Set field?

Blurry Cam Image of Tom Barker
Tom Barker
Well, there is probably no point in any additional circular bush beating, so here it is:

We have heard — and this is just a little better than speculation at this point — that West Corp. CEO Tom Barker is thinking about running for the GOP Senate nomination. At this point, this name is not much of a secret.

We attempted to contact Barker to confirm, deny or expand upon this, but have not heard back from him. We imagine that at this point he may respond to one of the MSM outlets.

We know that he has some cash on him. We know that he has supported local Republicans in the past. But frankly, we don’t know for sure his level of interest, or if he is interested, how much of his own interest he would be willing to spend to fund a nascent campaign.

But, it makes it all the more an interesting race, and there you go.

If Barker contacts us, or tells anyone else that he is NOT running, and that he does not have any interest, don’t be that surprised. But, again, we feel that more info is better than less, and you now know what we know.


In the money department, Don Stenberg announced his 2011 Fourth quarter fundraising results.

His campaign notes that he raised “over $250,000 for the quarter” putting him at about $364,000 for the cycle. He has $177K COH.

Of course, Stenberg himself will tell you (or Tweet you) that South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s support has been crucial to his campaign. And that DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund PAC raised Stenberg about $207,000 in Q4. So, that means that the Stenberg camp probably raised around $43,000 themselves.

In the mean time, DeMint looks to spend another $300K for Stenberg on TV. And DeMint is apparently in the field polling for Stenberg as well.

Interesting operation.


The Jon Bruning camp is also coming out with their numbers today.

They report that they raised $400K during Q4 2011, and have raised nearly $2.8M for the cycle. Bruning currently has $1.7M COH. They also note that they have donors from all 93 Nebraska counties.

We are looking forward to the Bruning – DeMint debates soon.


Bob Kerrey is still trying to decide if he should move his family to Virginia, or maybe even Washington DC itself, so that he can run for Senate in Nebraska. To help in his decision, he is visiting the Original Ray’s Pizza in New York. All of them.

It may be a while.


Also, here is the :30 second version of the latest Stenberg ad, this time paid for by “Freedomworks for America”.

Quite the crowd there at “Elmwood Park”, yeah?

**UPDATE at 3:00pm!**
Apparently there was a problem with comments. I did not shut them down — at least not intentionally. Fixed now. Comment on.


  1. Stenberg's Commercial says:

    About as exciting as KFOR in the afternoon.
    Love that little ‘hop’ Don does when after he says ‘I stand in awe’…..ratings, I tell you. He’s a ratings machine.

  2. C'mon man says:

    Stenberg raises $43k on his own, while Bruning raises another $400k? Go start the bus Don, it’s time to head home. $177k cash for Don and $1.7 million of Jon? Start planning for your fifth run for Senate against Johanns in 2014.

  3. Chode says:

    Along with the comments section why don’t you go ahead and shut down the rest of this site. This is complete garbage. SS don’t quit your day job.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is fake video of Stenberg. That is clearly a green screen he is using. There is absolutely no movement in the background of the “park” when he is speaking.

  5. Weekend at Bernie's says:

    I have it on good authority that Don is not actually alive. Dan Parsons has stuffed him and propped him up and Jim DeMint is speaking through a speaker mounted where Don’s heart is supposed to be.

  6. TexasAnnie says:

    While y’all continue to fret over senatorial candidates, other issues are of concern to folks in the other forty-nine states…

    For example, H.R. 1981. It’s being billed as an anti- child pornography act. But it’s really another attempt to chill internet activity, not dissimilar to SOPA and PIPA. Once again, the people of the United States must stand up to Congress with a resounding NO! Are you with us, Nebraska?

  7. Benthere says:

    Did I hear that commercial right? Stenberg calls upon us to “defend freedom”? Then why didn’t he defend freedom?

    In 1996 Stenberg told the OWH that he isn’t a veteran because the Air Force wouldn’t let him be part of the space program. Vietnam was raging when he graduated from HS and still in 1970 when he graduated from college but Stenberg would only serve if he could be an astronaut. How in hell is him being an astronaut or a US Senator “defending freedom”?

    Stenberg is a fetid pustule of ambition cloaked in Conservatism. How dare that coward call upon Nebraskans to “defend freedom” when he let others fight and die in his place?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Benthere- It would be good if you had a more specific date so I could research this claim. If Stenberg ever said that then I can’t support him. As a 20 year vet I would be ashamed to said I support any candidate who maid such a statement.

  9. Roger says:

    Wait, Stenberg raised less than $50,000 and the rest came from DeMint? Pinch me and tell me this is a joke, because this is a joke. Why is Don running? Because DeMint needs someone he can buy and own? My hunch is that that approach didn’t work with Bruning, who probably told DeMint that he might occasionally make a senate vote without consulting with the South Carolina senator. I always thought Stenberg was a joke, but now that I see how little he has raised, and how much came from DeMint – calling him a joke is too nice. He’s just a wuss.

  10. Concerned says:

    Given Don’s history of running for the senate, I’m becoming very concerned with the DeMint backing of Stenberg. Don’s made it well known that his life goal is to be a in the senate. Which leads me to believe that its not about Nebraskans or the current state of our country, its about Don Stenberg. I’m concerned that he’ll do anything to get there, and if he gets there, won’t represent Nebraska. What we had with Nelson was a politician who broke our trust by listening to Washington interests and his colleagues in the senate over Nebraskans. Health care and the stimulus are prime examples. With Stenberg’s only support coming from DeMint, it raises serious questions about who he’s going to represent.

  11. The real anon says:

    Did you know that Jon Bruning hasn’t been working solely in the private sector since 1995 after he graduated law school in 1994? That is one year folks. Now that is a career politician.

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