Dinsdale is OUT

We are hearing, from well-placed sources that Pinnacle Bank President Sid Dinsdale is NOT going to run for U.S. Senate. Not getting a great reason why, other than what a giant hassle the primary would be.

Also hearing that Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) is taking a harder and harder look at the Senate race. If he drops out of his House race, LOTS of shoes to drop in for that House seat. But at this point, nothing confirmed.

And is Governor Dave still interested…?

More when we get more.


Next, lest we forget that all things continue, TWO new ads out today by U.S. Senate candidates.

First, Jon Bruning:

It would seem he is taking Stenberg and his pals head-on in the “who can declare to be more conservative” department.

Then there is a Don Stenberg ad, paid for by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s conservative group:

And this is fine and all. But does anyone else find it a little weird that DeMint would take such a HUGE interest in the Stenberg camp? Sure, sure, he wants conservatives in, and all that. But does anyone in Nebraska think that Stenberg is more conservative than Bruning, or Deb Fischer for that matter? Or Dave Heineman?

DeMint made an interesting argument that the knock against Stenberg had been that he might have a tough time beating Ben Nelson, and that now that impediment is gone. And that would be fine — if there were no other alternatives. But does he really think that Bruning or Fischer would be off the conservative reservation? Or does he just want “his guy” in? We will let you answer that on your own.

Since arguably the “electabilty” factor is now gone, it is going to be interesting to see what the separation will be between the candidates (besides money).


Following up on the Nelson announcement, a few notes on all the clatter afterwards.

Lest anyone get weepy-eyed about Nelson’s bipartisanship and all that, note his comment to Politico after saying that he was quitting instead of facing the voters one last time:

“The Tea Party must be stopped.”

Yeah? Which Tea Party? DeMint’s Tea Party? The Tea Party Express? The people that go to the Tea Party events and defecate on police cars and spread vermin across public property? (Oh wait, we mixed up the TPers and the OWSers…)

So is Nelson against smaller government and stricter adherence to the Constitution? What is it exactly about the “Tea Party”? Because that is an interesting lashing out to his final media swarm of his career.


And then Joe Jordan went on Channel 3 to state that Nelson was quitting because he’s tired of the Senate, not because he thought he would lose.


Come on Joe. We will grant that old man Nelson was certainly getting cranky up on The Hill. And that a guy who craves public adoration was getting batted about by both party wings. Just look at the response yesterday. Groups like Right to Life putting out scathing releases after his announcement. And then this line from a “Democrat on CNN:

“(Nelson) typically takes the easy way out… when the going gets tough, he abandons the party.”

Well, except that he was certainly loyal to ObamaCare and the Stimulus and numerous others. (And on that note, we chuckle at all the ultra-libs who are now clamoring on the national sites, “Finally Nelson is gone! Now Nebraska can send a REAL Democrat to the Senate!” Yuh huh. And San Francisco can send a conservative Republican…)

Oh, and note that instead of letting Nelson himself break his announcement or at least letting the local press have the scoop, Politico.com, of all sources, broke the story. There is a rumor that after the DSCC spent a million and a half bucks on him, and then he dumps them, someone said, “screw you” and leaked it to Politico. Hard ball until the end.

Anyway, to suggest that Nelson did not care if he lost his final election is to ignore the political realities staring you in the face. It is not unnatural for people to quit instead of facing an imminent loss. Call it for what it is.


And then Senator Claire McCaskill summed up the Democrat point of view in the note that she passed to Nelson (with a claim that it was about football):

Nebraska still sucks.

And Missouri blows, Senator.


  1. sweeper says:

    Sweeper, Your Bruning is showing… May want to cover it up as word is Brunings ‘Conservative’ credentials are about to be called into serious question.

  2. Anonymous says:

    cd one will include fulton, foley, langemeier, fahleson, hornung but NOT mike flood. flood will run statewide.

    also to include are bob evnen, john orr, glenn friendt, abbie cornett (bellevue is in cd 1 now)

    with so many conservatives running, kathy campbell will take a hard look as well. a moderate candidate could win in that district

  3. First District Guy says:

    If Fort runs – and he should as he could win and would be the most well-qualified candidate – what about Colby Coash for Congress? He’s a thoughtful, hard-working guy, he represents Lincoln well, and he has roots in rural Nebraska. From what I’ve seen, he’s one of the few people in this work who does it because he really wants to do good.

  4. interesting says:

    Fort should run. The current field is sparking no one’s imagination. And in that case, Coash is actually a pretty good idea for congress. The CD 1 rep, excepting Flood (who should be considering the governor’s race in 2014), will have to be from Lincoln while being able to sell well in the rural parts of the district. Coash fits the bill.

  5. Anonymous says:

    First up; Sweep you have an awful picture framed for Bruning, the pancake and lopsided half closed left eye isn’t doing Jon and favors.

    Secondly; Coash is not the darling you think he is. He more like Sen Ben Nelson, plays both sides of the isle. I doubt he could pull off a congressional run right now, as there are far more players on the bench with better name recognition, just saying. Glad Coash has a fan base but……

    Nest up; Fort has as tough a time making a decision as Pirch so don’t look for anything definitive until after the filing deadline. Just ask former staffers on the issue.

    Finally; with the Sen Ben Nelson not running there is no need for the Gov to run, so he will keep his proverbial powder dry and work the VP nomination for Romney. Before you go off the deep end think it through. Romney needs someone who is more conservative, who can reach the common man, and who has CURRENT success as an Exec. Plus the Gov brings his West Point/Ranger Tab Vietnam experience to the table, head of NGA, and can carry flyover country.

    Just some thoughts

  6. RWP says:

    Actually, now Nelson’s out, Bruning’s credentials are looking decidedly suspect. Too many gaffes, and too much evidence he likes to dole out gummint money in return for favors. Plus, you have to ask, how much has he changed since he was writing lib articles for the DN?

    You might as well vote for Brad Ashford as Colby Coash. He’s not conservative in any universe I recognize.

  7. CD #1 says:

    Coash is no Brad Ashford. For one, Coash is staunchly pro-life. But the reason Coash could win is because he’s no mark fahleson type reactionary either. Conservative but not angry about it. Fortenberry is no bomb-thrower and he’s had the First District locked up for years.

  8. To RWP says:

    Wasn’t Ronald Reagan a democrat at one point in his life? The letters he wrote 20 years ago are irrelevant. He’s a conservative, and his record as a state senator and attorney general prove it. I don’t just want a conservative to represent us in DC. I want a leader. And Bruning has shown leadership through his fights against ObamaCare and the EPA. He has my vote.

  9. Reality check says:

    The Primary is in May. To challenge for congress one needs to raise around a quarter-million dollars in about three months. That narrows the field. Mike Flood, Tony Fulton, maybe Bob Evnen, maybe Hornung…that about does it. Most of the others mentioned haven’t raised that kind of money in their entire career. And Fulton is the only one to have appeared on a ballot for CD1 Primary voters. He got a third of the statewide vote in the last Primary and I’ll bet most of that came from CD1. Just sayin’

  10. seriously says:

    Stenberg can talk a conservative game but when you look at his record its just not there. Running millions off the books to fight the low level radioactive waste case, running for senate while turning a blind eye to his responsibilities as ag and most recently taking credit for a budget he didn’t submit. As for the excitement, its all around Bruning. Which is why Stenberg and Fischer have never caught fire.

  11. The Alamo says:

    Fort’s campaign would be like battle of the Alamo… it would be long and brave and unpleasant, but eventually it would end. Before the primary. While he’s an entrenched incumbent in a safe seat, his likability factor is zero. He’s developed a not-so-conservative reputation matched with a personality equal to the lovability of a hedgehog. Not the chemistry a candidate needs for a primary win.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fortenberry’s House seat is safe and will keep his kids in braces for years. Don’t see him risking the security for his family to assuage his ego on this one. Deb Fischer should not let herself get bullied out of this race by a bunch of opportunistic men, those who want Fort to run so they can scramble for his seat. And Adam Hornung and Bob Evnen? They’re going to pick up name recognition in a few months? Fulton is getting a reputation for jumping at anything which reinforces career politician vibe, not man of the people. Coash’s record is more moderate than conservative for a GOP Primary. Foley and Flood would have more gravitas but agree that Flood is more likely to run for Governor or AG. Foley is burnishing his rep as the taxpayer’s watchdog and can parlay that into about anything else years down the road.

  13. Goose says:

    Good to see the stenberg people out making up rumors about the Bruning campaign again. I mean when you are an elected official, former candidate whjo almost won the office and CAN’T get support in the state or raise money it must be pretty rough.

    Everything is fine with the Bruning Team. Money and support still rolling in. Don’t know how your weak attempts to start rumors will help you but knock yourself out.

  14. Quid Pro Ho says:

    Bruning has $20 he can’t explain where it came from. He plays so fast and loose that even former Republican party chairs like JL Spray don’t trust him. You have to decide eventually whether or not political philosophy is more important than integrity. With Heineman, Stenberg, and Fisher you know they’ll conduct themselves honorably. Bruning is a big question mark.

  15. Lloyd Festivus says:

    Tony Fulton was born and raised in Auburn, NE too, so he would have a good part of southeast Nebraska covered. I don’t think Auburn is in District 1 anymore but he still knows a lot of people in that part of the state. That and the fact he is on tv or radio every night, his name ID is a lot better than anyone else’s mentioned……so, in a quick primary, should The Fort jump into the Senate race, I think it would be Tony’s to win if he wants it. And he could raise money, not only from NE, but also national types. Don’t you think Karl Rove would want a young, conservative, minority on the national scene? See Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Allen West etc….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lloyd, You’re stretching. I understand Fulton is half-Filipino but he’s no Marco Rubio. His statewide Treasurer’s race did raise his name ID but he still isn’t as well known as he thinks he is. Yes, money from Rove types would help him raise his ID but I just don’t see him as congressional material. He was also rumored to want Mayor of Lincoln. Too much chatter about Fulton all the time wanting to run for this and that does not lend him much credibility. Fortenberry would be foolish to give up a solid thing for a grueling Senate Primary that isn’t a sure bet. Doubt Bruning and Stenberg are dumping out for him. If Bruning got out a second time, that ends any hope of a future race for anything. Stenberg has always had his eye on the Senate. Can’t blame the guy for staying in, he has wanted it forever. At least he’s been honest about it.

  17. check yourself says:

    Stenberg’s running ads right now as state treasurer promoting the college savings plan and has been self promoting since he took office. He did the same as AG, even did an ad blitz on the way out the door. Stenberg should change his slogan to Desperate Lifelong Senate Candidate.

  18. anon says:

    Desperate Lifelong Senate Candidate that’s perfect. Don’s been running for public office since 1976. He ran for legislature and lost.

  19. 1976? says:

    He’s been running for office since 1976 and he still can’t raise any dough? That’s unbelievable. If it weren’t for DeMint’s handouts Stenberg’s campaign would look like Apollo Creed after he fought Drago in Rocky IV.

  20. Anonymous says:

    someone was in the field polling last night

    short poll but it had questions about congressional primary in CD 1

    name ID and ballot question on many candidates listed on this comment thread

  21. Roger Snowden says:

    Sweeper– sounds like your case for Bruning is “he’s good enough”.

    Doesn’t the electoral process encompass the concept of “best” candidate?

  22. Anon says:

    If Fortenberry’s seat open up, look to the three F’s: Fulton, Flood, and Fahleson. Fulton would be excellent; he’s likeable, hard working, and reliably conservative. Flood would be great, too, but is set up nicely for AG. Fahleson would be interesting. Obviously coming straight from being a party chair could be problematic but, hey, Heineman was exec. director. He could fundraise, has experience in DC, and knows what it would take to win. Something to keep an eye on.

  23. Roger,
    First of all I’m not making a “case” for Bruning. You, or anyone else who seems to think so, seem to put a little too much of your own bias into what you read here.

    My main point is, Who the hell is Jim DeMint and why should anyone from Nebraska give a flying frack about what he thinks about a Nebraska candidate? Like he had any idea who Don Stenberg was up until a few months ago? Did he follow Stenberg’s or Bruning’s or Fischer’s career? Has he examined their backgrounds?

    Of course not.

    He hooked up with Stenberg at some point, Don kissed his ring, and the money and endorsements started flowing. And that’s fine, and all that. But let’s stop the bullshit that Don would be or is the “more conservative” candidate in that bunch. There is no proof or evidence of that — unless you’re dying to put all your eggs in the basket containing Bruning’s Daily Nebraskan articles. If that’s it, then so be it. Rock on.

    But the reality is that if Bruning (or Fischer) or whomeever else would had climbed the mountaintop to visit DeMint, they would have gotten the endorsement. It has nothing to do with being “more conservative”.

    And frankly, if we are talking “best” candidate, that is a whole ‘nother discussion. Best campaign? More likely to win? Most likely to win against whom? Most likely to rep the state the best? Most likely to vote the right way? Most likely to lead the country in the right direction?

    Those aren’t all mutually exclusive, but they are all very different questions.

  24. anon says:

    Excellent point Sweeper. Nebraska’s next senator doesn’t need to be a genuine lifelong conservative, or whatever that means. They should be the person who’s going to represent the people of Nebraska the best. That question and many others are going to be answered in the coming months.

  25. Fortenberry's Resume says:

    If you thought Bruning was a career politician, don’t let Jeff Fortenberry check his credentials at the door. Have you ever seen Fortenberry on the campaign trail? No? Last time he was in the hunt for votes as 2004. He and Jon Bruning compete for who can miss the most NEGOP events. This politician thinks he’s an aristocrat and that will play about as well outside of Lincoln as Pete Ricketts did outside of Omaha.

  26. anon says:

    This is great news. Now we know how to win a statewide race. First you get the trust of JL Spray, then you attend as many NEGOP events as possible. If only it was that simple.

  27. nerve says:

    looks like this bruning stuff is hitting a nerve with sweeper. Sweeps, the comments against both bruning and stenberg are all legit and fair game. Stop crying like a 5 year old and let debate about folks credentials continue without you crying about it.

  28. @ nerve says:

    Sweepers comments are about Jim DeMint playing in the Nebraska primary. Jim DeMint doesn’t care about Nebraska, Nebraska issues, or who is best to serve Nebraskans. Jim DeMint cares about being the most conservative guy in the country and having a bunch of guys in the senate that he owns.

  29. nerve,

    What “bruning stuff” are you talking about? And to what “crying” are you referring? Look cowboy, I moderate the debate here. So you get to hear my moderation, when I feel like moderating. Sorry you don’t like to hear criticism of the Senator from South Carolina, but those are the breaks for someone basing their entire campaign on his support.

    And I should add that I am the one suggesting an ACTUAL debate about credentials or views or anything else that separates the candidates. You know, other than kneeling before Zod….er DeMint.

    And thanks for reading.

  30. RWP says:

    I worked on the NCRI campaign in 2008. Bruning was not hostile; his office forced the UN BoR to play by the rules. But Stenberg represented us, gratis, in court. Bruning, AFAIK, did not take a public position. Like most of the Nebraska Republican Party, he sat on the fence (except for Kramer, who ran the pro-preferences campaign).

    Stenberg earned my support.

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