Ricketts for Mayor?

Pete Ricketts

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.

Scott Petersen
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.


  1. ricky says:

    That’s a long post that I decided not to read all of. Check the OWH today for two op-eds on whether or not to go ahead with creating the insurance exchanges here in Nebraska.
    Man Ricketts sure has a lot of money he does not know what to do with. I wish my daddy had left me a fortune so I could go about trying to influence politics.
    Also; heard at a Democratic gathering was that Council Person Stothert was more interested in being LT Governor under Mr Sheehey than Mayor. The trouncing of the recall-Suttle effort convinced her that Repub business money is not enough to win a Mayor’s race in the blue city of Omaha.
    Also heard at a (small) Dem gathering is that what is needed is a liberal “Leavenworth St”.

    ricky from omaha

  2. The Syndicate says:

    I was under the impression the DCRP can no longer afford an office or an employee, has tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and could not even get an out of state keynote for Elephant Remembers. (past keynotes include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence and other prominent national figures)

    So the question is, if the chair of a (non-existent) county party throws a fit and no one hears it, does it really matter?

  3. DCRP Hater says:

    The DCRP has been taken over by fools like Scott who think they know everything about politics, but in actuality they know nothing. Since Scott was elected Chairman, he has thrown the party down the drain. The DCRP no longer has an Executive Director (or any full time staff for that matter), no office (and was nearly evicted from their old space), is unable to pay its bills and has very limited volunteers under the age of 75. Scott can stop his hissy fit at any time and do what is right- step down from his position. Should be of no surprise he quotes AFP as representing the DCRP, as AFP represents the fringe Scott longs for the DCRP to become.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As to Scott’s point 4) ….

    Of course you weren’t the chair for those elections, but you are for this one and where is the challenger for Register of Deeds? County Clerk? Public Defender? Or for Boyle’s, Rogers’s or Kraft’s seats on the County Board? The county party needs to focus on local, including, *gasp* COUNTY elections and not focus primarily on national issues. 10 days til the filing deadline and I have not heard one peep about those challengers. Clock is a-ticking.

  5. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Is this clear enough for you? (if not…check the link on the dcrp website and listen to the audio. You can hear it straight from the Governor’s mouth).

    Nebraska Radio Network: Heineman Says Wait on Exchanges

    From an interview with Governor Dave Heineman on the Nebraska Radio Network
    February 1, 2012 By Brent Martin

    Gov. Dave Heineman insists Nebraska won’t default to the federal government in creating a state health insurance exchange, but the governor tells Nebraska Radio Network he wants to wait until the legal status of the federal health care law is determined.

    In his State of the State address, Heineman declared that the state is moving forward with planning and designing a state health insurance exchange. He stated the state has worked hard for the past two years on that portion of the federal health care overhaul. Heineman asserted “…Nebraska will not default to the federal government regarding a health insurance exchange.”

    Heineman, during an interview with Nebraska Radio Network, addresses criticism about waiting to create the exchange. He says it doesn’t make sense to move forward now.

    “I think anybody with a little common sense wouldn’t make a major decision about this knowing that within 90 days of that decision, the United States Supreme Court could rule it unconstitutional,” Heineman says. “I’m saying; just use a little common sense here.”

    The state has run on two-tracks regarding the federal healthcare law. It has been working to implement the mandates of the law even as it has joined with 25 other states to challenge its constitutionality.

    The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to the 2010 healthcare law during oral arguments in March. A decision could be handed down by the court in late June.

    Heineman tells us that doing anything more than planning could prove to be a waste of time if the Obama Administration loses in court.

    “So, I just say, ‘Hey, let’s wait for the decision, but let’s don’t us make a major decision till we know how the court has acted,’” Heineman says.

  6. Bryan,
    Thanks for making my point: If ObamaCare is overturned, nothing happens. If it is found Constitutional, the Governor will likely call a special session to create the Nebraska Exchange. He won’t default to the Feds.

  7. Anonymous says:


    We get it. You are responsible for the social media for the DCRP and you likely made the initial post and continue to defend it.


    You are responsible for advancing the stated goals of the DOUGLAS COUNTY Republican Party. The DCRP is responsible for local issues, local candidate recruitment and local elections. How are any of the stated goals of the DCRP being advanced by this back and forth between you (and Bryan) and Street Sweeper?

  8. Kortezzi says:

    I find it hard to believe that Pete Ricketts would be interested in being Mayor of Omaha. It’s clear that Jean Stothert has been gearing up for her run against Jim Suttle (and perhaps Ashford), and I’ve heard nobody in the local Republican Party offer any criticisms of her.

    Pete has been excellent in his role on the National Committee of the GOP and he’s made a lot of friends that will serve him well in a future run for office. But Mayor? Why would Pete do time as a National Committeeman if he intended to run for a local office? And why would he challenge a well-regarded rising star like Stothert, of all people?

    Ricketts learned the hard way that ad bombardments alone aren’t enough to win statewide election in Nebraska. His political legwork since then looks more like preparation for a challenge to Rick Sheehy for the Governor’s office. Pete would have to be favored in that matchup, despite Gov Dave’s endorsement of his Lt Gov.

  9. Kortezzi,
    That all makes good sense. And we have always heard Ricketts for Gov, as well.
    Though we have also heard that he’s done with the Committeeman gig.
    We will let you know what else we hear.

  10. Macdaddy says:

    I’ve had numerous posts not show up, or get a message that the page timed out when I hit Submit. Some weeks are better than others, some computers are more successful than others. I just blame it all on Al Gore for not designing a better Internet.

    Hey, Sweeper, will the site ads even pay for a trip to Starbucks? Sorry. Didn’t mean to rub it in.

    Mr. Petersen, as a Party official, might want to look up Reagan’s 11th Amendment before he starts impugning bad motives to the best political blogger in the state, who also is conservative and has been a very, very reliable advocate of the conservative viewpoint. Not to mention a pretty good writer. I disagree with Sweeper on the insurance exchange, but that doesn’t mean I think he’s on the dole. We just disagree. Can’t agree on everything. That’d be creepy.

  11. Bryan Baumgart says:

    You are correct in the assumption that I choose to defend the attacks on the dcrp that are based on factual inaccuracies. LS stated that the Gov. supports implementing the state health exchanges going through the legislature before a SC ruling, and that the dcrp took a contradictory stance. FACT: The Gov. does NOT support implementing the exchanges before a SC ruling. A fact proven with direct quotes that are NOT misrepresented and yet to be acknowledged.

    Notice…”going through the state legislature”? Thus…a state and local issue. It WILL effect Douglas County either way, and we urge all to contact their State Senators and voice their opinion on this urgent issue.

    As for Scott, I’m sure he is too busy recruiting candidates, etc. to argue with your anonymous personal attacks here…and yes, I’m sure he will find a good conservative to register our deeds for us. The dcrp has folks in charge of and working on candidate recruitment. It might be nice to give them some support rather than joining the democrats in rooting for their failure! There will be plenty of time for anonymous personal attacks if the current leadership fails your expectations. They came through with Elephant Remembers, and local Republicans can continue to be successful if you are willing to break from the ranks of democrats, get off the sidelines, and give your local party the support it will take to finally win an election cycle in Douglas County!

    I, on the other hand get a kick out of the back and forth banter, especially from anonymous posters! I have been a longtime fan of LS/SS and have agreed with him on virtually every issue. I believe he is an important voice for conservatives in the state! On this issue however, personal attacks and factual inaccuracies dominated several days worth of posts, which I don’t mind correcting.

    It doesn’t seem to bother SS that he has taken the same side as liberal democrats on this issue. It doesn’t seem to bother SS that he misrepresented (repeatedly) the Gov.’s stance on the issue and continues to do so. Unlike LS who makes money off of their stance on this position (see NHCA ads on their site), the DCRP makes no money on the decision to back the Governor on this issue.
    I had hoped that after correcting the inaccuracies we could all move on and chalk it up to a great opportunity to address this very important issue before it’s too late. Anonymous personal attacks didn’t need to be part of the equation; however, it appears it is a common and accepted practice here. Though I don’t choose to stoop to that level, as many put it…I’ll choose to “lump it”. =)

  12. Bryan Baumgart says:

    On another note…hoping that Ricketts does jump into the race! I was very proud of his decision to work to save Holy Name, which only proves to be a smart move insofar as his decision to run for Mayor! Much respect also for Stothert, a bright start in the GOP field!!!

  13. Bryan,
    Wow. Let us note that while commenting and argument is encouraged on Leavenworth Street, talking out of your ass, is not.
    You wrote:
    LS stated that the Gov. supports implementing the state health exchanges going through the legislature before a SC ruling,
    Yeah? Please show where we wrote that anywhere. Comment section or post.
    We have stated, repeatedly, that we are for repeal, but if it doesn’t happen, a Nebraska Health Exchange is preferable to the Feds taking over. We also note that the Governor has said the same thing — and we quoted the LJS article which states that as well.

    Here, let’s quote it again:

    Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would like to see the law repealed, but the state would move forward at least with planning and designing a system “to protect Nebraska from a federal takeover” if the law survives a court test.

    So please, show me where either we on Leavenworth Street have said that, or where the Governor has said it. So far, you have done neither. Feel free to argue your point, but enough of misrepresenting what others have stated.

    And while we are at it, thanks for backtracking and telling everyone how awesome you think L.St. is now. Just a few comments ago, you were “shocked and appalled” that anyone would read the anonymous L. St.

    And we don’t “make money off our stance.” We take a stance, and advertisers choose to come here if they think the market works for them. It’s called free enterprise and the free market. We are proud to be a part.

    We wait for your quotes.


  14. RWP says:

    Mr. Petersen, as a Party official, might want to look up Reagan’s 11th Amendment before he starts impugning bad motives to the best political blogger in the state, who also is conservative and has been a very, very reliable advocate of the conservative viewpoint.


    The circular firing squad is a liberal art-form. Conservatives should enjoy it as spectators, not participants.

  15. Bryan Baumgart says:

    You ripped on the DCRP article that opposed the state exchanges going through the legislature and then suggested the DCRP’s stance contradicted the Governors! Do you deny that now?!

    So let me get this straight…LS now supports the Gov. and DCRP’s stance not to implement the state exchanges going through the legislature?! Well great! What’s all the hubbub about then? We all oppose a fed takeover! And now it appears we are all finally in agreement that we should hold off on the state exchanges for the time being. Whew!!! I’m glad that’s over!

  16. popcorn.... says:

    chomp chomp chomp…

    Just waiting for Scott Peterson’s house of cards to fall down. He can’t blame everyone else forever. Also, has anyone else heard of his friend he wants to replace Lee Terry with?

  17. TexasAnnie says:

    None of you should be congratulating yourselves or one another for being “consistently conservative!”
    UNMC has the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. Are you going to give up Heineman’s promised “middle-class tax cuts” to UNMC? Surely this issue is at least as important to “conservatives” as defending one’s own semantic equations two days running…

  18. Bryan,
    Here is the awesome thing about blogging: It is all still there in black and white.
    So, you can make up what you think you want us to have written, all you want.
    But I, and everyone else, can go back and actually see what we wrote.
    And what you wrote.

    You (and apparently we are finding out that it was YOU who wrote the stuff on the DCRP website — but cowardly didn’t sign it???) wrote on the DCRP website:

    Under the President’s law there really is no choice between state or federal control of the health care exchange. It is dishonest to argue that exchanges give more power to Nebraska;

    We pointed out that the Governor does not agree with that position, pointing to this quote in the LJS:

    Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would like to see the law repealed, but the state would move forward at least with planning and designing a system “to protect Nebraska from a federal takeover” if the law survives a court test.

    And we noted in our post:

    Yes the Constitutionality of ObamaCare will go before the Supreme Court, and if it is found to be unconstitutional, it will go away.

    And in the comments I noted:

    If it is possible to wait until after the USSC decision, I would be for that as well.

    Now, YOU (and if it wasn’t you, whomever) on the other hand wrote on the DCRP website:

    Under the President’s law there really is no choice between state or federal control of the health care exchange. It is dishonest to argue that exchanges give more power to Nebraska; the truth is President Obama’s bill gives all the real power and decision making rights to federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

    This indicates that you are in favor of a Federal Exchange over a Nebraska Exchange. You can parse it, if you like, that you want NO exchange, but the adults in the room most likely agree that if it comes to it, NO exchange really is not an option.

    And, once again, that is why REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR HEINEMAN said in his State of the State:

    I want to assure you and our citizens that Nebraska will not default to the federal government regarding a health insurance exchange.

    And that’s why the LJS wrote of Heineman:

    Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would like to see the law repealed, but the state would move forward at least with planning and designing a system “to protect Nebraska from a federal takeover” if the law survives a court test.

    Now, Bryan, at this point your best argument is the “Yeah, but STILL!” argument. It seems that is what you have been using for the past several days now.

    We get it. You and the AFP don’t like the exchanges. But we, and the Governor, believe that if the United States Supreme Court does NOT overrule ObamaCare, Nebraska is stuck with them. And you can either have the Feds run it or Nebraska run it. We believe that it would be better for Nebraska to run such an exchange. We believe, based on those quotes above, that the Governor holds the same positions. You don’t agree with that. And that’s fine for you to believe that, but we think your belief is wrong. We have stated that from the start, and we have been consistent.

    And thanks for reading.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, whatever the issues are with the DCRP it really isn’t about them. What is about is the apathetic mood of the voters. Politicians run, parties support, and the legal, live, voter votes. If the voter turnout continues to be as low as it is in a typical Omaha Mayoral race then nobody has anybody to blame for the outcome but themselves. Republicans need to stop worrying so much about what is happening in Washington and more about in their collective precincts. Get out of the house and go vote. Throw the good old boys out of office and start over. Hold the next election over their heads. When the common voter begins to understand a lions share of their taxes are levied by the city and county they may vote a different way. AGAIN you get to where we are today by not taking care of business in your own backyard.

    If you want to change things don’t start at the party start in your neighborhood. Get active and find out what others are thinking. Build a voting block and get your person in on the school board, city council, county board and your will affect more change than you will by spending time on what the DCRP is or isn’t doing. Right now the time is ripe for 2–30 citizens to reach out to those in there neighborhood to change things. In District 1, Ward 1 Precinct 34 ONLY 35 people voted. In District 3, Ward 3 precinct 30 only 63 people voted out of 5988 total votes. The PROBLEM is the people need to get OUT and VOTE>

  20. HuskerBlueJay says:

    Pete Ricketts would make for an interesting candidate for Mayor. Certainly no one would be more qualified in terms of business than him. If he runs, I would certainly give him a look. Brad Ashford is goofy. Suttle is tied too much to the unions. Jean would also get a consideration.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ricketts is a joke. If he runs Suttle wins in a walk. I see the Janssen law on immigration took one in the heart today. Will the right wing ever learn, states rights is dead like the CSA. The new question is, will Obama get over 400 electoral votes? It will be fun to find out this November. Obama should have the race sewed up by Labor day.

  22. Bryan Baumgart says:

    You feel the state exchange is much better than the federal exchange, I don’t. We can agree to disagree on that topic, as many commenters have. But don’t put words in my mouth. I never said I supported a federal exchange over a nebraska exchange. I only stated I opposed the two bills going through the state legislature as they equate to early implementation of obamacare and forfeit our opportunity at repeal. I do feel there are options other than early implementation or doing nothing and apparently many other states and leaders do as well. That’s fine if you aren’t in favor of a compact between states or affirming sovereignty or whatever. I only asked that you consider other options before throwing in the towel and calling for early implementation of obamacare. There is a reason the liberals and democrats are rejoicing at your stance on this issue.

  23. RWP says:

    Bud, old chum.

    WTI just hit $104.90, even though fuel oil demand has been low this winter. Now wait until Israel attacks Iran and Iran starts firing missiles at Gulf oil tankers and depots. How’s $7 a gallon gasoline going to affect the Presidential race, ya think?

    The USSC is going to issue a major decision on immigration law this term. Any jubilation before that happens is premature.

  24. Macdaddy says:

    Ricketts would have to get by Stothert, first. Not a done deal seeing how Stothert has been the lone advocate for the taxpayers of Omaha. Not that they care. Anon 4:30 has it exactly right about voter apathy. The level of voter participation in Omaha is really astounding. This points to just a modest GOTV effort being decisive. Money helps that, but good old-fashioned organizing is what it takes. IMHO has it?

    As for Obama, President Imanutjob is about to sink his prospects. Obama could weather $5+ a gallon gas if he had been more proactive, but this leading from behind crap is about to catch up to him. Thanks for nothing, Barry. Smartest man ever to be President, folks!

  25. Anonymostly says:

    Hey, sweeps, did you see the Daily Caller has done some digging on the Keystone XL pipeline opposition and, well, discovered that maybe Jane F’ing Kleeb doesn’t deserve as much credit for derailing the project as some people would have us believe. Starts with the Rockefeller Brothers’ Trust (sounds even more sinister than the Koch Brothers, but I digress) and a powerpoint from 2008 that the Daily Caller got ahold of detailing their plans to dump money into enviro-hippie-leftist groups to oppose … (wait for it) Canadian tar sands oil. As far as protecting the aquifer, what aquifer?

  26. Anon says:

    I’m curious, has anybody figured out exactly what these exchanges are going to cost us, the taxpayers? So, in otherwords, if we get a state exchange, is that cost directly taxed to us? What if it were a federal exchange, is that cost spread out to all of the taxpayers in the United States? My point being is that it is going to cost something and why would any politician want to be the person who directly implements Obamacare in this state and essentially create a new tax to pay for it?

  27. Anonymous says:


    The liberals and democrats are rejoicing at this little dust-up between a bona fide conservative blogger and political neophyte who is purporting to speak on behalf of the DCRP (news by the way to this Central Committee member). I’m sure they also enjoyed the little internecine warfare launched by the DCRP against republican lawmakers, which started this whole thing.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Charlie Janssen’s ordinance was just as boneheaded as Jim Suttle’s proposed “landlord solution” to Omaha’s gun violence problem. Death by a thousand “well-meaning” regulations results whether the “well-meaning” regulation was initiated by a purported “conservative” or a liberal. True conservatives should applaud the court ruling as a win for landlords who have one less government fiat to deal with.

  29. Omaha Native says:

    First, Ricky Fulton, aka Ricky, is as goofy as they come. Anybody who disagrees with the baseball stadium and the brilliant work by MECA is obviously uneducated.

    Second, I support Pete Ricketts 100%. What a great candidate but get the teeth fixed, Pete.

    I did not attend the DCRP dinner because it was in a dump and they still do not get how to honor recipients and raise money. Failed leadership, again.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Illegal immigrants need to be a bit more careful as only part of the ordinance was struck down. The next step will be to publicize the information on a public website of the information of those illegals who try to get a job in Freemont. This way they can be identified easier when trying to steal services paid for by legal residents. TIme for the American people to stand up and wrest our country back from liberals and all they breed.

  31. Second Coming of Bob Blank says:

    Been there, Done that. I have seen this whole scenario before at the New Tower Inn 20 years ago and when the locks were changed the old DCRP office on Blondo. A county party is not about determining who is more republican or having a king maker as chair. The DCRP is supposed to be an organization that grows the base, encourages people to run for office, offers help to candidates and gets the voters to the polls. All those who are central committee and officers need to remember this.

  32. Anon says:

    Bryan Baumgart is a good guy. He’s been passionate and well intended. I think he wasn’t prepared for all this. He figured he was thoughtfully replying and doing the right thing. If you read everything early on, he tried hard to back up everything with reasonable evidence. He’s only recently started to get involved and I would expect him to get a chance to learn from all of this.

    I do expect more from Scott Petersen. This should’ve been nothing.

  33. TexasAnnie says:

    Omaha Native must be one of those “tax and spend Republicans!” So tell us, Omaha Native, what does Pete Ricketts want to get a bonded-indebtedness issued for next? Aren’t the taxpayers of Omaha saddled with enough “economic development” projects?

  34. anon says:

    “Governor Scott Walker became the most recent governor to reject implementation of Obamacare, saying he will return the $38 million federal taxpayer-funded grant. As of today, only 15 states had made significant progress towards the implementation, with the remaining 35 having either halted or decided against any action.”

  35. 8:15
    Please do not cut and paste quotes into the comment section.
    This is for original comments from people with original thoughts to contribute to the conversation.
    Apply yourself.
    Next time it comes down.

  36. touchy... says:

    Just noticed the Nebraska Federation of College Republicans came out in opposition to the implementation Obamacare as well! As did several other conservatives such as Dave Nabity.

    In favor of the State Health Exchanges…Ben Nelson!

  37. sassafras says:

    touchy, are you referring to the AFP’s “AGAINST Obama’s Health Care Takeover in Nebraska” banners? Those things are freaking lining my facebook newsfeed!

  38. L.B. says:

    It took awhile for Walker to catch on. He originally began implemenation. Petitions had to be circulated before he realized that implementation combined with the grant requirements are that a state would have to agree to surrender any last vestiges of meaningful control over how ObamaCare is implemented. Thus, a state would now have no more real control over an exchange it set up than over one HHS established, as per reported by Heritage Foundation.

    Heck…even Senator Frank Lasee warned Walker that implementation of state exchanges would bring Wisconsin into compliance with ObamaCare, and start the process of formally embedding federal law into the state statutes. He warned Walker that once that door is open, it cannot be closed.

  39. Barkbark says:

    Many hold the notion that we only have two choices, begin implementation of ObamaCare ourselves or have the feds do it for us. That simply is untrue. As Bryan Baumgart pointed out, there are other options. Once a state AG declares ObamaCare null and void, the federal healthcare law is dead–unless revived by an appellate court. Effectively, the state is relieved of any obligations or duties that were created under the terms of the federal health care law. Keep in mind, ObamaCare has been ruled unconstitutional several times now.

    The Goldwater Institute agrees with Bryan and John Orr and Brad Stevens, and AFP, and Platte Institute, and Heritage Foundation, etc. It stated, “States that establish exchanges are doing nothing short of the federal government’s dirty work. Worse still, they are being complicit in enforcing and entrenching this unconstitutional law.”

    The choice is very simple. States that oppose the federal health care law should just say no to the exchanges. And for those states that have already received money, they should follow the lead of Florida, Oklahoma, and Kansas and send it back.

    The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Hopefully not one of us on this site would agree that ObamaCare is constitutional and therefore, regardless of the result of the supreme court decision, ObamaCare can and should be nullified on the state level as suggested by Bryan and company.

    State nullification is the idea that the states can and must refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws. Thomas Jefferson said that “nullification…is the rightful remedy” when the federal government reaches beyond its constitutional powers.

    James Madison said the states were “duty bound to resist” when the federal government violated the Constitution.

    As John Orr pointed out, Obama wants to entrench ObamaCare in state statues so that even if it is ruled unconstitutional we will be too far down the line to reverse course. We must avoide the trap!

  40. AnOnYmOuS says:

    Barkbark. The CATO Institute agrees with you. Last week they called it simply reckless for financially strapped federal and state governments to pour resources into changing our health care system when those changes may not ultimately pass constitutional muster. Sounds kind of like the stance Heineman is taking.

    I think the commenter last week put it best when he asked why we should do the dirty work AND pay for it when all we benefit by it is in getting to “choose the font”. haha.

    One has to question the motives of these rhinos.

  41. RWP says:

    I think the commenter last week put it best when he asked why we should do the dirty work AND pay for it when all we benefit by it is in getting to “choose the font”.

    It’s actually worse than that. What we are most definitely allowed to do by PPACA is make the regulation even more heavy-handed than required by the feds. We already see this fight staged year after year in the Legislature. Medicaid has a minimum level of coverage, and the state’s leftists fight a permanent war of attrition to add non-mandated coverage, as they are doing this year with pre-natal coverage for illegal aliens.

    The feds are going to tie a 100 lb weight to your feet and throw you in the ocean. But you have a choice! You can make it a 200 lb weight!

  42. AnOnYmOuS says:

    I read an artilce on “The Hill” a couple of weeks ago about how the Obama administration released a report and is bragging up the fact that allegedly “all States have taken some action to implement health reform.” touting the fact that “twenty-eight states are on their way to creating state-run insurance exchanges”. The report went on to offer a snapshot of what states are doing to set up exchanges. The Whitehouse claims it looks forward to building on its strong partnership with state leaders.

  43. foxtrot says:

    In other states, the battle over implementation of state exchanges has pitted Republican leadership against democrats, not each other. Nebraska needs to get on the same page! No wonder the democrats have a stranglehold on Omaha! They have mastered how to pit conservatives against each other.

    In Arkansas you have democratic leaders petitioning the Supreme Court while Republican leadership refuses to implement the exchanges or even apply for the grant.

    Once a state spends millions of dollars to create an Exchange, and the private sector invests to transition into it, it will be difficult to stop, even with a sunset clause. The truth is, any state implementation will make it difficult to undo Obamacare — even if the law is ruled to be unconstitutional.

    The Health Insurance Exchange has been called the:
    ◦”lynchpin” of reform (Deloitte)
    ◦”glue” that holds Obamacare together (CAE)
    ◦”centerpiece” of the ACA (Deloitte)
    ◦”most important aspect of health care reform” (The Washington Post).

    The truth is, a state Exchange will become a defacto federal Exchange anyway.

  44. L.B. says:

    Keep in mind, Republican leadership on the national level has already opposed state exchanges. The House Passed H.R. 1213 – Exchange Funding Repeal Bill last May, 238-183. The White House obviously spoke out against HR1213 and it stood no chance in the democratic controlled Senate. All Republicans who participated voted for it; it also won the support of 5 of the 188 Democrats who voted.

    The bill would repeal a health insurance exchange financing provision included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). The provision and related provisions are supposed to help states create state exchanges.

    The bill was sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich who called the grants for state exchanges, “another slush fund designed to push the states into doing what the administration wants using financial leverage.”

  45. AnOnYmOuS says:

    add another to your list foxtrot.

    NAACP: “A key component to the health care reform law ”

    “These state-based Health Benefit Exchanges are a central element of the ACA’s provisions”

  46. Anonymous says:

    This tweet from Mueller Robak today:
    Gov_Heineman to #Unicameral re insurance exchanges: “I got this.” Promises exec order implementing exchange if SCOTUS upholds.
    Looks like Sweeper was right about the Governor’s position.

  47. Omaha Native says:

    To TexasAnnie, who said Ricketts wants to support a tax issued development? Are you bitter that the revenue from Century Link and TD Ameritrade Ballpark actually exceed projections and make the bond payments? Get over it and admit two great moves by Hal Daub and Mike Fahey.

  48. "chubs" says:

    So you are telling me that Lee Terry, A. Smith and J. Fortenberry all voted to strip funding for the state mandates in an attempt to stop them? And that Heineman won’t support the bills in the state legislature until after the Supreme Court ruling? And that the Nebraska Federation of College Republicans oppose the state exchanges? And so does the DCRP? What exactly is the problem again?

  49. Some Thoughts says:

    Sweeper is, technically, correct about this health care exchange business. The DCRP folks were making the argument, a few days ago, that we should simply resist by any means necessary and never create a state exchange. Suddenly the tune has changed to “after the Supreme Court ruling”. That’s all well and good, but does that give us time to put something into place by the deadline for receiving federal funds to start the exchange? Are we taxpayers going to have to pay millions to fund a special session (remember when that was a bad idea, for the pipeline issue?), thus cutting into the benefits? I don’t see how advance planning commits us to anything. If the law is overturned, then scrap the plans. Simple.

  50. Anonymous says:

    “chubs”, the DCRP said, “It is dishonest to argue that exchanges give more power to Nebraska”. So all I can figure is that if the Governor wants to implement an exchange, ever, the DCRP thinks he is dishonest.

  51. Kinda late in the game here, but something Bryan posted struck a nerve…that is, crticizing Sweeps for ‘siding with the libs’. I don’t know where it was written that everyone must agree with every aspect of the conservative playbook at all times, lest they lose their conservative credentials…but I’d sure like to find out.

    I think veal is a horribly cruel food product. I’ve helped raise cattle, and I’ve seen the fun that the new calves have running around in the cornfields and pastures across this state. If you don’t think they’re having fun, you’re an idiot. Staking a calf down and confining it to such a small area disgusts me. I realize that this viewpoint puts me in line with a lot of liberal animal rights groups, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to stop eating meat, dressing in hemp, and dousing myself in patchouli. BTW, I’ll take a medium-rare corn-fed ribeye over a piece of veal any day of the week.

    Sometimes we agree with the ‘dark side’, sometimes not. Like MacDaddy said, can’t agree on everything, that’d be creepy.

  52. RWP says:

    that doesn’t mean I’m about to stop eating meat, dressing in hemp, and dousing myself in patchouli.

    Ahem. I’m not sure that came out the way you wanted it to.

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