Kicking up the Kickback

The Nebraska Republican Party put together a :40 second video about Ben Nelson, and his infamous Cornhusker Kickback. See it here:

It is powerful in its brevity and choice of quotes.

We have always thought that Nelson figured this would blow over a week or two after he sold his vote for ObamaCare.

He was mistaken.


U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is saying that the Keystone XL Pipeline may get approval because of concerns about energy security, and the preference to get oil from a neighboring ally.

You can see the whole interview here:

We heard about this in a Tweet from Republican Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska’s 2nd District , who has been, and still is, in favor of the pipeline.


And we see that Arizona now wants to move their Presidential Primary up from February 28th to January 31st.

Of course citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire will bitch and moan about this because for some unknown reason they get to decide who the Presidential nominees are every four years. You know, because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

So, our question here is, What sort of backward-ass banana-Republic are we living in that we don’t have some sort of organized plan for Presidential Primaries??? After the walls came down in Eastern Europe, the Poles and Czechs and Hungarians mush have come over and said, “Uh, THIS is it? This is your ‘plan’? What the hell? We could have gotten this idea from Moscow.”

How about the Governors or Senators or whomever call some sort of convention and come up with a better plan, huh? Split it up so the times rotate every four years. Make it fair. Everyone gets a shot. Oh, and can we do away with the stupid caucuses already?

Of course as soon as someone suggests this, they risk losing the Iowa and New Hampshire vote! Uh, we can’t have that! Run!

Love to hear your comments on why this would be a bad idea. We’re flabbergasted every four years…


And Gooooooooooooo Huskers! Throttle those Chattanoogans!


  1. TexasAnnie says:

    Shifting primary dates won’t help cure the problem: THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IS THE PROBLEM!
    There are many more than two points of reference in our country. So why do two parties control?
    It’s because the two major parties have created and sustained election laws which inhibit and/or prevent traction for the minor parties. Perhaps the Tea Party experience since the last election cycle can shake things up, or perhaps not? Their strength, ‘lack of central organization,’ is also their weakness. Caucuses, primaries, or even conventions will not settle the smothering effect of Republicans AND Democrats!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Talking about bribes is not going to be a winning strategy for Nebraska Republicans if Jon Bruning is the nominee for Senate. Nelson will turn the kickback into bringin’ home the bacon, and fill the air waves with tales of Brunings bribes from NELNET and deals for dollars from an ethically challenged attorney general. Face it, the front runner is a guaranteed loser against Nelson. If Fischer can’t win the primary, then it’s time to get someone in the race besides Bruning.

  3. Justin Cherry-Kleeb says:

    I’m impressed with Lee Terry’s stand on the pipeline! Actually, I’m impressed all around with his leadership in Washington.

  4. Eve says:

    Isn’t this just an example of picking the low hanging fruit? I mean, seriously, doing a spot filled with foaming at the mouth anti-Democrats is supposed to be taken seriously – especially when one of them is the self-proclaimed comedian, Rush Limbaugh?
    Please, Sweeper, you used to be better than this. Now you’re only trying as hard as Kyle Michaelis.

  5. Still Skeptical says:

    The “kickback” issue is not a winner for Republicans. Those who followed the health care debate were up in arms about this, sure, but the average person is not. Most don’t even know what the heck this ad is referring to. It’s very easy to paint as Ben trying to get a better deal for Nebraskans, and most won’t have a problem with that. It would be better to simply campaign against Nelson’s vote for Obamacare, period, because people still have a negative perception of the health care legislation. The Nebraska GOP doesn’t get enough challenge to keep it sharp, I fear. And a better candidate than Bruning is sorely needed, if the goal is to displace Ben.

  6. RWP says:

    I am so pissed at the NY Slimes. They’re claiming the RNC ‘coined’ the term ‘President Zero’ yesterday. I’ve been calling him ‘teh 0’ for at least the last two years, as is amply evidenced in my blog.
    And I claim no originality in this. Do some research, you apologies for journalists!

  7. “Funny” at 1:33,

    Ooh, you’re so perceptive! That was our little way of showing support for Terry and his position, w/o saying, “And gib him sum $$$!” Though I do believe it was a pretty obvious link, no?

    And if Terry is willing to pay my bills, I will ship them directly to him. Or you. Doesn’t really matter.

    And thanks for readin’!

  8. Dennis says:

    The so-called “Cornhusker kickback” is a big yawn. In the end, it never became law. Moreover, votes have been bought and sold in D.C. for pork and tax breaks for decades. If people want to learn more about his old practice in D.C., I would recommend that any Reagan admirer (or political junkie regardless of political leanings) should read “The Education of David Stockman” from the Atlantic magazine back in 1981. The article is still available on line. The article indicates that the Reagan Administration purchased lots of votes for the 1981 tax cuts with pork and additional tax breaks. Any Republican who condemns the “Cornhusker kickback” needs to condemn Ronald Reagan.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As SS said, “The rabid attacks that are coming in over a YEAR before the General Election, it indicates that something else is afoot in this super-early campaign season.”

  10. Interesting on Terry Hater says:

    9:12, 9:38 and 10:25 (aka Terry Hater)–reminds me of the old Uncle at X-Mas gatherings who tells everyone the same joke over and over…

  11. Jobs says:

    “Obama owns the economy” – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

    Data out today shows unemployment stayed at 9.1 percent.


    Dems in NE–have fun explaining this…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why do we assume Nelson has ever hoped that the Cornhusker Kickback would fade away? Maybe he is banking on it.

    When Al Capone donated money to churches, did churches say no? Taking such pork isn’t ever admitted to the press, pollsters or to anyone, but how many churches gave the money back? I bet many or most kept the donations while preaching against crime each Sunday.

    Nelson’s kickback was a massive slice of pork, greasy even by political standards. But Americans love to gobble fat while protesting fat is unhealthy. And among those pork gobbling Americans are Nebraskans who are suckers for a Robin Hood; any iconoclast willing to rob unnamed rich other people to help the poor taxpayers of Nebraska.

    Nelson is banking on seedy human nature rolling under pollsters’ radar. That has a logic not seen in the GOP idea that voters somehow hate Nelson having tried to rob everyone else to lower Nebraskans’ taxes. The more he presents this awful truth, the more of it voters may swallow.

  13. Kortezzi says:

    Nelson fully bought into Jugears’ promise that the popularity of Obamacare would begin rising once people started getting free doctor visits. He’s as surprised as Pelosi looks, post-Botox, that the American people realize more every day that socialist medicine will be a disaster.

    Nelson also thought he’d buy off criticism for his 60th crucial vote for Obamacare by bringing home some serious bacon, namely the Cornhusker Kickback. He’s still shaking his head that Nebraskans are embarrassed at that gigantic bribe, rather than grateful for his savvy horse-trading.

    Starting to look like Stenberg may emerge as a stronger challenger than Bruning. Don’s squeaky clean and doesn’t have to defend his lake cabin deal, the Nelnet waiver, and the stupid raccoon thing. He may be boring, but no more so than Nelson. In 2012, a solid Republican like Don will fare better against Ben than last time.

    Also, I love the Cornhuskers’ Death Helmet logo. Not that we need it to scare the Mocs, though. Might help against Wisconsin – – they looked good. But Lil’ Red would be sufficient to intimidate Chattanooga.

  14. ttg says:

    Sweeper, this is not a backward-ass banana-Republic. America is a backward-ass corn-Republic. Bananas are farther south.

    As for our Primary elections being politically retarded, it is hard to fault you there. Americans like to tell other countries how thier political systems are wrong and yet we can’t even set an election day.

    Iowa and New Hampshire voters should be casterated before voting and euthenized after voting.

    That makes as much sense as a floating election day. If they are going to decide that the rest of us need dimwits like Obama and the contents of the dumpster we call “Congress”, then IA and NH voters ought to be held accountable in some way.

  15. Sandhills says:

    Some of us who oppose the route of the pipeline actually do not drink the Kool-aid from either side. We are able to read and comprehend the evidence and facts. SS you seem to put more credence in “scientific” fact when it is presented by the proponents, however, others, who have a familiarity with the State of Nebraska and the Sandhills have also presented opposing “scientific” evidence. Many landowners, WHO ACTUALLY LIVE IN THE SANDHILLS, have a unique perspective. They understand the environment and ecology of the area. The competition between “best case and worst case” is a moot point. That gray area is where the facts should be evaluated. Yes, there will be leaks, TC acknowledges that. Some may go undetected for some time (“leak detection down to less than 2%”). If a leak occurs in areas of standing or running water, such as the Elkhorn River basin, there could be much more than a “localized” effect. During the spring and fall rains, thousands of acres are drained from the Elkhorn River basin along the proposed route.
    I could care less about TC’s bottom line. Moving the pipeline to parallel the Keystone 1 is more costly to them, however, the soil structure and depth to the High Plains Aquifer are extremely different than along the proposed route. In addition, the reclamation of the land would require much less attention. How many are familiar with what is required to heal a “blow out” or for that matter even know what it is?
    Just a few thoughts, that I am sure will be shot down, but may give some food for thought.

  16. Macdaddy says:

    So, Sandhills, when the overwhelming majority of your neighbors have a different sense of the ecology and environment than you do, whose sense should we listen to? Perhaps we should vote on it. Maybe the rest of us think it’s worth the risk to decrease our dependence on conflict oil.

  17. Head in the Clouds says:

    If the Kickback doesn’t matter to Nebraskans, why is Senator Ben Nelson avoiding meetings with the public for the second year running?

  18. Alas Anon says:

    Looks like Janey baby did just as most of us expected – she got all you tools to put your necks on the line and get arrested, all while she said she was going to do the same. The protests are done for the day, and today was the last day, and Janey made sure to keep far, far away from any police or handcuffs. Anyone that listens to her or does what she asks from now on are idiots. If you really have issues with the pipeline, stay away from Jane and her group.

  19. Sandhills says:

    RWP I really don’t need Google Maps to know the route. I LIVE ON THE ROUTE. From Keya Paha County through Greeley County, although maybe not entirely designated as Sandhills, there are many of the same topographical and geographical features that define the term. There are miles and miles of neglible top soil and fragile grassland areas from the South Dakota border through Keya Paha, Rock, Holt, Garfield, Wheeler and Greeley counties. In addition to the low lying areas of very shallow water tables. Many areas along the proposed route certainly meet some of the same criteria for the Sandhills, and will certainly be as difficult to reclaim. This is not a recent event in the lives of affected landowners. I have been dealing with the lies, intimidaton and threats by TransCanada for longer that most of you informed citizens have even been aware of the proposed pipeline.

  20. Anonymous says:

    They are sand hills. SAND hills. Hills of SAND. It isn’t black earth bottom land, dude, it is sand with a few tufts of crap grass on top.

    Besides, oil companies don’t act like you with leaks. When you gas up, you just hold that pump handle down and let hundreds gallons pour all over the ground. You can afford it because, after all, oil is cheap and sand is valuable.

  21. notasdenseasdennis says:

    4:23 says the Reagan Administration “purchased lots of votes” with Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. That is true. Quit robbing people’s wallets and they thank you for that. Of course, Reagan cut taxes on the assumption that leaving money in individual and corporate hands meant more investing by one and expansion by the other. Since economies naturally heal slowly, for a year and a half everyone thought Reagan was mistaken. Reagan assumed that money in hands of those who can create real jobs would trickle down and that ground level investment would trickle up, to ignite an economic boom. It took some months, but that is precisely what happened.

    Interestingly, before Reagan was proved right, Republicans felt they had elected a dimwitted lifelong Democrat union president. But after the economic boom, Reagan was easily reelected by all. So, yes, people like to pay fewer taxes and have a job. That is what made voters happy with Reagan. And that is what makes them today unhappy today with Numbnuts.

    As for Ben Nelson being an okay senator because he isn’t as dishonest as the most dishonest senators in history, we shall leave that ethically-challenged idea alone to ripen. Maybe it will make sense after it ferments a while. Maybe not.

  22. Confused says:

    Gosh! I don’t know whose expertise on the geological and topological composition of Nebraska’s sandhills I should believe. Should it be the Fox News analyst and political agitator, Jane Kleeb, or UNL chemistry professor and political agitator, Gerard Harbison?
    Now there comes an LS poster going by “Sandhills” that claims not only to LIVE in the area that will be affected by potentially disastrous oil spills, but seems possibly more informed about the subjects of geology and topology than the aforementioned agitators.
    I am SO confused!

  23. Dennis says:

    notasdenseasdennis, I understand your point. It’s OK to purchase votes so long as it advances the conservative agenda. However, that’s not what the GOP told us in 2009-10. During that time period, the GOP condemned all vote purchases in Congress. It’s apparent to me that the REAL message of the GOP is that the “rules” they claim to follow only apply to the Democrats. Thanks for clearing that up.

  24. LoL says:

    Rob- Lee Terry wasn’t at the kiddie table because he isn’t even invited to dinner.
    Heard him on Voorhees and Voorhees asked him if he was going to be elected as the gang of 12….. Really Voorhees!!! Terry wouldn’t be invited if it was the gang of 435

  25. RWP says:

    OK, so they’re not actually Sandhills, but we’ll pretend they’re Sandhills.


    Confused: You get my nomination for truth in internet naming.

  26. RWP says:

    By the way, the Oglalla aquifer IS the High Plains aquifer. They’re the same thing. The aquifer underlies both Keystone and the proposed route of Keystone XL.

    I know I’m just one of those excessively book-larned professors who should defer to some pseudonymous guy who claims he lives out…where exactly did you say you lived, Sandhills?

  27. To RWP says:

    Yes, that was part of “Sandhills” point, wasn’t it? That some parts of the aquifer region have a different saturated depth than others, so the two potential routes could have different impacts. Who did you think was saying that the Ogallala aquifer and High Plains aquifer were NOT the same, anyway? I don’t understand why some (on both sides) are bent on making this a partisan issue, when you’ve got union leaders fighting FOR the original pipeline proposal and our Republican Senator and Governor opposing it. Conservative used to have something to do with caution and prudence. Doubtless you have more book larnin than I do, but having read at least something in Geology class about the aquifer and Sandhills soils, I think it’s reasonable to be concerned about how this pipeline is going to affect Nebraska resources. Yes, I want a pipeline, but I also want it to be built as sensibly as possible.

  28. Anonymous says:

    LoL- Gee Tommy white aka the prize fighting brick laying millionaire, oh and last victim to Congressman Terry. You lost get over it, you lost because you are an arrogant bully.

    But nice to see it still stings, and you continue to read SS as you did on the floor of the legislature.

  29. Confused says:

    Not only is my capacity for decision challenged by the arguments advanced by Ms. Kleeb and Mr. Harbison, I must also contend with the seeming incongruity of the Nebraska Democratic Party Executive Committe’s “Working Family Caucus” Chair, Ron Kaminski, leading the cheers in favor of the XL pipeline’s construction, and Nebraska’s Republican Governor, Dave Heineman, so opposed to it that he composed a contrarian epistle to the President.
    Our Republican Governor is in league with an avowed Liberal, while those nasty Communists side with foreign capitalists! My God! Who am I to believe? I can no longer rely on simple adherence to partisan dogma for my marching orders. What am I to do?

  30. Interesting on Terry Hater says:

    Rob/Lol-brilliant campaign strategy you have–a campaign totally based on insults on a Republican blog whose readers overwhelminly support Terry. Please keep it up…

  31. curb says:

    Kaminski is in a pure party position, appointed by Democrats to represent Democrats, and thus Kaminski must toe his party line or else. When Kaminski finds himself siding with Republicans on an issue, that is more easily construed as party treason than someone like Heineman who was in fact elected by all voters to represent all Nebraskans.

    In the long run, party principles and dogma are clear. We simply choose the party we most agree with. What isn’t clear is the integrity or lack thereof in the individual politicians we choose.

    Abe Lincoln said some principles may and must be inflexible. True. But how can you tell if an incumbent is doing what he/she does out of greedy self-interest or from a desire to make good government?

    There are no windows into men’s hearts. Damn shame. Hamstrings the whole voting thing.

  32. RWP says:

    There is absolutely no evidence that a possible spill would cause more contamination in Keya Paha county, say, than it would in Saline County. Quite the opposite, in Keya Paha there is a big load of nothing downstream from a potential but unlikely leak. In contrast, a spill in Eastern Nebraska goes right into the meteoric aquifer.

    I draw my well water 10 miles from Keystone I, as do thousands of other suburban Lincolnites. I resent that somehow godforsaken scrubby grassland in northeast Nebraska has more spiritual value than the Big Blue watershed. But mostly I resent guys who drive big ol’ F150s but won’t abide a pipeline within 50 miles of their property.

    If you don’t like piped crude, I want to see your horse and buggy.

  33. Anonymous says:

    RWP- now don’t go all logical on such an emotional issue. You know the brains and logic took flight a long time ago. Oil in the water is bbbaaddddd in the west, but okey dokey in the most populated areas of the state. Sheer genius!

  34. Anonymous says:

    At this point, I’d be happy if they run that damn pipeline through Kleeb’s livingroom and then straight up the governor’s patoot.

  35. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, remember that the overwhelming majority of landowners along the corridor have already signed leases. The others, well, I guess they like paying $20 in gas every time they go to the store in their big ol’ F350s and Excursions.

  36. Mike says:

    Interesting on Terry Hater- what are you talking about??? We get you like Terry, Rob doesn’t. What is the ACLU playbill about? For the record I would vote for an independent over all canidates

  37. Anonymostly says:

    Dennis, the fact that the Cornhusker kickback never became law makes it worse for Nelson, not better. What you’re saying is that he sold his vote and got nothing for it. For his state, anyway. I’m not counting the millions in advertising that the Dems “invested” in Ben since his vote. But we got nothing out of it, except the disaster that is Obamacare.

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