CFG swings twice at Bruning; AFP at Kerrey

The Club for Growth has both a new TV ad and a radio ad up in Nebraska today.

See the TV ad here:

And listen to (and watch) the radio spot here:

Politico reports that CFG is spending $150K on a two-week ad buy — though it does not specify if that is just for TV or if that includes the radio spots as well.

**UPDATE at11:40am**
Just a note, when CFG says Bruning praised the Obama Stimulus, it comes from this Bruning quote about additional law enforcement personnel paid for by the stimulus:

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning welcomed today’s news. “Nebraska has some of the best law enforcement in the country,” Bruning said. “The additional support is important to maintain the quality of life we enjoy in our state.”

Hard. Ball. Politics.

These aren’t horrible spots, and may chip away a little at Bruning. But we are not sure that they will be enough to wash away a 20 – 30 point lead Bruning may have over Don Stenberg — who is the favored choice of the national Club for Growth PAC. Of course South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is also expected to spend a load for Stenberg coming soon.

But this won’t exactly be in a vacuum, and we expect Bruning to have his own run of ads as well.

This is likely to be a whirlwind month, readers (more below).


Not to be outdone by another Super PAC, Americans for Prosperity started ads in Nebraska as well hitting Bob Kerrey. See it here:

It is good that AFP is keeping Bob Kerrey’s name involved in this primary — instead of letting him skate until November. Voters will certainly be engaged in this primary season, and if Kerrey was left out while Bruning and Stenberg pummel each other, his stock would certainly rise.

But the reminder of liberal West Villager Bob Kerrey will keep it all in perspective.

Now we aren’t personally crazy about this spot, to tell the truth (sorry AFP). We’ve liked others they’ve put up, but it’s just a little too…down homey, with the houses, and the random families reciting lines. We think this could be done with mini, one-line testimonials about Kerrey being from New York, being for ObamaCare, being a radical liberal, being MORE liberal than Ben Nelson, that could resonate a little better.

And after Ben Nelson was run out on a rail, so to speak, saying that New Yorker Kerrey is more liberal than him (unscripted if possible), will hit home. We aren’t ad experts though. Just our dos centavos.


And if you were wondering just how mellow the Stenberg camp was going to be for these next 30 or so days, take a look at “Don’s” latest Tweet:

Help us raise $5,000 in a week so we can stop Jon Bruning’s smear campaign against us!

We will be interested to see if Stenberg tries to ride the Twitter thing a little further, as that faux-issue has really cut both ways for him and Bruning. For those who do not understand how Twitter works, they likely heard Bruning and were turned off by whatever it was that Jon said Don did. Others who understand The Twitter a little better may have been more sympathetic to Don. If Don could roll that into something, he might have something more to hit with. Because at this point, we just don’t see the “Bruning is not conservative enough” line working. We don’t see it.

And we are sorry, but the sometimes-humorous, fake-Bruning, “@JonBruningish” on Twitter made us chuckle with his response to Stenberg:

“$5,000? Trying to double your war chest?”


We always chuckle when we hear people complain about negative ads, and they don’t hear or know enough about the candidates. And they want to know more about the issues, and blah blah blah and all that crap.

It is coming, right? We all know it is. And the MSM will look down their noses at the candidates and wag their shaming fingers at them.

But look what happens when they have an actual candidates night. No one shows.

They had one in Millard last night and the OWH reports that all of 80 people were there watching — with speculation that the vast majority of them were associated with each candidate’s campaign.

And then, for the 2nd District House race, Lee Terry (who just received a U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsement) was there. And two of his three GOP opponents, Bret Lindstrom and Jack Heidel were there as well, giving their talking points. Fine. But Glenn Freeman, apparently blew it off.

Now we wouldn’t make much of a deal of it, except Watchdog recently had Freeman hammering Lee Terry for not showing up at some Sierra Club deal. But the sitting Congressman shows up for this forum, and a challenger is not there to try to take him on? Kind of a major mistake, no? Hey maybe he had something else going on that prevented him from being there, which certainly happens. But if it was a conscious choice to not show up, we just do not get it.

On that same note, Gwen Howard also blew off the forum, while her challenger Jon Ewing was there. One could argue that there was no one to listen anyway, but these things get reported in the media, and a trailing candidate’s absence often sends a message of how serious they are about a race. (We don’t know that Howard is necessarily trailing, but that is our guess. Feel free to tell us if we are wrong.)

On that note, keep in mind that ALL of the major Senate candidates will be in Norfolk tomorrow, and we are frankly expecting them to stir it up. Well, we are expecting Don to stir it up. We doubt that Bruning will start anything, and Deb Fischer is trying to stay out of any scraps and hope that the boys knock each other down (Rocky II style) and let her strut to the middle of the ring.

But Don probably has to swing, so we will be watching to see if he has an old-fashioned horseshoe in his glove.


A follow up on our report yesterday that Tim O’Dell announced that he will not seek the Chairmanship of the Nebraska Republican Party. O’Dell had been mentioned by outgoing Chair Mark Fahleson as someone who could be interested and would be a good choice.

But O’Dell announced yesterday that he would not be seeking the seat, noting that he was starting a new business endeavor.

So, we got word, directly, that Brian Buescher is seeking the Chairmanship. Buescher is an Omaha attorney and is well liked and respected within the party. Buescher also (reportedly) has the support of Governor Dave Heineman and Senator Mike Johanns for his run.

We have not heard of any others interested or planning on running, but other names could pop up.

In the mean time, outgoing Chairman Mark Fahleson announced that he will be seeking the position of National Committeeman for the Nebraska GOP (each state has a Committeeman and a Commiteewoman who rep the state party at the national level). Fahleson hopes to fill the seat of outgoing Committeeman Pete Ricketts. Again, no word on anyone else interested.


Things will be fluid from now until the Primary, readers! (And we will talk more about candidate fundraising tomorrow.) Check back often here at Leavenworth Street, and follow our Twitter feed for constant updates! (We often put up breaking news there first.) And we SWEAR that we are over the age of fourteen, so it’s cool to follow us.

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Thank you and thanks to all who have already clicked!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Just when I think the ads from AFP can’t get any more amateurish and pointless, they give us this. Ricketts may as well set his money on fire rather than give any more to these incompetents.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Talk about carpetbagger, the couple in the AFP ad, Jon and Mary Hilton, just moves to Nebraska a few years ago. Pretty absurd for them to star in a commercial calling our former governor a carpetbagger when he lived here 58 years and they’ve lived in Kansas their entire lives.

  3. Sweetwater Observer says:

    Forget the twits.

    I am putting my money on Deb Fischer. As a conservative guy in the 3rd District, I would love to see a bright, hard-working, and honest woman like Deb become our U.S. Senator.

    I think even BTO(one d) might think she would be the best person to be the chosen one to represent us in the Senate.

  4. fischer clones says:

    Fischer doesn’t have the resources to make a win happen. The best she can hope for is a 2nd place finish. Don will be 3rd because of his poor fundraising and lack of support on the ground. Bruning will be the next senator, and you’ll all be sending your resumes to his office.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Deb Fischer is so disliked in her home town and legislative district that she won’t even win there much less in the rest of the state of Nebraska.

  6. SweetH2O, I think that, if I were a Republican, I would be supporting Deb Fishcher in the primary, but I am a (disgruntled) Democrat and I will be supporting Bob Kerrey since, like all the GOPers here say, “he’s a liberul!” Plus, the thing I like about Bob is that you all call him “Cosmic,” and what’s not to like about that?

  7. Sweetwater Observer says:

    That’s okay, Brian. Perhaps it is time for you to get a new keyboard so you can see the letters as you peck them out, one-by-one. Pretty soon you will be droning on and on about monkey peep, and not even know you are doing it. Get the new keyboard where the letters haven’t been worn off and life will clear up for you.

    Maybe then even you will see the errors of your thinking and come to the realization that Deb Fischer is a much more honest candidate for U. S. Senate than Cosmic Bob(who tried to close UNMC’s College of Pharmacy when he was Governor), or Jon, the bumkin,Bruning, or Don Abilify Stenberg.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If Deb Fischer is so honest why are the people in her home district and town so anti her? They know her best and they scowl and laugh when her name is brought up.

  9. Sweetwater Observer says:


    Using strawmen….in the style of Obama….saying “the people” are so anti her…how about naming names? Could it be just you and spouse are “the people”. Or are “the people” just losers who regret that they are not as successful as she is? That’s who I am thinking “the people” are.

  10. winner winner chicken dinner says:

    These club ads are weak. Their claims were so easy to debunk even the world herald fact checked them. Sorry to all the folks who think Deb Fischer is rising but I think that time has come and gone. Better start calling Bruning senator.

  11. Anonymous@7:47, Where do I begin?

    For the NDP to earn my respect it will have to become more open, more transparent, and more responsible to Nebraska’s Democrats. It will have to follow the will of those people that were elected in the various county conventions to represent them, and not just kick them to the curbside, and ignore the rules they composed for the party, as soon as the last gavel of the State Convention falls.

    The NDP needs to understand that the average registered Democrat in this state is its “most important Democrat,” NOT any candidate elected to the highest office, as Ben Nelson has been for far too long. Nelson is soon to be history. Vic Covalt and Vince Powers, along with many of the others in the NDP leadership will soon step down. The NDP is at a crossroads; they have an opportunity to correct the errors of the past, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Experience has taught me to be very skeptical.

    Openness means that every single meeting of the party should be open to the public, every decision made by the party should be reported openly so that the people that are represented by their county parties, by the State Convention, by the State Central Committee, by the State Executive Committee and by the party’s officers can know exactly how they are being represented. That information should be published in a way that everyone has ready access to it, and reports should be made to the media so that everyone in the state knows what the party is up to. Democracy thrives in the sunshine.

    Transparency means that there must be no hidden agendas, no slush fund financial shenanigans, no smoke-filled-room decisions being made. There must be concise, detailed reports of how the party is being run, how its expenses are being handled, and how the resolutions voted upon by the party are being realized. Anything decided behind closed doors is naturally suspect.

    Responsibility means that each and every Democrat in this state should have the right to participate in the dialogue that takes place within the party. Censorship and secrecy is anathema to the principles of any organization that has the word Democratic in its name. The “leadership” does not have the right to silence dissenting voices, it has the responsibility of listening to them, and providing valid answers to the questions that are asked. Leaders carry a heavier load, not wield more power.

    The NDP must begin to treat those who volunteer their time and resources as valuable assets, not merely as a source of free labor and a source of financial support at the beck and call of candidates. They have to quit kicking those willing to do the grunt work in the teeth. And above all else, they must realize that the purpose of a political party is NOT merely getting candidates from their party elected. It is imperative that the party serve as a means of spreading the agreed upon party philosophy as expressed in its Platform and within the resolutions passed by its members.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The results are in from the Sarpy County Republican Women’s Candidate Forum. Looks like Deb Fischer beat the snot out of the two challengers, with about 58% of the vote. Don Stenberg came in last behind Bruning who didn’t even show up. Kind of telling when a candidate can’t even win his own county. His 10 votes out of a possible 140+ in the room was about 3 more than the posse he brought to the forum.

  13. Facts says:

    a. If the Bruning trolls bothered to show up to parades in Fischer’s legislative district they would find out that the people there generally… LOVE HER!

    b. It’s great to see Fischer’s landslide victories in consecutive straw polls. Must have great on-the-ground organizations!

  14. Anonymous says:

    looks like bruning another lost a straw poll. matters little for the public, but for bruning staffers it matters a lot

    the odds are that bruning will still win the election. the odds are also good that bruning is probably pretty mad at his field staff for a. losing another straw poll b. there are no bruning signs anywhere c. they have few volunteers.

    bruning is going to bring in a whole new field operation after the primary. he will actually need it in the general.

  15. Lil Mac says:

    Good words about party principle. But the flip side of a few courageous patriots risking much to become aware of how the sausage is made is that most voters in this Representative Republic (nation, state or party) want their reps to just fix stuff and don’t want to see the meat grinders at work. Most voters barely care. Most are not proactive. If this was 1776, sure bloggers here would be taking sides but they are a minority of the electorate. In 1776, most Americans sat it out and tried to get the most return for the least risk. Most Americans today still conserve energy and are expedient, lazy and loosely principled. That’s why bloggers push principles here.

    Being a principled voice in the wilderness of one’s own party is rough duty. You will never be elected to govern but can expect to get a lot of hang time on various crosses. The upside is, you get to disagree on principle with fellow bloggers who, unlike most in public office and most voters, actually have principles.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If you hold a soup supper for sincere Conservatives or sincere Liberals (sincere = raving), don’t expect normal GOP or Democrat voters to show up, as many of them won’t even show up on Election Day. Polls of such fringe show-ups are called “straw” for a reason. Not much predictive nutrition in straw. If Debbie is doing well in straw polls, sober up by looking at the real polls. Deb is behind a cow with the green chokes and, for most voters, unlike the nut jobs at the soup suppers, spatter matters.

  17. LIl Mac, I see the problem as too many people have had the sausage stuffed down their throats for so long that they’ve forgotten that it is their right to request patties, or just go with the scrambled eggs and toast. I fear you are all too right – that “most voters barely care” – and that is what causes experiments in democracy, even representative democracies, to fail. We may WANT our representatives to just fix stuff, but by doing that we settle for them just putting in the fix … for themselves.

    The question that needs to be asked is, “Why don’t more people care about politics? After all, we elect people to make the rules that we are all then required to obey. Every single aspect of our lives is regulated by those rules. You would think we’d want a little more input into the process that determines how they are made.

    I see the problem as there being a “ruling class” that has long held the reins of power. It matters not that they are Republicans or Democrats, their goal is to make politics so complicated and secretive that the average person just gives up and goes back to vegetate in front of their televisions, their minds numbed by the narcotic of reality TV and sitcoms. These oligarchs convince many of those souls that do want to get involved that it is best to leave the “experts” in charge, because campaigning is serious, complicated business.

    Anyone that wants to change the status quo is always told, “Oh, we can’t do that right now because we are involved in the most important campaign ever and we have to pull together to get (fill in the blank) elected!” As soon as that campaign is over, they start right in on the NEXT “most important campaign ever.” I have to ask, “When is an appropriate time to sit down and allow the rank-and-file to discuss how THEIR party is being run?” When is an appropriate time for lengthy discussions, and healthy debate, that everyone gets to participate in, to determine what the goals and principles of the party are? Apparently, as the oligarchs convince the majority, the answer is a resounding, “NEVER!”

    I am infuriated that the MOST important thing in political activity is raising money. I know, I’m an oddball, but I believe the most important thing in politics should be the free exchange of ideas. We should involve as many people as possible in the dialogue that determines the fates of each and every one of us. Ideas, principles, morals, goals … THOSE should be the currency of campaigns – NOT the dollars that they are constantly begging for. We should value candidates on things more important than how much money they have in their war chests, or how big the sausage they want to stuff us with is.

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