question was is wrong.
    Much less intriguing. But it was meant to be a Direct Message and not a Tweet, so I can’t go any farther than that.
    But you’re not missing anything interesting.
    And I like your glasses.

  24. Anonymostly says:

    Hey, 18 and 27, already 26 hours and still no nasty geezers. Hmmm. Unlike Ivy, you’re not very prescient.

  25. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    @ Anonymostly at 9:28 a.m.: The last sentence of your Post is beyond the pale & SS should remove it.

    @ Anonymous at 8:22 p.m.: You do realize when you write crude Posts that it reflects on you, not me.

    There’s passion; fierce disagreement; sarcasm; hyperbole, caustic “air quotes,” and thank heaven, humor in SS, Macdaddy and most other Posters.

    You, however, come across like a thug. Your use of words like ‘rape,’ ‘creepy’ ‘dumped you like a dirty diaper,’ and ‘terminally stupid,’ peg you as a bully.

    I’m pretty sure SS wants Independents and Democrats reading Leavenworth St; after all, why simply preach to the converted.

    Bottom line, Anonymous: chill.

  26. Matt says:

    I enjoy reading this site. I have not commented previously. You had a question mark in the post: the phrase would be “attorneys general.” Thanks for your work!

  27. Husker says:


    Aren’t you the same candidate that has a restraining order against you by the UNO Chancellor? Weren’t you hiding out in some bushes on campus waiting to ambush him? And you’re the best the Dems could put out there? I could go handpick any other student at UNL in the arts school (they’re all liberals anyway) and they would be more qualified and have fewer skeletons in their closet.

    Remind me again why you’re posting.

  28. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    The UNO ban is bogus and the full story will come out in a book I’m writing.

    UNO Chancellor Christensen wrote me an email after the one – and only – time we met in the fall of 2006. The email begins, “Hi Ivy,” and ends, “Respectfully, John.” Our brief meeting was pleasant and uneventful.

    My background is investigative journalism and I had discovered an unlawful UNO program that was denying admission to Nebraskans in favor of out-of-state students who pay nearly three times the tuition.

    How do you think UNO has been funding its building boom? I began to challenge the fact that fourth-generation Nebraskans could not get in to NU programs at a federal/public Land Grant Act-chartered university. Land Grant universities were established for the students OF THE STATE.

    But I learned that you do not challenge NU, UNO or UN-L or you will be crushed.

    I received the “ban” just days before UNO was supposed to give me documents that I had requested under Nebraska’s Open Records laws; additionally, I received the “ban” just days after I went above UNO’s head and expressed my concerns about UNO to the President of NU, James Milliken.

    The “ban” was pure retaliation. Remember, my findings were going to be coming directly after UNO already had been rocked by the resignation of then-Chancellor Nancy Belck who just so happened to “found” the unlawful UNO program.

    In denying me admission into this UNO writing program, I was told that I was not a “qualified” enough writer to make the cut when actually the 2004 NU-Regent-approved founding documents on this program stated, “This program is specifically designed for out-of-state students.” In other words, I didn’t get in because of that reason not because I wasn’t “qualified.”

    After I challenged it, the original language that described the UNO master’s writing program was removed from the actual archival account on the NU Regents website. At first, the language was changed to, “This program is designed for ‘global citizens’ and then later, the original language was – shockingly – deleted completely.

    The record completely supports my account.

  29. Husker says:

    Correction Ivy: YOUR record supports your account.

    UNO is funding it’s building boom with NU Foundation dollars. I’m lucky enough to have donated and attended multiple UNO openings (such as Mammel Hall, the new business building). Those are NU Foundation efforts – if you were checking any sort of NU record you’d see that very very very few buildings are built at any campus via tuition! Most buildings that are not built by the Foundation are built with STATE dollars! Do your research, ma’am.

    You were asked to leave and not appear at numerous Regent meetings because you’d be violating your restraining order against Chancellor Christensen. You wrote to the University saying they should host a debate between you and Jeff Fortenberry because it’s “their duty” and people are supposed to take your seriously? C’mon….

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