The green sky before the twister?

by Street Sweeper on May 1, 2012

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The Godless, Tornado

As Bob Kerrey watches-on, pool side, the GOP game of Marco Polo will whip up at tonight’s GOP Senate debate. Now we could be wrong (yeah, really), but our guess is that Don Stenberg has to make his move sometime very soon. Tonight’s televised debate would seem to be the prime opportunity to make a bolder move on Jon Bruning.

Now our thoughts still is that if Stenberg really wants to get nasty, he will have a third party — the Senate Conservative Fund and Club for Growth would seem to be standing by — do any dirty deeds. But we still figure that if Stenberg wants to make that final leap, something has to crack. And as much as the Stenberg and Fischer camps want to believe in the mysterious poll whispered to Deena Winter, logic tells us that if it were an real believable poll, you would see it somewhere other than on a small-ish blog. Anonymously.

So what do we expect out of Don? No idea at this point. But we do know that when given the chance to fire a non-question, question attack at Bruning at one of the last debates, he instead gave him a strange, “Will you endorse me if I get the nom?” Which only led us to believe that Stenberg plans to hit him so hard, that he expects Bruning to re-neg on said endorsement promise, which Don can then point to. We just don’t know what else to conclude from all that. We are open to your suggestions.


In the mean time, we saw an interesting story in the National Journal talking about the various Tea Party type candidates around the country. It referenced Stenberg as a Tea Partier and Bruning as a Tea Party endorsed candidate as well.

But one interesting closing line:

“…a Stenberg upset would be welcome news for Democratic nominee-in-waiting Bob Kerrey.”

Interesting. Though we are not sure how well National Journal knows the state.

Kerrey may very well rather face Stenberg than Bruning. Though we are aware that many Democrats are convinced they have the goods on Bruning. And they figure they can beat Stenberg, because, well, Don Stenberg. And we aren’t sure what they think of Deb Fischer, unless they figure she is sort of a rancher Jan Stoney.

So we are not sure Kerrey is really worried about any of them. What he IS worried about is the fact that when polled, voters pick ALL of them, over him.

Funny how that is, here in 2012.


And then there is poor Payt Flynn. Flynn, who has been running for Senate since around 2004 as near as we can tell did NOT get invited to the OWH’s debate tonight.

Kind of a slap in the face, yeah? We are not really sure where they get off doing that, except that it is their party and can invite whomever they want.

But Flynn still got 4% in the last PPP poll, among the GOP contenders. And he has raised over $200,000 — a little less than half of it his, but still — $100K is nothing to sneeze at.

Yet sneeze the OWH did all over Flynn’s lapels and wiped their ooze covered paws on his jackets sleeves. And then David Kotok figuratively got on his hands and knees behind Flynn as Terry Kroeger symbolically gave him a shove, sending Flynn non-literally into the swings nearby.

It was an ugly scene.

And retort Pat Flynn did! Taking to the internets and referring to himself in the third person! See it here:

And by the way, we LIKE the guy standing against the white background. Very modern, and very clear. Lighting could have been better, but still, a nice presentation.

And hey, Flynn has a point, no? He has run a real campaign, run TV ads, raised money. That the OWH has chosen to keep him out of the debate shows that they are as politically calculating as anyone else. We would love to hear their official explanation for rejecting Flynn, and hearing exactly what polls they are basing that on — because it has to be based on poll numbers, yeah?

We would love to hear some sort of explanation from the OWH, or at least some self-criticism.

But our guess is they will claim they answer to no one. Least of all, Pat Flynn. (Or YOU, for that matter.)

**UPDATE 2:40pm**

Here is the response the OWH’s Dave Kotok is sending to the Flynn peeps:

In making invitations for tonight’s debate, The World-Herald used the same criteria we have used in the past, including for debates we co-sponsored with KETV. The decision was not aimed at Mr. Flynn, his ideas or his supporters. Six people are on the ballot for the Republican nomination for Senate. But only three of them are actually competing for the GOP nomination. We invited Jon Bruning, Don Stenberg and Deb Fischer based on their showing in polls, money raised, campaign advertising and organization, prominent public offices held, significant endorsements by prominent Republicans and other demonstrations of support. We believe tonight’s 60 minute debate will help Republican primary voters select their strongest candidate.

In other words, he would not have invited Ron Paul to the GOP Presidential debates. (Discuss.)


We will do our best to Tweet it up during the debate tonight. You can either follow our feed at @LeavenworthSt or use the hashtag #NESEN. And if you have no idea what we just wrote, why don’t you just pick up the party line and see if Mabel and Louise are gabbing about it while you quietly listen in.

And if you are using the internets, howsaboutchoo buy something for Mom at the You get great deals, and when you click through our banner, a little love comes back to Leavenworth Street, anonymously and at no cost to you.

And after you’re done doing that, would you please tell a friend about Leavenworth Street? Please? For us? Thank you.


1 Ryan May 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I have been sending lengthy explanation to some supporters. But here is what I sent to KETV

Response I received from Dave Kotok of the OWH regarding Flynn:

In making invitations for tonight’s debate, The World-Herald used the same criteria we have used in the past, including for debates we co-sponsored with KETV. The decision was not aimed at Mr. Flynn, his ideas or his supporters. Six people are on the ballot for the Republican nomination for Senate. But only three of them are actually competing for the GOP nomination. We invited Jon Bruning, Don Stenberg and Deb Fischer based on their showing in polls, money raised, campaign advertising and organization, prominent public offices held, significant endorsements by prominent Republicans and other demonstrations of support. We believe tonight’s 60 minute debate will help Republican primary voters select their strongest candidate.

2 Street Sweeper May 1, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Thank Ryan!
We have updated this in the post.

3 Is it me? May 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

But is Deb Fischer the New Gingrich of the Senate race?

4 Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Sure but the OWH is still a rag, and you bloody well better keep that in mind when, and if you read it.

5 Kickin It and Lickin It May 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

“And then there is poor Pay Flynn.”

Yes, whose campaign has been so effective we don’t know his actual first name.
/I’m sure the typo will be fixed soon and then this comment will look foolish.

6 Street Sweeper May 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I don’t know WHAT you’re talking about.

(the “y” is right next to the “t” on the keyboard ya know…)

7 @ Is it me May 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

But is Jon Bruning the John Edwards of the Senate race?

8 Please! Watch Flynn's Video May 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Pat Flynn did a great job on his video! Watch it, then do what he asks you to do.

He is spot on about the Omaha World-Herald. I just wish every employee of the OWH could see the video. It expains how many Nebraskans feel about how this once great newspaper has swirled down the drain since Warren and Susie bought it.

9 Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

The OWH has been in a death spiral for a very long time. The only reason Warren bought the organization is because Barry asked him to. This is going on all over the country and it is what it is. Most papers are losing money on the print edition, and if it weren’t for statues requiring the printing of legal notices in papers of general circulation, they would be failing faster. As it is statute requires them, and not much else does:)

In other news, the OWH still sucks.

10 Ryan May 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I think you’re making quite a long stretch in saying that Pat Flynn is right in his video. I think his chances of getting the nomination are… well, zero.

Is it ridiculous that the OWH snubbed him? Yeah. Is the paper of the highest quality? No. Did it lose any quality when Warren Buffett bought it? No.

11 To Ryan May 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Ryan, you answered your own 3rd question incorrectly. The OWH absolutely did lose quality when Warren bought it….both journalisticaly and financially. When the glow of all of the political ads are gone in November, the OWH will be as bankrupt as it was before Warren stepped in.

Of course Pat cannot win, But his video response to the OWH for dissing him by not allowing him in the debate was absolutely brilliant. Pat’s integrity grew by leaps and bounds, and the OWH’s credibility as a newspaper sunk to a new low. You go Pat!

12 Lil Mac May 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Indeed a spartan ad by Flynn. I watched it twice and I am sure he is doing Gerard Butler in the 300.

Flynn is right about the paper. Being endorsed by the OWH is statistically meaningless. And Kotok flat lied about Flynn not “actually competing for the GOP nomination”. Flynn is competing, poorly, and the OWH gave him the middle finger. Of course, Flynn is delusional saying he has a “lock” on Kerrey, and foolish to make such lofty statement while comparing himself to Cain and Paul who are toast. If Flynn had a lock on Bob, Flynn would be leading Jon instead of presenting himself as angry toast.

In the long run, Nebraskans aren’t hurt by the fact that Flynn sucks as a candidate but by the fact that the OWH sucks as a newspaper. And that ain’t news ‘round these parts, pardner.

13 Mulligan Watcher May 1, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Why was Republican Omaha City Councilman Mulligan meeting with Ben Nelson yesterday??? Is it because Mulligan found out he has a very potent challenger assessing running against him? So Mr. Mulligan your gut instinct is to seek help from Democrats when you have challengers? Good to know.

14 Drew Sullivan May 2, 2012 at 12:48 AM

I really hate to burst good conservative people but too many have no idea how national politics plays or how the US Senate operates and are still clinging to the home grown impressions of the candidates.

After the World Herald and Journal Star endorsed Bruning while at the same time criticizing the daylights out of him, you have to know Bruning has a target on him. The news media is playing Red Rover with Republicans. “Red rover, red rover, said over your worst candidate over.”

And Bruning and Fischer made it even worse in their responses as to what Democrat Senator they would work with. Fischer was at a lost but at least Bruning mentioned Lieberman. There is only one major problem. Lieberman is an independent, not a Democrat. Does Bruning not know of the problems of party in the US Senate including Jeffords and Hagel? It got me riled.

Stenberg understands the importance of the Senate and it is why he picked up the endorsements of Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Jim DeMint. Now some may be upset with DeMint but for conservatives like me he is a rock star conservative of the US Senate.

In the end, any Republican candidate will be better than a Democrat but the real question is which one is ready to function as a US Senator. Stenberg is ready. I cannot honestly say that about the other candidates.

15 Allan May 2, 2012 at 1:37 AM

No bomb dropped by Stenberg. He seemed so nervous the whole time as well. What say you, StreetSweeper? Is he done?

16 Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 6:42 AM

The bizarre arguments and drooling illiteracies of Stenberg supporters are breathtaking. Don attracts halfwits like poop attracts flies.

17 Lil Mac May 2, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Stenberg’s voice always makes him seem like a nervous little dog about to pee himself.

It is perhaps wrong to ask if Stenberg is done because he was never viable. The salient question is, will he quit when he knows he cannot win? His history says the answer is no. Stenberg is always destructive to himself and to his host (GOP) and yet he never quits. Like a political cancer, he just keeps going and destroying until he runs out of the donor essence that sustains him.

18 Senator Snowplow May 2, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Actually, Drew, the Lincoln paper was quite complimentary of Bruning in endorsing him for the Republican Senate nomination, which was quite distressing to me because I figured they would just endorse Bob overall and call it good. Bad enough they endorsed someone in the Republican race, but did they have to say such good things about him? Makes me wonder if those people at the Journal- Star were as solidly liberal as I always thought they were.

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