Leavenworth Street is getting word that there is very serious interest in the 2013 Omaha Mayor’s race from….none other than…former Senate candidate…Pete Ricketts!
Pete is the current GOP National Commiteeman from Nebraska, and has stayed very involved at a policy level with the Platte Institute. He is also part owner of the Chicago Cubs (FWIW). It is also, of course, well known that he was willing to put up his own money to help fund his last campaign for U.S. Senate. His entrance would immediately affect any race and any candidates.
At this point, we would be looking at Mayor Jim Suttle, state Senator Brad Ashford…and then who knows? Would someone like Ricketts clear the Republican field, if they couldn’t go up against his cash? Would they be happy to cede to him from a party and policy standpoint? Would someone who has raised a good chunk of cash, like City Councilwoman Jean Stothert, back off this race? Would Ashford stay in?
Ricketts has not announced anything, and this could all be just another trial balloon. But if he is interested, this changes a great deal.
On the campaign front, we had noted the other day that Bill Protexter was going to be running Brad Ashford’s Mayoral campaign. Well, looks like Protexter has had a change of heart. Things are early, and it is not unusual for a camp to have changes like this early on.
But when someone, like Ashford, leaves the party, it means that campaigners have to think long and hard about who they take on as clients. If you are a campaigner, you work for non-party candidates at your own peril. It can be a tough business.
On the campaign front, A.G. Jon Bruning is continuing his run of law enforcement endorsements, by adding one from Maricopa County, Arizona “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio.
Bruning has also collected a slew of endorsements from Nebraska law enforcement. He is going head to head with Don Stenberg for the out-of-state endorsements as well, it seems.
Last week we wrote a post criticizing whoever holds the keys to the Douglas County Republican Party (DCRP) website for a post they made regarding establishing a state health care exchange. Our reasoning for the criticism was twofold:
1) We stated our position that we believe Nebraska is better off establishing their own exchanges instead of defaulting to a Federal model. There has been a spirited debate on this subject in the comment section — and we are convinced that this is not a clear cut issue. We are comfortable with our position, but we certainly see the other side of it, and have no ill will towards those who take it. And we are proud to be hosting a forum for this type of discussion, which we have not seen anywhere else.
2) But our real surprise was that whoever does run on the DCRP website, put up that post. The post suggested that it was the party’s position to be against a state run exchange, even though there are certainly many Republicans — and arguably the Governor — who are either for establishing a state-run exchange instead of defaulting to a Federal model, or simply have not not taken a position.
Also a bit of a strange factor in the DCRP’s post was that it seemed to be cut and pasted from an Americans for Prosperity talking point. Which is fine, except we have not seen a post like that before — again on a relatively new issue that the party does not seem to be squared on.
So why did this go up? Well, maybe the Party Chair, Scott Petersen, — who seems to have taken ownership on this — felt that this was a done deal as far as being a “party position”. Or maybe it had been cleared by whatever party committee may decide such a thing. Or maybe it was just “one of many” positions being made available to the party faithful. Or maybe Scott simply felt it was the right position to take and put it up, damn the consequences, if any.
Well, suffice it say that Scott and some of his friends and colleagues did NOT like ANY criticism coming from Leavenworth Street on this issue. They do not like the position that Leavenworth Street has taken on the exchanges, and they DO NOT like the fact that we questioned how they decide about postings on the party’s website.
So apparently DCRP Chairman Scott Petersen attempted to post a comment on Leavenworth Street that did not go through. We have had this happen before on this WordPress hosted site. Recently we had a long-time commenter email us, stating that he was unable to post comments. We looked at it on our end, and could not find any issues. We suggested he look at it from his end, and it was apparently fixed, because he started commenting again that same day.
From a technical point, if you, Commenter, do not see a comment go up almost immediately, there is some problem. In general, we suggest copying your comment before you hit “post”, so that if there is a problem, you can simply re-post it. That is especially the case if you type something VERY long, and then it disappears. We know that frustration, so if you want it to last, type it somewhere else first where it can be saved.
The other day a commenter typed 600+ word comment. In it, he had a number of URL links — so WordPress auto-rejected it. However, because it was obvious that he put a lot of effort into his comment, we edited out the URLs and posted it for him. Point being, we do not reject or deleted comments simply because someone disagrees with a position we have taken.
So why bring all this up? Well, because of a bit of a snarkly/snippy comment from DCRP Chair Petersen regarding a comment of his that did not get posted, for whatever reason. We do not think it was because of links. So, we are inserting it into this post so that he can have his say. (Petersen CC’d us on an email which contained the comment he said did not post on Leavenworth Street.
FYI, I tried to post a comment of my own after getting a chance to catch up on my reading. Evidently, Leavenworth has chosen not to post my comments:
Wow! Where do I start? Sorry, I haven’t been able to join in on the fun. I have been kind of busy volunteering my time the last couple of months trying to help the Douglas County Republican Party become a more effective organization (fundraising with Elephant Remembers, Candidate Recruitment, etc.). Finally caught up on some sleep and now had a chance to read LS and the comments. A few notes and observations:
1) 2012 Elephant Remembers. A big thanks to Vice Chair Arlene Steier, Sarah Weir and Rebecca Weber for putting their heart and soul into making this years event a huge success. Mission accomplished in both attendance and fundraising! And, a special thanks the many folks who donated their time and money to make that happen…..
2) News Flash: Leavenworth Street acknowledges that there is a Douglas County Republican Party. Should be a good thing, but not quite. SS accuses the DCRP of going against Governor Heineman on the Health Care Exchange. Nice try. If you know of a state that has better leadership at the top, let me know….
3) Health Care Exchange. My first thought….LS / SS must be on someone’s payroll pushing for the Health Care Exchange. Interesting, did you notice the Advertisement: Nebraska Health Care Alliance on the LS blog? And drill down into the NHA ad…..and “click below to contact Sam Fischer” and join the Alliance….does that smell “fishy” to anyone but me?
4) Candidate Recruitment. Wow….they took a few pot shots at us there. Anyone notice that the Democrats control most of the offices in Douglas County? Or, that they control the City Council and the Mayors office? I think that happened before I was elected in January 2011. FYI, we are getting new people and new energy into the candidate recruitment process…..might take some time to show results, but stay tuned. (also, quite interesting that some of the “old guard” Republicans are sitting on their hands hoping we fail……..brilliant strategy).
And, in closing…..we appreciate the LS acknowledgement that there is a Douglas County Republican Party. Anytime you brave souls want to come out from behind the curtain and have a conversation, feel free to contact us.
Chairman, Douglas County Republican Party
First of all, readers, note that Mr. Petersen numbered his comments, thus making them easier to reply to. Very good. So, let us hit them, one by one:
1) Sounds like it was a great event. We never received any information on it via a release or an update. But that’s neither here nor there, we suppose. Except that…
2) Petersen here seems to be complaining that we do no feature them enough. We would only say that it is much easier to do so when you are on someone’s email list. And interesting non-sequitur between our questioning Petersen’s position on the exchanges, versus the Governor’s. We think Governor Dave is great. And that has what to do with you….?
3) Yup the NHCA bought an ad on Leavenworth Street last Friday. If you do not see it, reload the page until it cycles up in the box on the upper right. And they bought that ad AFTER we argued in favor of the exchanges last week. Now what else is “fishy” there — other than another non-sequitur by you? And are we to understand that YOU are on the AFP payroll since you quoted AFP directly on the DCRP website?
4) Uh, read our posts again Scott. We never said word ONE about candidate recruitment. But it is interesting that you specifically separated out that point. Is it a sore spot? It must be, since you brought it up to criticize us. And then you go about hammering “old guard” Republicans???
You go on a blog and start to hammer those in your own party because they are not toeing your line? Really? That is the plan, huh?
Hey look, it is not as if you are the first to criticize us for being anonymous. That is the way we decided to operate this blog from the start. If you do not like it, please do not feel any obligation to read or comment (or buy something via our Amazon.com links — where you get great deals).
But strangely enough, there are those who have enjoyed reading Leavenworth Street and support our goal of discussing politics in Nebraska — even intra-party politics!
We will say this: We would not have been surprised if you had sent a comment or an email stating something to the extent of, “This is our position, that we believe most Republicans agree with. We understand that others may disagree, but we believe ours will be most effective for our country. As Chairman, I have certain leeway to take positions on the party website, and to the extent that others disagree with those, we give certain opportunity for them to express theirs. We hope there was not misunderstanding, and we will continue to fight for the best of all Americans.”
Or some other statement.
But instead, what do we get out of the box? Accusing Leavenworth Street of not publicizing your events enough. Accusing Leavenworth Street of not following the GOP’s agenda (or something). Accusing Leavenworth Street of its own agenda. Accusing Leavenworth Street criticizing something about candidate recruitment, when we have not commented on it. Accusing Leavenworth Street of not being “brave”?
We took issue with the way the DCRP Chair put up a post, and this is what comes back?
That is new to us. We have not had that sort of relationship with a party person, or a campaign or an elected official before. We usually get that from liberals and Democrats, but apparently this is what we should get used to from you, and your minions who have decided to attack us on the comment boards.
That’s fine. Free blogosphere, and all that.
Interesting strategy, DCRP Chairman Scott Petersen.
And, as usual, thanks for reading.