2014 is here

Speaker Mike Flood

Ah, those crazy days of the 2012 campaign. We were all so young and vibrant. Seems like just last week we were all voting and stuff. But it’s all just a hazy memory now.

Because the 2014 Nebraska Governor’s race has begun.

Oh, it has been going on since last year at least, sure. But today Nebraska Legislature Speaker Mike Flood kicks things off in his hometown of Norfolk, and at least one other campaign has been ratcheting it up for a while now.

First to Flood. Things for the Speaker will be headed up by politico Jessica Moenning, coming off the successful Deb Fischer campaign. (Hey, didn’t we see Flood in a Deb Fischer commercial or two? Hmm.) Moenning and her husband Josh (of the Rep. Jeff Fortenberry office) live just a few doors down from Flood in Norfolk and will likely be hiring a manager to handle the day to day.

Also on Team Flood is Beth Kramer, wife of new NEGOP committeeman David Kramer. She will be the Flood Finance Director. Also Natalie Peetz, a lobbyist for Kiewit and others, is one of Floods biggest cheerleaders — and Flood should likely have many others in the lobbying community on his side.


Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy

And then there is Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy who long ago (July 2011) began organizing his campaign (for ground game as well as requirement reasons).

Heading up Team Sheehy is Dean Dennhardt. Dennhardt was Governor Dave Heineman’s 2010 Finance Director and has a long history in NEGOP politics, including time as Mike Johanns’ money man.

Dennhardt will likely be behind hiring the campaign’s manager, though expect (some say potentially heavy) day to day involvement from Governor Dave Heineman himself. The Gov stated quite some time back that he is behind Sheehy, and he may be willing to put down all of his political capital on his Lieutenant.


State Sen. Charlie Janssen

The OWH also throws out State Senator Charlie Janssen’s name as someone who is “seriously considering” a run. With two heavyweights in the race, and looking back at the 2012 Senate primary, you could certainly see a third campaign seeking the Deb Fischer path between the 400 pound gorillas. Could Janssen be that person?

Could someone else? The OWH obligingly puts Jon Bruning’s and Don Stenberg’s names into the fray. Absolutely possible, yeah? Gotta be an Omahan in that mix of Norfolkinan, Hastingser and Fremontian candidates, right?

And the OWH lists State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler and University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook of Lyons as possible candidates on the Dem side (if you’re into that sort of thing). Lathrop is really not “possible” as much as he is exceedingly likely. What will be interesting is to see whether the Dems have themselves an actual primary instead of just crowning their candidate. When was their last worthwhile Democrat primary for a statewide office anyway? 1990? (Someone help us out here, because all of a sudden that is an interesting question here at the L.St. HQ.)

But if there are enough candidates in the fray, one would think that some outliers could take the lay of the land and wait until summer of 2013, or so to make a decision/announcement. We are sure there are plenty who would say that’s too late. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see someone wait until then and it’s not as if the public has any appetite for the two-year campaign. It’s really just a matter of rounding up your big donors that “late”.

Fun to watch from a great distance right now.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    No doubt about that anon….. his presumption that all unborn will stay in Nebraska is faulty. However, we do know that the mothers of these unborn will come to Nebraska for the free healthcare, at the expense of the tax payers. Senator Flood opened the flood gates for reimbursement for hospitals and doctors more than anything else, to the tune of an average $2000 per pregnancy……..for vitamins and maybe an ultrasound, along with a brief questionnaire. Sure as the sun will come up tomorrow the medical community will be billing the State for as much as they can…….at taxpayers expense.

  2. Sweeper,
    You just never know what may happen with the NDP now that Boss Ben Nelson is gone from the picture. Without him calling all the shots, and keeping the bench cleared of any potential usurpers to the throne, Nebraska’s Democrats may just think the time has come for THEIR voices to be heard.
    Of course, with the new Chair of the NDP, Vince Powers, playing the court jester, it is hard to tell if anyone will take take them seriously again. First he was busy harassing Mark Fahleson in a parking lot, and now he’s got this hare-brained scheme to have Senator Johanns caucus with the Democrats in Washington.
    I would love to see the NDP return to its glory days, when they had both Senators, a Congressman or two, and several statewide offices filled with genuine Democrats. All we’ve had since RINO Ben Nelson came into the picture is a cult of personality based on His Eminence. Those who enabled Ben to wield such authority should be sent to pasture to keep him company. The NDP needs fresh bodies and fresh ideas. The pendulum in our nation is swinging back to the left and Nebraska, as usual, is well behind the curve.
    I’ve kept out of the picture for some time now, as I swore to allow the “movers and shakers” within the NDP to prove how superior their ideas for the party were than mine. Well, the results are in. No Democrat occupies a seat in any of the federal or statewide offices now. If any Democrat wants to make a claim that they “succeeded” in this last election because they kept a few seats in the Unicameral and have the mayors of Lincoln and Omaha in their corner, then they are merely delusional.
    I’m going to admit that I have been toying with the idea of registering as an Independent, as so many other Nebraskans have recently done. My old friend, Solomon Kleinsmith, did so after beating HIS head against the wall, and wound up declaring a pox on both political parties, preferring to call for reason and to drive people to the center.
    But, a dear friend of mine helped me to reason that I have always been, and always will be a Democrat, and that I shouldn’t allow others to take my party away from me. He believes that what we Democrats, true Democrats, believe in is still worth fighting for. So do I. So I will.
    I think having two healthy political parties in this state is just good business. Hopefully, by the time 2014 rolls around, we will have a lot more Democrats running against one another in the primaries, and not just rubber-stamped cyborgs that meet the approval of the oligarchs in Lincoln/Omaha.
    The NDP is now at a crossroads. It can go back to being an organization that follows the will of its adherents, or it can continue to hitch its wagon to an elite team of oligarchs that have their own agenda. A genuine revolution will be necessary for the first scenario to succeed; more sitting on their hands will result in the same path to irrelevance that the NDP has pursued for the past two decades.
    Deb Fischer won her seat in the Senate because she realized that to win in Nebraska, you have to have the support of the 3rd Congressional District and you can’t besmirch Nebraska Nice by throwing mud at it. I hope she is able to be a free-spirited, independently minded, Nebraska-centric Senator and not just another bobble head for the GOP caucus. I wish her well.

  3. ricky says:

    Speaker Flood would probably make a good Governor. However if he thinks the “fetal pain” law he got passed in Nebraska will bring him the women votes he has another thing coming. That was junk science. Mr Romney lost the woman’s vote big time. The only vote Mr Flood will get from women is one vote from JSA.
    Also the same goes for Senator Janssen. His trojan horse is the anti-immigrant stance he takes that cost Fremont millions of dollars in legal fees. And Mr Romney lost the Hispanic vote 75 to 25.
    The door is open for somebody from the Democratic Party to win the Governorship in Nebraska. There is that person that can put together the same coalition that elected Mr Obama twice.
    And Omaha would be better off with a Governor of the same party that governs our city; the Democrats.

    ricky from omaha
    PS check out my letter to the Lincoln paper today. Gotcha Governor Dave!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looks like BTO intends to be back with a vengeance. His haters in the NDP are already making nasty remarks about him. They must be scared.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sunday, the 11th was Veterans Day!. Today was a Federal holiday. No wonder Democrats win at the city and county level in Omaha and Lincoln. Ya know the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month……. never mind.

    BTO is right though, IF the democrat party ever returns to it’s roots the GOP will be out of luck. Just look at the infighting over what happened in Douglas County. A few Paulbots got organized and took over the party. The State Party got their undies in a knot and didn’t help them in this election. Subsequently because Fahleson had his ego bruised the State now has to deal with Kowloski and Crawford. Instead of focusing on open seats the state party and its supporters went after an incumbent with a true carpetbagger. What sheer genius that was, worked out well so far right boys.

    Jordan McGrain is so far up his own backside he blurts out in public how communication goes both ways. Sure it does Jordan, in high school! There was more on the line in Douglas County than your precious ego…..never mind you wouldn’t understand

    The Governor has his work cut out for him, backing a guy who is going through a tough divorce…..not too mention there is little he can do to influence the loyal following in the legislature….

    The shinning spot for the GOP remains Senator Johanns and Senator elect Fischer.

    2014 looks to be a real dozy in the GOP circles with the Liberty Caucus ready to take over a few more county party offices…… yep BTO is right a moderate Democrat might just take down a Lee Terry……or even a Gov…. not the whelp Lathrop but maybe a moderate…. it will be interesting.

  6. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 9:57, you just had a moderate Democrat run against Terry who was an African-American to boot during an election where blacks turned out in record numbers and with record percentage support for the Democrats. He even got the endorsement of the BWH. He did worse than Jim Esch. But, whatever.

  7. To Macdaddy says:

    Romney also won 2nd handily surely some
    of that would trickle down. It is not Terry’s fault rather the morons who decided to run those commercials then pull them and then have Terry apologize for a week. Terry is a good conservative so this should have not been close. I don’t blame the Terry, I blame his handlers who outspent Ewing 5-1. They gave Ewing a week or so on tv everyday playing the victim because of those commercials.

  8. TeamFlood says:

    I’m supporting Mike Flood. He’s done a good job in the statehouse, and his record is soundly conservative:

    1) changed the death penalty method to lethal injection to keep it legal in Nebraska
    2) passed conceal and carry
    3) saved the Keystone XL pipeline by having it re-routed around the Sandhills
    4) lead the charge to cut $500 million in state spending
    5) partnered with Heineman’s for the largest tax cut in Nebraska history
    6) first in the nation ban on late term abortions

  9. Anonymous says:

    TF……and he gave state dollars to individuals who are known illegals! That will be on his tombstone when it’s all said and done……..just like carpetbagger is on cosmic Bob’s.

  10. To Team Flood says:

    Not so Fast.
    You have problems in a few areas
    1) Granting Illegals Benefits
    2) Supporting the Learning Community
    3) Votes on tax and fee increases

  11. Macdaddy says:

    I have to say that supporting the Learning Community is a big negative. I haven’t looked it up to see if the LC was specifically a Building One America initiative, but it sounds very suspicious. I am all for getting out of the liberals’ way at the national level, but I think regionalism needs to be fought tooth and nail and this will be at the state and local level.

  12. Anon says:


    Last I checked, Nebraska voted solidly for conservative principles. I don’t think citing federal results hang as heavily here. Nebraska is squarely grounded in pro-life politics. Even dems like Nelson had to go pro-life to win statewide election. That being said, Nebraska Right to Life backed Flood on his support of the LB599, clearly stating this was a pro-life issue. Whether the immigrants stay or not, US law states the babies are US citizens and while in Nebraska will be taken care. I’m sure the establishment will twist and turn the issue anyway they can, but in Nebraska, the anti pro-life stance isn’t a winning issue.

  13. Anon says:

    8:14… Maybe they are pushing to send a message since those petitions don’t actually result in secession? You know what they say about making assumptions?!

  14. IO is looking at it says:

    I’ve heard Interested Observer is seriously looking at the Governor’s race. Since he was so successful with his efforts in the Senate race he should now take his lucky hand and throw his hat into the ring.

  15. JO says:

    I hear Mr Flood has some welfare grazing rights, that class warfare complaint during the last elections was good for a several points in the final margin for SENATOR DEB FISCHER. Hit it hard, IO hit it hard

  16. ricky says:

    Speaker Flood stepped between a woman and her doctor when he presented the “fetal pain” bill which obviously is a bunch of hooey. But he did it to kick Leroy Carhart out of Nebraska which he did. Now where are women with tricky pregnancies going to turn if they have to? I am betting this is a loser issue with Mr Flood in Nebraska in 2014. And don’t worry I am sharpening my pencil to remind people of Flood’s bill.

    ricky from omaha

  17. Macdaddy says:

    Ricky, you really think that fetuses don’t feel pain? What about babies who are born at 24 weeks. Do they feel pain? Does being in the mother’s womb magically protect them from pain? Do you think getting scissors jabbed into the back of your head hurts? Do you think that the local block given to a woman for partial birth abortion blocks the pain fibers in a fetus as well? On what medical evidence do you base your conclusions?

    Unbelievable that you Lefties think lethal injection is too barbaric cause it might hurt but have no problem puncturing a fetal skull with some scissors. But feel free to remind people of that bill from Flood, especially if he gets the Republican nomination, so he can ride it to victory against whatever loser candidate the Democrats scrape up.

  18. To Ricky says:

    To delivering the mail you partisan hack. Btw how much is USPS in debt now? Fear not Ricky, the taxpayers will take care of your pension.

  19. Anonymous says:

    MD, the brain is not developed enough at 24 weeks to “feel” pain. Sure, the nervous system will produce a reaction to stimuli, but that doesn’t mean that there is a sentient being to feel pain.

  20. Macdaddy says:

    Anonymous 11:31, you wanna bet? You want nurses and doctors to operate on your preemie without anesthesia? I didn’t think so. Your statement above shows an understanding of pain that is a few decades old. I thought you guys were the party of science. Oh, yeah. That’s political science.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Don’t forget about the grand compromise Flood was able to make on CIR reform…well it wasn’t reform by any means but he worked all night on it and I heard he even threw a pen!

  22. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 1:01, you might want to actually do some reading. Free nerve endings form and reach the thalamus at 7 weeks gestation. Pain fibers to the spinal cord mature by 23 weeks gestation. Also by 23 weeks gestation, the pain pathways make it all the way into the cortex where pain is given meaning. By 24 weeks gestation, a premature infant can feel pain and exhibit hemodynamic changes. By 26 weeks gestation, the system responsible for pain is fully functional. There is nothing stopping Dr. Carhart from pulling a fetus mostly out of the womb and jabbing the back of its skull with scissors at 26 weeks gestation, all without pain medicine. That’s what you are trying to give cover for.

    Feel free to cite some science that refutes that.

  23. Anonymous2 says:

    MD, it’s really a waste of time arguing with you, because you are dogmatic with a position, then find “evidence” to support it. The best science believes that it’s not until 35 – 37 weeks of gestation that pain can actually be felt by the brain. (Interesting how your “evidence” stops before the brain is reached, but that is where pain would be recognized.) EEGs were used to detect brain waves. Before this age, there were no differences in waves between stimuli that we would perceive as pain, and a simple touch. You can google this if you’d like to learn something based on science rather than feeling. But based on how practically everyone on this site predicted a Romney landslide win, I don’t expect any of you to let actual data override your feeling’s derived evidence.

  24. Macdaddy says:

    Uh, what do you think the thalamus and cortex are? Those are parts of what is commonly referred to as the brain. You actually don’t need a cortex to feel pain. You only need a thalamus and in fetuses, that is well-developed by the 3rd trimester. It is true that the fetus spends most of its time asleep, but major tissue injury such as surgery does wake up the fetus. Even minimally invasive surgery of the fetus causes changes in cerebral blood flow and chemical markers of stress and fentanyl blunts that response. The EEG is not any better at providing evidence of pain than any other measure. There is no pain pattern on EEG. When you look at preemies with and without severe cortical injury, when you stick the heel there is no difference in the EEG pattern between the 2 groups. EEG is a very insensitive test. So now we have embryologic evidence that the basic pain system is in place late 2nd trimester, there is biochemical evidence of stress in response to painful procedures, there is evidence that pain meds blunt those responses, there is neonatal evidence that preemie that age feel pain, and there is evidence from infants and adults that you don’t need corticothalamic connections to feel pain. But keep telling yourself that a fetus feels nothing when the scissors puncture its skull if that’s what helps you sleep at night.

  25. Anonymostly says:

    Anonymous November 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    MD, the brain is not developed enough at 24 weeks to “feel” pain. Sure, the nervous system will produce a reaction to stimuli, but that doesn’t mean that there is a sentient being to feel pain.

    I knew a couple who were expecting twins and she went into pre-term labor at 19 weeks gestation. I don’t recall why, incompetent cervix or what the problem was, but they had to deliver the babies even though there was essentially no hope they’d survive. Water broke, etc., no turning back.

    At 19 weeks from conception, those babies were fully formed with fingers and toes. And when they came into the world, even though their lungs were not yet developed enough to survive, they took their first and last breaths and cried before their hearts stopped and they passed away.

    How anyone can say those weren’t “babies” fully worthy of rights and protection is beyond me.

  26. Anonymous2 says:

    Yes, anyone that thinks with their brain can say that the preponderance of evidence indicates they were not fully developed human beings, and from a theological standpoint, I don’t believe they have souls at this point. It’s a sad story, but should not be used to force a person’s beliefs on everyone in society.

    The church’s treatment of Galileo’s after he showed that the earth revolved around the sun shows why personal beliefs should never trump the best available science.

  27. Macdaddy says:

    Anonymous2, religion doesn’t have to have anything to do with it. You can stay entirely within the realm of ethics, even keep it within secular humanist ethics and come to the conclusion that we should treat other beings with respect and minimization of suffering. That’s the whole basis of animal cruelty laws. I find your contention that those twins weren’t fully developed human beings to be rather chilling. There are many people who we recognize as being alive who aren’t fully formed human beings. Perhaps you agree with Dr. Peter Singer that parents should have a 1 month grace period in which to “abort” their newborn babies. Perhaps you believe in euthanasia and have a nice list of people who would qualify. What you need to recognize is that you are in the realm of ethics, not science. You may be trying to use science to inform your position, but you need to recognize that you just made a judgement about somebody else’s value. That’s no different than a religion making a judgement about somebody’s value.

    And BTW, I think that Progressives’ usurpation of science to support eugenics, with its forced sterilization, promotion of abortion to get rid of black people, and using orphans to conduct experiments shows why personal beliefs should never trump the best available science. Oh, wait. That was the best available science at the time and those were scientists doing those things. Hmm. I guess scientists are people, too, with all their flaws and shortcomings.

  28. Anonymous_2 says:

    but you need to recognize that you just made a judgement about somebody else’s value…
    MD, you do this all the time. I have no problem with you following your own values and beliefs. The problem is when you want EVERYONE to follow them.

    We’re talking about today, not 80 years ago as far as your canard about “Progressive” support of eugenics. Is that still true? You are staying true to your method of argument by completely exaggerating a position by bringing in a complete outlier (i.e. Singer). And I completely agree that scientists should not make the rules. However an informed public should follow their findings when making decisions in the form of laws.

  29. Anonymous says:

    “I think that Progressives’ usurpation of science to support eugenics, with its forced sterilization, promotion of abortion to get rid of black people, and using orphans to conduct experiments shows why personal beliefs should never trump the best available science.”

    I would absolutely abhor the use of forced sterilization to get rid of black people. Or any other ethnic group. That is just terrible.

    On the other hand, I would support forced sterilization to get rid of Democrats.

  30. Anonymous2 says:

    On the other hand, I would support forced sterilization to get rid of Democrats.

    Great example of a rightie needing to learn the word perspective You folks are the nuts destroying this country, but you’re so blinded by right-wing propaganda, you haven’t a clue.

  31. Macdaddy says:

    So instead, I have to live out your value judgements.

    My point about progressives and their positions was that the science at the time supported eugenics. It was wrong back then but quite popular. As far as I know, no progressives still espouse those views in public, especially since they love them some sure votes. Scientists today are very susceptible to the same mistakes because people are still fallible, scientists are very politically correct, and scientists often think of science as a religion/worldview rather than a tool. Scientists can get you to the moon, but figuring out the important things like the value of people, not so much. You really should do some reading on the history of science, especially modern science. It isn’t all goodness and light. You dismissing my examples shows that you haven’t done much. Peter Singer is a professor at Princeton and somebody who is unfortunately taken seriously in the bioethics community. He isn’t a fringe example.

  32. RWP says:

    I’ve been a scientist for getting on 40 years. I also have opinions on abortion, euthanasia, etc. My knowledge of science is of almost no relevance to my positions on abortion and euthanasia. Science does not tell you if life begins at conception. That depends on what you call life. Science does not tell you if the old or infirm should be killed. That’s a value judgement.

    FWIW, I support first-trimester abortion, and think euthanasia is an incredibly dangerous idea, rife with unintended consequences. I claim no scientific backing for either opinion.

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