Occupy Lyons

Chuck Hassebrook's peeps

Democrat Chuck Hassebrook is announcing for U.S. Senate today in his hometown of Lyons, Nebraska.

No idea how he comes out of the gate, but we don’t see him on the conservative edge of many issues — as you could certainly argue that Ben Nelson is/was.

From NEGOP Chair Mark Fahleson:

“(Hassebrook is) more liberal than Ben Nelson on the issues of health care, tax cuts, agriculture policy, and environmental regulation – an Occupy Wall Street sympathizer who has more in common with Barack Obama than with mainstream Nebraska.”

On the Occupy front (as it were), we noticed the organizer of Hassebrook’s campaign Facebook page. It was one of staff members, Brian DePew, of his Center for Rural Affairs — who uses the image at the right for his Facebook profile.

Now of course you can’t judge the guy solely on his staffers. But, this probably gives you a good indication of where he leans on those issues. You will probably hear him echo Ben Nelson’s positions, and then if you nudge him, he will tilt to the left of those.

And good luck with that.

***

We see that Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray’s proposal to create a protected class in homosexual and transgender citizens will come up for a vote again.

Gray has proposed that the city prevent discrimination based on “sexual orientation or gender identity.” Hmm. How are those defined?

Gender Identity: “The actual or perceived appearance, expression, identity or behavior of a person as being male or female, whether or not that appearance, expression, identity or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth.”

Ah. That clear to everyone?

Sexual Orientation: ‘Actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.”

Perceived?

The OWH reported that, “Employers would not be required to provide employment benefits to same-sex partners under the proposal.”

Yeah? How long would that hold up?

OK, so here is our first question: Is this currently a problem? Are there cases — or A case — where someone in Omaha has claimed to have lost their job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity?

Because we remember when the issue of proposing stricter voting procedures — and by “strict” we mean showing an ID before you vote — the Boldies screeched, “This isn’t a problem! Show us the problem here!” So that is apparently the standard.

(Tangent: When protesters wanted to protest the idea of having to show their IDs to vote, they first had to show an ID to enter the Justice Department. Oh the humanity…)

And of course the proposed ordinance has this little hurdle: Since when can the city create a new protected class? Does the Charter allow it? How about the State Constitution? Or the U.S. Constitution?

Or is this someone’s ploy to get the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court?

And does ANYONE think this supremely vague ordinance would NOT serve host to a plethora of lawsuits? Hey, can he be in the women’s bathroom? Why isn’t there a separate bathroom in every building? Where is the separate locker rooms? Why no partner rights? What was the perceived expression of the person? What is the traditional identity?

We are just throwing those out there, but you can imagine what could be thrown against the wall.

And then there is the effort to water down the proposal. So the Omaha Council peeps who opposed it, suggested a “resolution” which read, in part, that no one should be targeted for hatred for any reason. Really? We hate pedophiles, murderers and rapists. Tell us again what the problem is there. Some of us also hate turnips. Can’t stand them. (You think they’re going to be similar to a potato, and then they have a funny weird bitterness.) Screw turnips. So now we’re running athwart of the Omaha City Council?

This is what happens. (And don’t even get us started on “hate” crimes. Is it a crime, or isn’t it? Who cares if someone loves or hates you when they stab you?)

And you can all feel free to argue the merits of this to your heart’s content. There are a myriad of legal issues involved, and we don’t pretend to necessarily be experts on many or any of them.

But we DO know this:

There are some who are in favor of Gray’s ordinance. And there are many, many who are opposed.

And currently, the crucial tie-breaking vote is West Omaha Councilman Franklin Thompson. Thompson, who teaches at UNO has reportedly been getting some pressure to vote in favor of Gray’s ordinance.

And if he does, you can bet your winning Lotto ticket that he will find himself opposed in his next race by a very well-supported opponent or two. That’s just the reality of the political world.

We don’t believe that Thompson has shown his cards on this yet, but if he does tilt toward Ben Gray, look for more excitement and candidates in Thompson’s district.

We hate to say, this is the truth. (Dang! There we go again!)

***

The sports/gossip site Deadspin is making an argument that maybe Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle is handing out just a few too many Keys to the City these days.

Case in point: Pseudo-average UFC fighter Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger.

Now Ellenberger is also a former wrestling coach at UNO and a U.S. Marine.  But somehow we suspect he wouldn’t have received the key from the Mayor unless he had entered the Octagon.

Then again, a few years ago we saw one of those keys on eBay…

***

Your political Valentine from Dan Moser today:

You’re red state, I’m blue state. Let’s make some purple together.

38 comments

  1. H says:

    I occupied Lyons for 18 years and had a great time. No signs though. Got a first-hand report from the big announcement today. My source says there were about 50 people there and it was cold.

  2. Anonymostly says:

    Hey Sweeps, speacking of that “non-problem” involving requiring voters to produce ID, I read of a Pew Research poll today that says 2 MILLION dead people in the U.S. are still on voter rolls (and I bet the Dems know exactly who they all are/were.) Two million votes, though, is unlikely to swing any kind of election. And that’s clearly not a problem.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    If Councilman Thompson votes against the ordinance, he will get bounced out of UNO. The hate thing is allowed to go in certain directions.

  4. Anonymostly says:

    Oh, and some other news that’s on the front page of the Urinal Star: “Bill on prenatal care for low-income women advances.” I wish it weren’t the case, but I have been acquainted with several women who informed me they were trying to get pregnant in order to get on Medicaid. I’ve also had occasion to visit with any number of young ladies who told me, without any sense of shame or embarrassment, that they and their boyfriends were trying to get pregnant even though neither of them had a job or any way of providing for a kid. “We’ll just put it on welfare.” Seriously.

    But let’s just make it easy for people to have and raise illegitimate children and put them on the doll. Because, otherwise, we’d have to exercise judgment. And “non-judgmentalism” is the primary virtue among progressives, no? (Well, as long as you’re not Christian or conservative, don’t wear fur, don’t drive an SUV, don’t own a business or hold the title of “CEO,” don’t belong to the TEA party, don’t support gun ownership rights, don’t oppose abortion …)

  5. Anonymostly says:

    What else is in the news? Oh, yeah, the whole forcing religious employers to furnish contraception free of charge. Dick Morris was on some newsy talk program where he asserted that the Dems (Obama) are trying to manufacture this controversy as a wedge issue to use for the election. They’ve decided they can’t win on abortion and so they’ve moved the target (as they so often do) and redefined it as “contraception” and are trying to pass off the notion that, if Republicans take control of the white house and the Senate, look out for your contraceptives because the Santorum crowd will be looking to outlaw them.

    So, there was this clip from one of the Republican Presidential debates in which George Ste hmmm opolis asked Mitt Romney if he believed states had the authority to outlaw contraceptives.

    Romney, you may remember, tried not to bite. Asked George WTH, is this even an issue? Are any states trying to do this? Why are you even asking me? But George stuck to his question, can states outlaw contraception?

    Well, it’s a stupid question, George, and certainly you KNEW that when you asked it. The U.S. Supreme Court decided almost 50 years ago in a case called Griswold vs. Connecticut that states cannot ban contraception. So, nice try, George. I’m sure the Obama admin thanks you for that set-up because less than a week later, if I remember it correctly, Kathleen Sibelius came out with the contraception mandate. And now NARAL has quickly come out with radio ads *thanking* the Administration for ensuring women will continue to have access to contraception. (Not that such access was ever threatened, mind you. And not that all these events aren’t coordinated.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anonymostly at 12:55, really!! Nice piece of fiction as it doesn’t pass the believability test. Not saying this never happens, but either you run in very low class circles or you like making s**t up.

  7. Kortezzi says:

    If Chuck Hassebrook becomes a US Senator, perhaps he can help Michele grow arugula & other veggies in her little White House garden.
    As everyone knows, DC has a HUGE surplus of natural fertilizer.

    As for Ben Gray’s ordinance on homosexual/transgender stuff – – his voters in North Omaha are NOT generally supportive of gay marriage, gays in the military, gay adoption rights, etc. Wonder if Ben is returning a political favor to Jim Suttle (or Matt Samp?)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Dick Morris is a credible pundit. Quit believing the bs, and look at the proposed mandate. If one wants contraceptive coverage, the employer is out of the loop. The employee deals directly with the insurance company. And since contraception costs much less than a pregnancy, insurance companies are more than happy to cover this with no charge to the employer or employee.

  9. Oh Mander says:

    Though (Insert Republican Here) is clearly the front runner against Hassebrook, it’s premature to write him and his populist message off, especially if that Republican is Jon Bruning. Hassebrook already released his tax returns – a symbolic act that GOP voters seem to favor as of late – and called on the other candidates to do the same. Not exactly a conversation Bruning wants to have with the humble voters of Nebraska…

  10. Nate says:

    “And since contraception costs much less than a pregnancy, insurance companies are more than happy to cover this with no charge to the employer or employee.”

    That’s what everyone is supposed to pretend, anyway.

  11. The Price is Right says:

    Kortezzi wrote: “As for Ben Gray’s ordinance on homosexual/transgender stuff – – his voters in North Omaha are NOT generally supportive of gay marriage, gays in the military, gay adoption rights, etc. Wonder if Ben is returning a political favor to Jim Suttle (or Matt Samp?)”

    DING, DING, DING…We have a winner!!!! This ordinance is ALL about Jim Suttle. He wants this. HE needs this. Gray is just his lap puppy pushing the agenda.

  12. John says:

    Ben needs to get his head out of Suttles rear and quit worrying about his wife’s job, he has problems enough in his district, his friend Brenda is probably done with Ernie back in.

  13. Anonymoose says:

    If it was in the financial interest of health insurance companies to provide free contraceptives, don’t you think they’d already be doing it?

  14. Just Wonderin says:

    SS, you mentioned that there may be a couple of “well-supported” opponents for Franklin if he votes yes. Any names? Also,with a little more than a year before our next city elections what names are out there for other Council opponents? Mayoral runners?

    Just Wonderin

  15. The Promise says:

    Jim Suttle made a promise to the LGBT community on this one in exchange for the support on the recall race. Do you think that Gary and Ace’s hiring was a coincidence either. There is a radical gay agenda being pushed from the third floor of city hall. Suttle will have his Human Rights department making findings left and right for the lawyers to sue Omaha employers.

  16. Anonymous says:

    SS, it’s pretty hard to factually back up a position without either a) including text (from a government report entitled “The Cost of Covering Contraceptives through Health Insurance”; NOT comments), or b) a URL link (which you ban). But since 99% of the posters here don’t appreciate inconvenient facts as they’d rather live in an alternate-(un)reality universe, it;s par for the course. Keep the unsubstantiated dribble coming.

  17. 6:07,
    You can
    a) figure it out
    b) make a salient point all on your own.
    c) describe the link with the source if it pains you that much.

    Cutting and pasting some giant piece is not a “comment”.
    To paraphrase Jim Rome, Make a comment and don’t suck.
    Right now you have done neither.

    -Ed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Your blog, SS, but the rules ensures that intelligent discussion cannot exist here. Without facts a reasoned discussion is impossible. And when there exists a disagreement about “facts”, the only resolution is to substantiate with outside information and resources.

  19. No, “Anonymous at 6:35”, you could not be more wrong.
    (And btw, the way, I’ve asked a thousand times to use some sort of pseudonym so we CAN have some kind of intelligent discussion between commenters, but for some reason you can’t bring yourself to that.)

    So instead you could type:
    “Guy at 5:35pm, you’re wrong about your contraception stats, which can easily be found by Googling UpJohn and rubbers and “April 1, 2004″. There you will find that stats that support my point that Barrack is king of the world and FoxNews is the devil. This matters to the issue of Nebraska politics because clearly Jim Suttle is basing his 2018 Senate run on it.”

    There. I just did the job of your 7th grade English teacher.
    Glad I could help.

    Thanks for reading and all that.
    -Ed.

  20. TexasAnnie says:

    Yikes! A verbal fistfight in action here? Nonetheless, I want to speak to those using the ‘Anonymous’ tic. I, too, would appreciate knowing which ‘Anonymous’ is making his/her point. But it’s not essential, since the blogger him/herself is anonymous…

    What IS essential is the point being made. And too many correspondents on Leavenworth seem only to be making a point of calling another out. The site rarely gets down to actual debate. But here’s my $.02 worth of “debate” about the GLBT stance: We Don’t Need Special Laws! All we need is a non-discriminating law that applies to ALL. For example, the resolution that I read about this afternoon which the Omaha City Council voted FOR unanimously, and which applies to ALL, is okay. Whereas, a special law which applies only to those perceived as discriminated against, can always be endlessly challenged by others in terms of “reverse” discrimination, and on it goes. We would probably ALL be better off if we had fewer and fewer laws…

  21. Anonymous says:

    who really cares about Omaha?

    So what the heck is going to happen with the prenatal bill? We can’t take care of the legal citizens we have now, just look at HHS. How in the sam hill are nebraskans going to be ok with paying bills for illegals? If you don’t like it go back to were ever you came from, go to a civic organization or church, or tough it out. Every baby and every mother doesn’t have complications. Our forefathers seemed able to handle it, even in sod house and using midwifes. Again don’t like it LEAVE.

  22. ricky says:

    Funny how Mr Sweeper likes to out people by screen saving their facebook pages but he himself remains anonymous. That seems cowardly to me but it’s his schtick.
    Also don’t hold your breath for the grandstanding FT to vote with Gray.
    For goodness sakes I hope somebody runs against Thompson in our district.
    Two plus terms and nothing to show for it for Dr T. Somebody please run and oust the guy from the council.

    ricky from omaha

  23. Macdaddy says:

    Anonymostly, you and Dick Morris are on to something. Covering birth control and abortion affects perhaps 50% of the population at most. Given the First Lady’s harping on how fat we are and how we don’t eat right, why aren’t employers mandated to cover gym memberships and weight loss programs? That affects 100% of the population. Why not organic food? Instead, what we are seeing is a naked ploy to scare people and win votes. Unfortunately for all of us, Obama has decided a dictatorship is preferable to the messiness of democracy. Well, guess what? What goes around comes around. How about this scenario? President Santorum doesn’t have the votes to pass a repeal of Obamacare in the Senate. Instead, he uses Obamacare and all the powers that are granted unto his HHS Secretary to skewer numerous sacred cows of the Left. Good-bye federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Maybe he says that insurance plans are not allowed to cover birth control. That’s the kind of power Obama just grabbed for himself and will pass on to the next occupant of the Oval Office. Every 4 years your health care coverage undergoes massive rearrangements. Think that’s good for the country? Then thank Obama, the smartest man ever to be President.

  24. Voter who wants choices says:

    Ricky – you bring up a point made the other day in my Dear Sweep plea:
    What about ALL the races?
    In the next two weeks we will have the slate for the next round of “leaders” in our state and local communitites. I enjoy the freshness this blog brings, with some exceptions, on the “who’s” and “whys” of those seeking to run for political office. Without SOME scrutiny on these other races, those following “The Talk of Nebraska Politics” will only be able to whisper about MUD, NRD, etc. I find it painful to watch the Douglas County Board meetings for example. Who REALLY wants to see Boyle sputter for another 4 years?? Or have a bankrupt housewife in charge of a multi-million dollar budget?
    Perhaps The Sweepster needs to start a LOCAL site and keep this one for Terry/Nelson bashers. ???

  25. 8:43,
    Because I have unlimited time to start more and newer blogs talking about everything?
    Two suggestions: Either 1) start making all your purchases via my Amazon links, have all your friends do the same, and buy some ads on Leavenworth Street so that I can quit my day job and blog full time or 2) start a new blog addressing those things on your own.
    If it’s good, it will be successful.
    -SS

  26. Anonymostly says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, anonymous at post 8, but it is all true. Through my profession, I’ve run across women who get/attempt to get pregnant in order to get on Medicaid and unmarried, unemployed couples who are trying to have a baby and figure they’ll just go on welfare. I was a bleeding heart lib when I got into my line of work and I thought I could help people. I came to find out that lots of folks are suffering from deliberately self-inflicted wounds. And, lately, I’m running low on sympathy.

  27. Voter who wants choices says:

    SS – I don’t buy much online, sorry. And I certainly don’t have time to start something on my own.
    You have been very good at throwing out topics/people and letting us folks respond to our hearts delight. Unfortunately, each new topic/person seems to bury the present one. It’s a blog though, and I understand that. Don’t take this as criticism, but as a suggestion, split some of your points. Above you have at three great topics that deserve attention, i.e., public responses on all three. The task us cyber folks would then face is following down through the pages to continue the discussions. You have an interesting mechanism already and clearly a lot of folks are already tuned in. Your links support that and vice versa. My neighbor is tired of me ranting so thanks for letting me rant here!!

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