Happy Holidays!

**UPDATE**

As was suggested therein, please go the comments and nominate your Leavenworth Street Nebraska Politician of the Year, for next week.  Also, if you have a favorite quote from the year that you’d like us to mention, list that as well.  (That exercise of Quotes of the Year is a long, giant hassle, so we aren’t sure that it will get done this year.  We’ll see…)

***

Happy Hanukkah, Festive Festivus and Merry Christmas to everyone!

We are going to take a break for the long weekend and come back, hopefully refreshed, on Tuesday.

If you see any news breaking (cough, Ben Nelson!, cough), we will do our best to update here and of course let you comment.

In the mean time, we will let this space be an open forum on political topics. Please follow all the general rules — no personal attacks, be interesting, be somewhat relevant. We will always be checking back periodically, and will toss in our thoughts or any updates as appropriate.

Oh, and (of course) you still have a day to order stuff with free delivery on Amazon.com. Do it.

And drive safely!

104 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Merry Christmas Sweeps. Hope you get a lot of Amazon love your way this season. I’ll start off the meanderings by suggesting you name Political Loser(s) of the Year along with your Politician of the Year. Some names come to mind already for biggest loser.

  2. TexasAnnie says:

    Happy Holidays!

    Ron Paul is without a doubt the MOST conservative presidential candidate.
    He is the Politician of the Year!!!

  3. RWP says:

    Politician of the year; ‘Generic Republican’. He/she always beats Obama in polls far worse than any of the identified candidates.

    Loser of the year: Obama. Feckless, directionless presidency, scandals increasing, no ideas for dealing with Congressional deadlock, disrespected abroad, economy continues weak, national debt continues to rise…He’s making Jimmy Carter look better every day.

  4. Macdaddy says:

    Speaker Mike Flood for salvaging Keystone thus providing much needed jobs, improving America’s energy security and giving the national GOP a box to put Obama in. That’s a 3-fer. Plus a bonus of revealing to the powers that be that Jane Kleeb is a rank amateur.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Politician of the year President Obama. Working hard to clean up the GOP mess. Results starting to happen. Loser of the year. WOW!!! any republican in office today. The errors of those people, not enough time or ink to write all of them down. A year from now after Obama wins a smashing victory, we will still hear from Tea party nuts that Obama is a socialists. in their minds any one who votes for Obama ( the majority of the USA) is a socialists.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Politician of the Year: Scott Lautenbaugh.

    When the GOP nominee for President and Lee Terry both win the 2nd Congressional District, no doubt Scott will be sitting at Cigarro’s, sipping a scotch and a smirk of self-satisfaction will creep across his face. Same story in 2014 when there are only 6 Democrats left out of the 18 Omaha area seats in the Legislature.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear ignorant person at 11:43. What is a “Socialists”? You mention that twice. Does that mean Obama is not one Socialist but two Socialists? Maybe Marx AND Engles? Split personality?

    Maybe you mean “social lists”, as in one’s dance card. Sorry, but ours is full.

  8. FeistyFestivus says:

    Kwanzaa: An African-American holiday invented in 1966 by Maulana Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett) who in 1971 went to prison for assaulting/torturing women with an electrical cord, karate baton, burning their mouth and face with a soldering iron, placing their toes in a vice and using a hose to force detergent down their throats. After embracing Marxism while incarcerated, Karenga was in 1975 released from the California State Prison and was hired as a Professor of African Studies by California State University.

    In 1967, Karenga said “Jesus was psychotic” and Christianity is a white religion that blacks should shun. (The Quotable Karenga, 1967). But as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents and Karenga was considered more than a vicious woman-torturing felon, he altered his position (lied) saying “Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.” (The story of Kwanzaa).

    Real December holidays include; Ashura (Islam), Hanukkah (Jewish), Christmas (Christian), Shiva Puja (Hindu), Rohatsu/Bodhi (Buddhist), and even Yule (Druidic). These are literally “holy days” of human religions hundreds and thousands of years old. Pick one. For Kwanzaa is an insult to human freedom and equality, not to mention intelligence.

    Before you squirt milk out of your nose in indignation, I am in a racially mixed relationship. But I know load of crap when I smell it and so do you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pol of the Year: definitely Mike Flood. He continues to be at the middle of every big fix. Loser: the guy who let his foam finger business get taken over by Jane for one big anti-pipeline event and now his stadium foam finger biz is tainted. Duh.

  10. NE Voter says:

    Though I’m not a fan, Jane Kleeb clearly is the politician of the year. Like it or not, she shifted the debate on the pipeline issue and had Heineman; Flood and the legislature dancing on the end of a string, to the point where the debate has gone national.

    Loser of the year: Jon Bruning, whose weakness as the nominal front runner has Senate Republicans scrambling for Plan B/Plan C/Plan D.

    Runners up for loser of the year: Dave Nabity, whose ego destroyed what may well have been a successful recal of Mayor Suttle. DAvid Sokol, whose greed and ego destroyed his business career and severely damaged the reputation of one Warren Buffett, destroying Buffett’s victory lap.

  11. SoWhat??? says:

    Politician of the year = E. Ben Nelson, soon to be ex-Senator from Nebraska. His best quote in the past year was in one of his non-campaign TV commericals when he actually said “Nebrasakans can smell a skunk…” without apparently falling to the floor in convulsive laughter…although there might be great out-takes showing just that. I’d love to see Senator Skunk’s face the first time he sees the ad which features him turning his back to the camera and his stripes are showing…and he set himself up for it is awesome.

  12. Reginald VelJohnson says:

    FEMA. They physically destroyed many states and in doing so destroyed our country’s economy by necessitating federal funds to fix what they broke.

  13. Macdaddy says:

    NE Voter, Jane Kleeb wasted everyone’s time and taxpayer money trying to make sure we all pay a lot for a gallon of gas. She belongs in the Political Loser of the Year category.

  14. NE Voter says:

    MacD — The reasons you cite are precisely why she is politician of the year. Again, I’m not a fan, but she won. Heineman; Flood and the legislature lost. That is all.

  15. Macdaddy says:

    Did you miss the part where the pipeline is still going through? Of course that’s if Obama deigns to make a decision after he gets back from his $4 million Christmas, or rather, Holiday vacation.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lautenbaugh gets Politician of the Decade. No other politico’s decisions/accomplishments will reverberate in the Nebraska political sphere for 10 years. The Pipeline issue/compromise is small potatoes compared to the lasted impact of the 2011 redistricting process.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if Lautenbaugh owns Ernie Chambers but I do know that Lautenbaugh owns Heath Mello. Mello got absolutely destroyed by Lautenbaugh.

  18. kerry donahue says:

    Laughtenbaugh is the most arrogant scum bag in Lincoln. Why is it that every day is ugly Christmas sweater day for that guy?

  19. Kortezzi says:

    Redistricting makes Lautenbaugh the NE politician of the year in my book. His school board proposal is a big deal too, and puts needed pressure on the entrenched lib bureaucracy that has run OPS like a banana republic for decades.
    I understand sentiment for Jane Kleeb, given her outsized influence on such an issue as the Keystone XL. But Janie didn’t stop the pipeline, just slowed it down – – and that doesn’t amount to much in the end.
    Contenders for 2012 will include Mark Fahleson, if he succeeds in getting “winner take all” electoral voting in place, and watching Ben Nelson go down.

  20. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    “You like me, you really like me!” (to quote the famous misquote).

    I’ve assured Flood that if he and I are neck and neck in this highly scientific poll, then he’s the “winner”. I’m assuming from the name of this blog that Omahans have a home field advantage here. I told him that if there was a Leavenworth Street blog in North Platte (or wherever he’s from), he’d win hands down, and I’d not be mentioned. (There. That should help with the lake.)

    In all honesty, though, I’d have to vote for Speaker Flood myself. He’s a miracle worker, and maybe the greatest Speaker we’ve ever had. We will all miss him after this session.

  21. Nebraska Tea Partier says:

    I’d like to nominate Sen. Tony Fulton for the following reasons:

    1:) He was a stud during CIR reform and threw pencils at Steve Lathrop.
    2:) Makes more effort than any other Senator (with the exception of Flood) to show up at events – whether he’s speaking or not – that aren’t even happening in his district or with his own constituents to hear, meet and talk to Nebraskans
    3:) Got shafted by John Gale for another term
    4:) Endorsed Brenda Council for a second term at the LIBA luncheon (and Drive Time Lincoln) and went as far as to tell people to send Council money, and might as well have said “Ernie sucks”. Classic!

    Scott Lautenbaugh is freakin’ awesome too (I Stand With Scott!), but I thought I’d throw a new name into the list.

  22. Thanks for your thoughts Senator Lautenbaugh!

    But, to quote President Lincoln’s Secretary of State, after Lincoln refused to take his cabinet’s advice and declare war on France and Spain:
    “There is but one vote in the cabinet, and that is cast by the President.”

    Though I certainly appreciate and encourage all comments and suggestions!

    -President Sweeper

  23. Anonymous says:

    Tony Fulton? Please! No one is even at the same level as Mike Flood. The man is an absolute master at working the system so all parties feel they won. He also doesn’t have the oversize ego that comes with most politicians which makes him even more attractive. A note on Jane, would love to see her run for the Legislature. It would be Ernie, but without the brains, on the floor of the Legislature. Imagine the constant gaffes and stupid soundbites, not to mention hissy fits caught on tape by NETV for all to enjoy. C’mon Jane, run!

  24. anonymous says:

    Jane Kleeb. Not even close. She out dueled the entire GOP starting with Heineman, going down the line even to Lautenbaugh. She is the 2011 Nebraska Politics “Gary Kasparov.” Remember how Heineman and Laughtenbaugh and Flood all stated there would never be a special session. I think it was even widely known that Lautenbaugh spoke to a Club Repub function earlier the same day that the Special Session was announced boldly proclaiming there would never be a special session on the pipeline. Not only did she take them on, she took them and their covey of highly paid lobbyists down to the point of total capitulation.
    Congrats Jane. The GOP is obsessed with you, rails against you & has thrown their statewide muscle against you and you simply outworked and outsmarted them.

    Runner Up: Jim Suttle’s survival of the recall vote in January and parlaying that into the Engineer who saved Omaha from the 2011 Flood, took on the Army Corp of Engineers, Nebraska Legislature and Governor. Heck, he’s now in Washington taking on Congress over the Sewere Separation unfunded mandate. What kept him from winning: 2 things: Jane Kleeb and firefighters union contract debacle.

    Loser(s) of the year: A statistical tie between Heineman & the Racoon Tycoon: Heineman. Foster Care, Beatrice, Pipeline…. Racoon Tycoon, Bruning… the guy who puts a face on why Americans hate politicians & why the establishment GOPers are out recruiting other candidates despite promising him last time that when he bowed out for Johanns that the field would be cleared for him in 2012.

  25. Anonymous says:

    When times got tough, Flood caved to the Left in Nebraska while Lautenbaugh stood up to them, fought and won. Flood and Lathrop share whatever award you get for creating a “compromise” which doesn’t really accomplish anything but allows you to get out of a controversial situation without having to take a stand. Either way, both the Pipeline and CIR issues will be forgotten in months (if they haven’t been forgotten already). Redistricting was an actual accomplishment that did something and will have impact on the lives of the people of Nebraska. The Pipeline and CIR accomplished nothing. The Pipeline will still be built. Nothing the Legislature did moved the Pipeline (Obama and Jane Kleeb did that). The CIR and union contracts will continue to be out of control. Nothing will change with Omaha’s Fire and Police Unions.

    It is between Kleeb and Lautenbaugh. Lautenbaugh wins because his accomplishment is of greater significance (An electoral vote for 10 years, a Congressman for 10 years and everything that comes out of the Legislature for 10 years) and is more lasting.

  26. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    It should be remembered that the Speaker’s role is very different than mine. That said, I cannot recall him ever “caving to the Left”, as alleged above.

  27. Anonymous says:

    At best, Flood’s work accomplished nothing. Hardly worthy of any award or recognition. At worst, his work demonstrated the willingness of the Nebraska Legislature to sit down with radicals and negotiate every time they spend millions of dollars stirring up a fake issue. He operated under the false assumption that the appetite of these people can ever be satiated. The Special Session should have ended with Jane Kleeb and the Sierra Club given a proverbial finger and a stern admonition that east coast tactics have no place and will not work in Nebraska. Instead, he sent the opposite message. So, when they come back on the next fake issue, it will be even more difficult to defeat them.

  28. SoWhat??? says:

    Speaker Flood managed to waste $2 million of NE taxpayer money paying HDR to “study” alternative routes for the KeystoneXL and Jane “Ivy Starnes” Kleeb will still be protesting importing that “dirty oil” into the US.

  29. The Real Mr. Blackwell says:

    So someone wishes to hijack my postings, hmmm ….stay tuned as my year end list will arrive shortly. Oh by the way, I like the Senator’s sweaters.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lathrop. oh puhleese. Lathrop is “Owned” by Labor, and is a ambulance chaser. Kleeb is a pimple on the dogs backside, nuff said.

    Both Flood and Lautenbaugh OWN the Libs,,,,,,, as does McCoy……. the future looks bright as a few more real Republicans will be elected this go round and at least one Lib will lose. Then in 2014 the Legislature will be swept clean of a few more libs; Lathrop, Avery, Conrad, Dubas, and McGill and there will be a few RHINO’s like Ashford and Adams will be cleared out too. Oh what a beautiful sight that will be.

  31. Anonymous says:

    How can McCoy be censured for something he didn’t do? Read the transcripts, he didn’t ask Cindy Myers a single question. Just more Jane Kleeb/Bold Nebraska lies.

  32. Rural Lincoln says:

    About Fulton, the two biggest issues this year were CIR and the pipeline. Though he is on neither committee somehow Fulton was a major player in both and on both issues he stuck to his guns and came out on top. Flood was in the middle of both issues but then he is the Speaker. I actually think Governor Heineman should win again, kind of like the Godfather, he should win every year.

  33. anonymous says:

    Anybody but Flood, his heroism over the pipeline was a fabrication by Transcanada and Governor Heineman after he earlier threw him uner the bus by allowing Flood to say “Screw the Ranchers” then turned around and called a special session. Transcanada rewarded their errand boy with a phony story of his powerful persuasion.

  34. GOOSE says:

    Lautenbaugh makes sense to me. The most laughable suggestion is AFL/CI Owe ya Lathrop. If you nominate Lathrop, the nomination should go to Senator Lathropcornettashford. The three liberals wragling of power have watered down every good piece of reform (CIR) so much that the benefits are minimal.

    Lathrop is a fraud and once that sick threesome is broke up we’ll see some real positive action.

  35. Some Thoughts says:

    42,43, I think you mean not Cindy Myers, but the guy who testified after her. McCoy was kind of being a jerk to him for testifying in the “neutral” section, because the man said he was neutral on some parts of the bill, but supported the siting-change portion. The point is, save your rudeness or sarcasm for the paid lobbyists and people who know what they’re doing when they come to testify. When a rancher drives across the state to have his three minutes, don’t belittle his intelligence because he didn’t check the right box on a form, according to your interpretation. I expect a lot better of an elected leader in terms of courtesy.

  36. Lee Atwater says:

    Anon 12:19

    Really, I mean REALLY – do you have the slightest clue what the hell you are talking about?

    Jane talks her anti pipeline radicals with extensive track record of being extremist liberal environmentalists – did I say EXTENSIVE records as activists – and has them testify as NEUTRAL commentors. The biggest idiot at those hearins was Senator Haar who was so “emotional” and ubimaginably uniformed that people were rolling on the floor laughing at him.

    Feel free to check the facts and then look at the transcripts before you buy the Jane Kleeb/Bold NE B.S. Janie is barking upo the wrong tree here. Coming out and saying she and Bold are targeting McCoy was an early Christmas present for the Senator. Cha Ching!

  37. Lee Atwater says:

    Some Thoughts

    They knew exactly which box they were checking and why they were TOLD to check it. It was a dog and pony show. then again…you know that.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Some Thoughts,

    Facts can be a pesky thing. The guy after Cindy Myers says he was testifying in neutral because he only had one time he could attend. Sounds like he knew what he was doing. No senator, including McCoy questioned his intelligence. Total set up.

  39. Anonymous says:

    The Grinch Old Party caved. The look on Boehners face was priceless. He had to give working joes a tax cut instead of the super rich. A year from now the Dems will still be celebrating their big November win.

  40. Some Thoughts says:

    By “belittling his intelligence” I mean that instead of asking the man any content-based questions, McCoy only continued to ask him about why he was presenting himself as “neutral” on the bill. Even if the man did indeed check the wrong box, I see no purpose for that sort of repeated, sarcastic questioning, to a citizen who is not some kind of political sophisticate. It showed more about McCoy than it did about the man giving the testimony, that’s all. Manners.

  41. Some Thoughts says:

    Anon #51, I can’t believe that the House Republicans just handed this type of victory to Obama, right before Christmas, and following on the heels of the debt-ceiling fiasco this summer. Everyone knows that Congress is deadlocked and bitterly partisan, and generally both parties are blamed together. Now Obama can say that he was the champion of the everyday folks, pitting himself as the average person’s defense against those who want only to preserve tax cuts for the super-rich! Did I mention right before Christmas? When people are feeling both more generous and more concerned about things like paying for presents, not being able to take time off from work, or how their finances are going to fare from 2011 to 2012? The GOP has this tremendous opportunity to make inroads against a president whose popularity has been suffering, but they insist on messing it up with these PR disasters. Why?

  42. Rand with Standy says:

    Tony Fulton for his appearance on FoxNews and getting the Keystone exec to agree with him that the State Department was in control of the route of the pipeline. Megyn Kelly had to ramble for 5 minutes when she figured out both interviewees were actually taking a shot at the State Department.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Point of order SS…. Although Kleeb may be an elected official (school board?), she did not perform her antics about the pipelline as a “Politician”. However, if you include her in the running by default, she has done more harm than good to the “Good Life” in Neb. Perhaps your nominations are for good or bad, influencial type people. Sort of what Time magazine does once in awhile?
    Guessing that you want a POSITIVE politician as the choice….Mike Flood. Merely add the pipeline issue to his looooong list of positive efforts on running the “house’

  44. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the Lib trolls are worried about the great future the GOP has in the young guns; Flood, Fulton, Lautenbaugh, and McCoy. As far as the hearing and people “feeling” bad, that was all on former Senator Robert. Rogert is now a lobbyist and HE was the one who lined up the peeps. Robert went around apologizing the next day. Robert messed up but isn’t going public with his action. This is why Robert lost the election as he feels he is above everybody els, just look at his boat deal. What is really interesting is how Robert is in and out of the Muller Robak office building:-)

    Anyway its great to see the libs complaining about issues where they are owned, about individuals they fear, and the defining roar of silence for their own champions:-)

  45. RWP says:

    I nominate Ben Nelson for Husker politician for the year.

    No, not Kornhusker Kickback Ben Nelson. I mean that other guy I’ve been hearing about in the TV ads, the one who personally saved Medicare, ministers to our wounded warriors, and is Best Friend to Widows and Orphans everywhere. He sounds like a truly wonderful human being, and so humble; I don’t even remember when he ran for office. And I’ve never heard him complain once about being confused with that other scumbag with the same name, even though it must be a constant problem.

  46. I Like Facts says:

    Some Thoughts,

    You still don’t get it. The guy knew people were suppose to speak at specific times and he said he came during the neutral time because it was the only time he could attend. Again…read the transcripts that are on the Leg’s website for the world to see. Sounded like McCoy was trying to find out what the guy was neutral on. Yeah…I just read them again because I don’t have a life.

    Merry Christmas!

  47. RWP says:

    I don’t understand why people want this FICA cut. It’s as if the gummint grabbed your credit card, went to the bank, took out a cash advance and handed you the money. You still have to pay it back. They didn’t actually give you anything, except hefty interest charges.

    I pay off my credit cards every month. I paid off my mortgage. I’m allergic to debt. But I can’t get away from it, because the scumbags in Washington are running up huge bills on my behalf, and not being a complete moron, I know I’m going to have to pay it all off some day.

  48. I Like Facts says:

    Some Thoughts,

    You seem to be friends with the Bold NE folks. I am really curious why they out right lied on their site accusing McCoy is being mean to Cindy Myers when he didn’t ask her a question. Leaving up a web post that can be so easily be proven a lie is just bad staff work.

  49. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, don’t complain. Just accept the de facto privatization of Social Security and the destruction of the government portion of it (by the Democrats, no less!) and move on. Everything that the Democrats accused Bush of trying to do, they are doing, but in an even more irresponsible fashion. I doubt very many people are investing their FICA cut in an IRA like I am.

    As for the politics of it all, the Democrats in their wisdom, instead of signing onto the full year extension that the House passed, rolled it back to 2 months which means that the Republicans will get another chance to beat the Dems at their own game in February when we get to do this all over again. And do you want to know what else comes up in February? The Keystone pipeline deadline. Which means in February, when people have nothing else to keep their minds occupied so they’re paying attention, everything will come to a head.

    So happy Festivus! Now where’d I put that pole?

  50. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Jon Bruning got his nickers in a knot over nothing, AGAIN. Bruning went after a gaming company for a game called Bank shot and the Ne Supreme Court found in favor of the game company. When is Bruning ever going to learn? Bruning and the anti anything group headed by Pat Loser just keep on costing the tax payer millions in court costs. If Bruning would spend as much effort being the AG as he does appeasing special interests he would be held in much higher regard.

    Congrats go out to a small Nebraska businessman for taking on the RHINO AG! Let alone beating he proverbial city hall!!!!!

  51. Some Thoughts says:

    I know nothing about Bold Nebraska or their site, I’m definitely not a “lib”, and I am all for seeing good, young conservative leaders coming up in our state. My favorite, as it happens, is Pete Pirsch, who seems like a very nice and reasonable young man. We also have some who lack manners and are unable to work well with those who may disagree, and from what I’ve heard (not just on this issue), McCoy tends in that direction.

    I did read the transcript, and I’ll say it again: I don’t care whether the man checked the wrong box. He said he was neutral on the bill as a whole because he didn’t understand all other parts of it, but he supported the siting change. Now, maybe you and I would say he should check another box, but that is hardly the point. McCoy couldn’t let that go, and he repeatedly quizzed the man about this neutrality issue. I don’t know anything about former Senator Robert or his involvement. All I know is that McCoy was being something of a jerk to a gentleman who didn’t appear to deserve that sort of treatment. If you as a sitting senator cannot be more respectful to constituents who merely want a few minutes to bend your ear, then you need to grow up or get out of the office. McCoy could have simply ignored the man, or stated once for the record that he didn’t find the testimony neutral. You want to defend his behavior? Maybe you need a manners lesson too.

    It used to be that conservatives were the people with class, who respected traditions, who could engage their intellectual enemies on the high ground. I don’t like what I see happening today, especially with all the recent presidential campaigning and the negativity. One politician may win an election in the short term with negativity, but in the long run it hurts a political movement and that’s what’s happening with conservatives today. People identify them as the party of NO–anyone but Obama, no new and fresh ideas, lots of hostility towards (fill in the blank… gays, welfare moms, whatever). Call me a troll if you want, but it’s not a good strategy for the long term.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Politicians need to remember just whom they work for. When they demonstrate disrespect for their employers, it is time for them to be removed from office.

  53. some thoughts police says:

    Some guy testifies under false pretenses and he is upset someone challenged him? Seriously?

    Pete Pirsch? Has he passed anything since being in the legislature?

    So, let’s see. Some Thoughts is “not a lib” but is worried about the feelings of someone who was guided by a lobbyist to mislead a legislative committee and Some Thoughts’ favorite state senator is the least effective Republican in the Unicameral.

    Why do I not believe you?

  54. Employer says:

    #64

    I want my employees in the legislature to get to the facts of the issue. If someone is giving testimony, it is important to know where they are coming from to understand why they have the opinion they are giving. If they are giving false or misleading testimony it is important this is flushed out.

    My employees in the legislature would not be doing their job if they did not do this. Guys like Ken Haar who knew this was happening are the ones who are not doing their job.

    This is not kindergarten. It is serious business. Sometimes feelings are hurt.

  55. RWP says:

    Pete Pirsch? Has he passed anything since being in the legislature?

    He was one of the prime movers behind the so called safe haven law, that allowed people to drive across the country to dump their unruly teens in Nebraska.

    A real legislative genius.

  56. Anonymous says:

    JIm Suttle for beating his recall by stooping so low as to contract big yellow buses to ship the homeless in to vote for pay. Way to go Gary and Matt–great work as consultants in elevating the election process to just above swamp scum.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Employer,
    I just wonder if you’d feel the same way on a different issue if someone whom you agreed with was treated in the same manner by a legislator from the other party. Citizens should always have the right to address those who represent them. The idea of dividing them into opposing camps is just a political ploy designed to make it more difficult for citizens to keep their representatives’ feet to the fire. Wasting our government’s time arguing over such inconsequential details is bullshit.

  58. Employer says:

    69
    No one took away the rights of any citizen to address them. And I would expect anyone who had the same position I have on an issue who would testify would expect to be asked those questions. I would expect they would have the answers. If they didn’t, they SHOULD be challenged.

    If you really want to look at behavior by a legislator that was warrant of admonishment look at the Burke Harr/Dave Nabity exchange. McCoy questioning in the hearing we are talking about comes no where close to the Harr example.

  59. ride a bike says:

    Political players of the 2011:

    Jane Kleeb – organizing opposition to the Pipeline
    Jim Suttle – for stabilizing his mayoral term

  60. I Like Facts says:

    Some Thoughts,

    Seriously?!? Sorry, I am with Some Thoughts Police and I still wonder why Bold NE’s lies don’t bother you. Oh well, you’re issue. Off to enjoy my Christmas!

  61. Anonymous says:

    No citizen can just get up and speak before the legislature at ant time, or in any manner they choose. Just as there is a process for becoming an elected official, there is also a process for addressing said official. This isn’t a backyard tree house club where anybody can just spout off. While elected officials are public servants that doesn’t mean they are slaves. The elected REPRESENT a defined constituency based on geography not dogma. A State Senator represents all the constituents not a select few. When you, or your constituent group elect a person to represent, it doesn’t mean the elected HAS to do as you say. No the elected discern and decide and if your desires are not met it isn’t cause for impeachment or recall. Look to Sutle et al. Now if you work against you elected to keep them from being reelected fine. Of course don’t expect any undue favor from an incumbant in their next term:-)

    By the way Sen McCoy owns Hello n Nordquist, and I feel pretty certain he will be LT Gov in the not too distant future:-)

    Sen Flood owns all the D’s and will continue to do so for as long as he wants.

    Sen Lautenbaugh makes libs reveal themselves for what they are: Fools.

    Sen Pirsch is still waiting for a clue to make a decision.

  62. Anonymous says:

    74,
    Sen. Flood is just the flavor of the day. Lautenbaugh makes libs reveal themselves for (the fools) they are? I’d have to say it must take one to know one.

  63. TexasAnnie says:

    I don’t know the ‘heart’ of current Nebraska State Senators. I know them only by the composite effect of their ‘service’ to Nebraskans. Since my return to Texas, now six years ago, I note that corporate welfare has outstripped people welfare up there. (Personally, I prefer a NO WELFARE public policy.)

    I have currently been reading that the most recent FIX to the problem of child welfare has failed and that Flood wants to return actual responsibility for children in need of state protection back to the state. Has Flood become a liberal?

    I have also been reading that the BSDC problems are ongoing and I regard all 49 senators plus Heineman responsible for the deaths there. But these fifty men and women are not solely to blame. Nebraskans, who have yet to demand humane treatment of DD adults once taken into custody by the state, are ultimately to blame. Shame on you, Nebraska!

    Is Gwen Howard, who wants to ‘serve’ in the U.S. House of Representatives a failed legislator? She did not prevent the foster care and DD sins against humanity. Why should she be elevated to a position of higher authority? Yet she has supported corporate welfare…

  64. TexasAnnie says:

    And for you Lautenbaugh supporters: Does anyone know why Johanns dumped him when he was election commissioner at Douglas County? Does Lautenbaugh have good-ol-boy credentials?

  65. Jesus H. Christ says:

    All I want for my birthday is just one day of nobody sending out nasty blog comments about one another. It’s only one day people, could you please do that for me?

  66. Trumped says:

    What do you all think of Donald Trump running for President as an independent? I think it greatly diminishes the chances of whoever the Republican nominee is of winning the race. What if he decides to drop a couple billion of his own money into this race and saturate the media?

  67. The Windsors says:

    We do hope that Mr. Trump will revive at least a portion of the colonies’ financial health by contributing billions of dollars to a campaign for the presidency. However, we feel it is highly unlikely that he shall be successful in his endeavors. We are amused.

  68. TexasAnnie says:

    Thanks for your response Scott. It was unclear to me why your were not appointed to another term by Johanns. I had been informed it was because of the Steinke v. Lautenbaugh lawsuit.

  69. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Annie– I’m not sure where that story came from (but I do have a theory). In any event, there was never a question of me getting re-appointed. I left in early 2003, with a full year left in my first term (after trying to leave in 2002, and being asked to stay until the 2002 cycle was done). Among those who can’t ever imagine anyone leaving a government job other than feet first, I’m sure this has always seemed mysterious or suspicious, but I can’t help that. I had done everything I wanted to do there, so that was that.

  70. TexasAnnie says:

    Again, thanks Scott for your responsiveness. I take you at your word. Unless politicians communicate with us, we can only speculate about their motives.

    Is your currently proposed effort to scale back the OPS board from 12 to 5 members a continuation of your effort while Election Commissioner? That 2002 Supreme Court ruling did come in the Spring, -after primary elections, which you indicate above was when you sought to leave the Douglas County post.

    Of course, Ben Gray’s accusation of sexism and racism is without merit. But why do you want to scale back the board now, which you tried to redistrict in 2001? And, can you give us a heads up about the present unicameral attitude toward The Learning Community? Do you think the Supreme Court will strike it for improper use of (local) property taxes?

  71. Anonymous says:

    I’m not Scott and I don’t pretend to speak for him, but I think his efforts to scale back the OPS board are due to observing the present conditions. They set low standards, make excuses and give their power to a super who seems complacent with the status quo. Ben Gray was grasping at straws whose wife sits on the board.

    Scott’s efforts strike me as an efficient way of getting business done and at the same time raising the bar for a school district that should be performing at a much higher level than it has. I’ll say it because I’m of their gender and a former public school educator, but it appeared as one large hen party protecting their coop with the exception of Justin Wayne. Time to ruffle a few feathers and I applaud Scott’s detemination to cause positive change instead of whining to keep the same ole same ole.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Re-districting was going to go the Republicans’ way anyway because they hold the majority in the Legislature. Not to say Lautenbaugh doesn’t deserve his due for corralling and holding the pen together. CIR was a wash, Lathrop ruled it and it ended up in a mashed down whisper of what Fulton and others were claiming they were going to hold to. I also don’t see Fulton as a pipeline major player unless doing your best to appease both sides in speeches counts. Jane Kleeb gets kudos for wrangling more money than she deserves out of Dick Holland, both for herself personally and for a fledging astroturf group which can now claim to be a player in state politics. LS is going to have to acknowledge Kleeb in some manner for her brilliant performance in getting others to do her dirty work and making it look like she was the architect of it all.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Annie, it looks like the NE supreme court will agree with the lower court and the common levy will be found unconstitutional. This will only be part of the ruling and the consequences as the court will most likely provide some direction along with the ruling. Sen Adams and the Legislature will have their hands full when they return to Lincoln and have to figure out a funding fix.

    In the end the Legislature will have to understand you can’t create laws that are contrary to the Constitu tion just because its for the children. There is a process to amend the constitution and th e do what you will, just be sure to put it to a VOTE of all the affected people:-)

  74. @ 4:25 says:

    I hate to point out the obvious, but the Republicans hold the majority on every issue in the Legislature and the pen is almost never held together. Keeping the Republicans together (except Bob Krist) was nothing short of a miracle.

  75. Anon #91 wrote: “Jane Kleeb gets kudos for wrangling more money than she deserves out of Dick Holland, both for herself personally and for a fledging astroturf group which can now claim to be a player in state politics.”

    Jane Kleeb wrangles money from Dick Holland in the same way that a baby bird wrangles chewed up worms from its parents.

  76. RWP says:

    Your problem, Sweeper, is that unlike a traditional journalist, you think that when you post something, it should have non-zero content. A traditional journalist, with nothing to say, will write something anyway. Don Walton just published a column that says, in around 600 words “Is he [Nelson] going to seek re-election? Darned if I know.” I actually wasted an entire minute reading it.

  77. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    Annie– Much of what you asked was answered by others, but I would like to add some information. I did redistrict all of OPS in 2001, and I made substantial changes throughout OPS. I did draw 12 new districts– I didn’t have authority as Election Commissioner to change the number of seats– just the boundaries. The size of the board and the number of tiny districts did strike me as odd even then, but there was no way to address it.

    THe legal challenge was over two districts — 9 & 10, I think. After I redrew the districts, one was left with no sitting board member residing in it. I numbered that one as even or odd– whichever was up in 2002– so that one district wouldn’t be represented through 2004 by someone who didn’t live in it. The Court ruled that the Election Commissioner couldn’t consider such things when drawing the districts, and swapped the numbers on districts 9 and 10. I appealed, because it wasn’t just a case of swapping numbers– they were not the same districts as before, and I thought it was proper to take such concerns into account. I lost, but that only meant that 9 and 10 were swapped– everything else I did wasn’t challenged. I only explain this because, with that background, you can understand how neither I, nor then-Governor Johanns, or anyone else beyond 2 school board members affected would have seen this as “a big deal” back in the day. I defended a principle, and the Court disagreed. A point of election law was clarified as a result. It had nothing to do with my departure in 2002, or my current efforts to shrink the board. One blogger had previously tried to twist or “selectively read” (I’m being kind there) the Court’s decision to make it something it was not. I’m giving it more than its due by even discussing it here, but you did ask.

  78. The Munchkins says:

    Ding Dong! Ol’ Ben is dead. Which Ol’ Ben? The Wicked Ben!
    Ding Dong! The Wicked Ben is dead.
    Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
    Wake up, the Wicked Ben is dead. He’s gone where the goblins go,
    Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
    Let them know
    The Wicked Ben is dead!

  79. Some Thoughts says:

    Oh folks, if you don’t like Pete Pirsch here I don’t even know what to say. Maybe he’s not glamorous or partisan enough for you fire-breathers, but meanwhile he’s plugging away every year, making changes that truly help people. The DUI laws, funds for victims of crimes, and a solid voting record especially in support of small business concerns. The safe haven compromise should never have had such a high age limit placed on it, but they learned and changed it, and the fact is until Pirsch came along, Nebraska was the only state not to have such a law. If you don’t think we need a safe haven law, well, I can’t help you. I like babies and want to see them live, whatever it takes.

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