Better Know a Candidate

We have a couple of additions in our last minute “Better Know a Candidate” series. (From candidates who actually, you know, responded to our request for info.)

John Ravenscroft

First is John Ravenscroft running in District 43, out of Valentine. This is part of Deb Fischer’s old district, covers 13 counties and is larger than the State of Rhode Island and many European countries (take that Liechtenstein). Ravenscroft is a rancher, a Vietnam vet and was a county commissioner.

He has raised the same amount of cash, $44K, in his campaign as Gwen Howard has in her Congressional campaign. And he has this radio ad running:

And yes, that is one giant hat.


Acela Turco

Next we meet Republican Acela Turco running for Omaha’s District 31.

Turco and her husband Jay own Tuffys Auto Service Center. They have two teenage children who attend Millard Schools, where Acela was a former para educator. She is a Nebraska Foster Care Review Board Member, is on the Millard Business Association, AND she is a former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

She has been endorsed by the current district’s state Senators Rich Pahls (term limited) and Beau McCoy (new district). And she has been endorsed by both Governor Dave Heineman and Speaker Mike Flood, among many others.

She is running against Democrat Richk Kolowski, who is being supported by Mayor Jim Suttle and Bold Nebraska Sugar Daddy Dick Holland.

This has the potential to be a big race in the fall as well.


The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has been holding information sessions lately in O’Neill and Neligh on the new route for the Keystone XL Pipeline. There is clearly still some NIMBYism happening, but there are also clear supporters of the pipeline — whom you never heard about back when all you heard in every story was about the precious and pristine land and water that the oil companies were going to detonate, then fill with a tar sand lake.

Instead, there is now bipartisan support for the pipe — in Congress and in Nebraska — with groups like Energy Citizens going to these events and very openly showing their support for the project. And keep in mind that shouting down something like this, based on your emotions, can be a lot easier than standing up for rational thought.

Oh, but always remember that even if the oil was shipped across Nebraska by Thor, Iron Man and the calm Hulk in an airplane black box, one cup-full at a time, Jane Kleeb and the Boldies would be against the project. She hates the oil and everything else is just part of radical enviro plan.


And speaking of the Keystone Pipeline and the Senate race…

…we bet you thought you would never see an online ad that combined a Nebraska Senate debate, the original Road Warrior movie, and an edited case of Keystone beer, did you?

Well you would be wrong. Oh so wrong.

See the Spencer Zimmerman piece…nay FILM…here:


Be sure to check back for updates later and over the weekend…


  1. DC Wildcat says:

    It’s Rick Kowloski, not Rich.

    Excellent principle when I was at Millard West. School was good. He was fair.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So you have a photo of Deb Fischer’s puppet and a nice puff piece about him. Won’t matter the puppet and the puppet master are going to loose Tuesday.

  3. Wow. says:

    Dust 43 isn’t much of a tilt. Earl Jones is the only Dem running and he has spent less than two grand with only about that much in cash on hand. #31 is a bit more of a Chase. Turco leads in money with $31k spent and $19k COH. Kolowski has spent just over $6k with about $17k COH.

    The race that should have the GOP nervous is District 29. Dems lead in money big-time. Kate Hops is the money leader with $15k spent and $23.6k on hand. Susan Scott has spent about $14k but is almost tapped out with less than $500 on hand. Mike Smith, the pro-life guy has spent six thou with about three thou left in the tank and Larry Zimmerman has spent just over $11k with $7600 cash on hand.

    Unless Republicans want to send an Occupy type to the state house, they better start raising some money and spending in 29.

  4. To DC WILDCAT says:

    Rick Kolowski is all about one thing, Rick Kolowski. He is all for the Learning Community and expanding its taxing authority. Not one member of the Millard school board is endorsing him. That should speak volumes. This guy is a big liberal environmentalist. That is why Dick and Jane support him.

  5. Rich I mean Rick says:

    Rick has a F rating from NRA, and his going around telling everyone that he is the hunter etc. Ooops.

  6. I know John says:

    I have known John and his family for many years. There are few people who have more integrity than John Ravenscroft. He is a man of great faith and character. What you see is what you get.

  7. I’ve been impressed with Acela Turco and I am excited to see her make her way to the State Legislature. She’s committed to her strong conservative values. We’ve had several young professionals in our YR Club volunteer for her campaign and I’ve heard nothing but really positive things from them.

    If you live around Lake Zorinsky, be sure to consider voting for Acela Turco this Tuesday!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Saying “what you see is what you get” might work better if Ravenscroft wasn’t sporting a maniacal grin.

  9. Fischer is lying says:

    Shame on Deb Fischer for running away from her legislative record. I thought she was different.

    In 2007, Deb tried to pass a bill that would 1) set the gas tax based on the whole sale prices, so it would keep up with inflation and 2) increase the amount brought in. The only reason our gas tax didn’t go up was because of a bipartisan effort to stop her. Flood, Erdman, White, and Lathrop were all opposed to increasing it – mainly for their political futures. There are some good Fischer quotes from that transcript!

    Desperate Deb is running from her record.

  10. Voter who wants choices says:

    Kolowski is by far the superior candidate and deserves to be sent to Lincoln. It really doesn’t matter who endorses them — but of course it is strictly on party lines here. Look at what each has done for their community, inlcuding the Natural Resources District, and Kolowski comes out on top. You don’t get to be Chairman of two diferent organizations without the respect and confidence of your peers. Why wouldn’t you include these and other facts in your comparison of the two?? Oh never mind….it’s only too obvious.
    AND (just to be equal on the emphasis…) I believe Rick Kolowski served honorably in the US Military.

  11. GOP Undecided Voter says:

    I just got an email from Governor Kay Orr who I consider to be the greatest governor of all time. She asked me to volunteer for Deb Fischer this weekend. While I won’t be volunteering (no time), I have decided to support Deb Fischer for the US Senate based on the endorsement of our last great Governor, Kay Orr. I was undecided between Bruning and Fischer and Kay Orr’s strong endorsement pushed me over the edge. I will proudly cast my ballot for Deb Fischer! Bruning would probably be another Hagel and we don’t need anymore of that nonsense.

  12. Al Davis says:

    You say, “(From candidates who actually, you know, responded to our request for info.)” Your comment implies that you requested information from other candidates but they did not respond. Knowing the other candidates in the 43rd race, it is apparent to me than none of us was asked, and therefore your implication is false and misleading to your readers.

  13. No Al,

    All that means is that you and/or your supporters are not regular readers of Leavenworth Street. I wasn’t about to send out some sort of invitation to every candidate. I’m not set up to do that.
    What we DID do, on March 5th, was write the following:

    At some point we will make a “college try”* delve into the contested Unicameral races. Maybe we will try to do one a week or something.

    Candidates, that means the less work we have to do to write something about you, means the better chance that you will see something on Leavenworth Street.

    I think there was at least one follow-up to that, but maybe not. Mike Hilgers (or a suppporter) saw it, and sent us quite a bit of stuff. Same with Ravenscroft and Turco.


  14. Unknownymous says:

    Ravenscroft would be a disaster. His speaking ability is so bad that he had to hire someone else just to record his radio ads. He ain’t ready to stand and debate anything anywhere.

  15. Unknownymous says:

    Hey, Al, if you had hired Sam Fischer, aka “Street Sweeper,” to run your campaign you might have gotten some coverage on LevenworthStreet, too.

  16. Interested Observer says:

    Al Davis said, “therefore your implication is false and misleading to your readers.” Al. I think much of what is posted in here, especially the articles themselves ARE deliberately false and misleading on purpose.

    Oh and Street Sweeper, you have a little bias showing there on your chin. Here’s a napkin to wipe it off. No, a little more to the left. No, MUCH further to the left. Ya, that’s it there. Nope, ooops, still there.

  17. Interested Observer says:

    The one thing that I would LOVE to see is a real, live discussion between Street Sweeper, Ravenscroft and Al Davis. That would be hilarious to watch. We wouldn’t actually hear anything from Ravenscroft, because he’s not much of a public speaker. Street Sweeper would repeat whatever the GOP tells him to say and Al Davis would actually give his OWN intelligent, well researched, thoughtful insight that can actually help the 43rd District begin to succeed, like Al has. Just read Al’s website and Ravenscroft’s website and decide for yourself. Of course you’ll have to find those sites yourself because of the censorship in this site.

    The funniest thing here in Cherry County is Deb thought up the line for her Ravenscroft camp to say about Al Davis. “Al isn’t a REAL rancher”. Don’t quite buy that since his family was one of the first to settle the Sand Hills in the first place. Al is one of the most respected ranchers in the entire Sand Hills and one of the most successful.

  18. Interested Observer says:

    Oh and the most important thing about Al Davis. He grazes his cows on his OWN land and pays the taxes on it. He DOESN’T get MILLIONS of dollars of welfare grazing like Deb and her extended family do!

  19. Holy crap you people get up early.
    I’m only awake because I’ve been forced to do so. Not on my own volition.

    But let’s get one thing straight: Sam Fischer is NOT Street Sweeper (and I will bet that he isn’t awake right now either). That being said I am willing to bet that Sam is a Leavenworth Street reader and got his candidates to send in info.

    And you’re looking for some sort of “debate” from me and a Leg candidate? Wow, that sounds awesome. Do I get a cut of the sweet, sweet Senator’s salary if I win the debate? IO, you really do an awesome job about telling everyone how awesome your candidate is because he is awesome. Nice job, and all that.

    Now shoot me for being awake right now…

  20. Interested Observer says:

    Street Sweeper, to quote John Wayne in “the Cowboys”, “You’re burning daylight”. I’ve already been up for 2 awesome hours, at this point, checked a dozen awesome newspapers and other awesome news sites, had some awesome bacon and eggs for breakfast, been out to check the last of the awesome heavy heifers in the calving lot and now back in the house to see what you’re doing. Get to work already! The mornings are the most AWESOME part of the day!

  21. Interested Observer says:

    Hey Al. Looks like you just got a new nickname to campaign on from now on.

    AWESOME Al Davis for Legislature!

    What do you think? I kinda like it.

  22. @Voter who wants choices says:

    I get it, you want multiple choices from the same candidate.

    Right now Kolowski is conveniently talking all conservative, when he is really a liberal democrat. It’s the same old playbook from a Democrats running for the ‘Non Partisan’ Legislature, change your message right before the election solely to get elected then work along Democratic Party lines later.

    I’m sure if you ask the few conservatives on NRD, you’ll find that Richard Kolowski was not one of the Board Members pushing for more fiscal responsibility in the NRD Budget. They continue to increase their budget and ask for more from the Taxpayers. Between NRD and Learning Community, Kolowski seems to actively look for opportunities to lead an organizations in a way to get more of your Tax Dollars.

    I can’t say his participation in the Learning Community has done a single thing to create an Organization that effectively helps to educate our children. Instead I see a large part of my Property Tax money going to a very ineffective organization that he has his hands into.

  23. J.R. Ewing says:

    When I see John Ravenscroft I hear the theme song to Dallas playing. And his initials are J.R. Just saying.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wow at 2:59

    NEB Right to Life and United for Life feel that legislative races are less important than the regent races. After all, Julie will find ‘new’ meat from this year’s crop of new State Senators…I assume she means the liberal candidates ahead in LD 19, 31 and other races (maybe Senator Haar will be her go-to-senator in 2013).

    It certainly appears that liberal interest groups are more organized than conservative groups (our so called special interest groups eat conservative leaders).

  25. tryanmax says:

    I just have to say, my favorite part of Zimmerman’s masterpiece is the visible promo for “Being Human” on the “Road Warrior” footage. LOL! Still, excellent point made.

  26. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Anon:4:18: I never said legislative races were less important than Regents’ races. Ann Marie Bowen of NUFL is quoted in that regard in today’s OWH. My point with Leslie Reed is that Hal Daub had a position against embryonic stem cell research and cloning in 2009 when he ran for Mayor, answered our survey and was endorsed, but now he says he has no position on the only sanctity of life issue that has come up before the Regents in the last decade or so. I would presume pro-life voters in that district would find it curious as well.

  27. Voter who wants choices says:

    Back @ 8:32. The NRD has not raised taxes in years. Get the facts straight. And looking at his peers, who is conservative and who is liberal on the NRD Board?? All they do is flood control and I don’t know how that fits with your labels?

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