Nebraska politics: Wide Open

A lot of things will be happening this coming year. And Mike Flood’s departure from the Governor’s race is only the beginning.

On that note, we have only seen a few other names mentioned after Flood’s name was taken out of the equation. State Senator Charlie Janssen had been mentioned in the “probably” department before, and we wonder if he’ll move over to the “likely”.

But few other big names have emerged. Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg always get their yard signs tossed around, but we haven’t learned of any specific organizing from them just yet. It is a double-edged spork for them, since coming out too early will put the “eternal campaigners” moniker on them — while waiting too long could put them out of the money game.

So there is a good chance we will see some other contenders come out in the next months. We still believe we will see a name come out of Lincoln or Omaha (or both) — and likely someone who has not been elected before. The chances of being victorious in 2014 just seem too ripe for anyone with a slight interest to stay out. We haven’t run into anyone who thinks the race is gift-wrapped for Rick Sheehy — though that’s not to say Sheehy won’t have an excellent chance and run a good race. It’s just that few expect him to trot in and slam dunk.

We have heard a few other names floating around. Some you may even have heard before.


Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post followed up the story of Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) retiring from the Senate (remember when he was all-in for Don Stenberg?) with a list of Senators who could likely quit or decide not to run in 2014.

There were no Nebraska Senators on that list.

And that’s not to say there should have been. But…for what it’s worth…we have not seen any formal re-election announcement on that front. And we have not heard anything specific. And we are not saying we WILL hear anything specific.

We are just saying… that IF there were an open U.S. Senate seat in 2014, wouldn’t that be interesting? (Well OF COURSE it would be interesting…)

And we don’t know if a certain lame-duck Governor would be interested in something like that or not.

It is just an interesting thing to mull, like a red wine with some sugar and cinnamon and a little orange peel.


Speaking of new contenders, the Douglas County Republican Party seems to be in transition. It looks like current head Scott Petersen is looking to pass things on to a fellow Ron Paulite – Bryan Baumgart.

Baumgart sent out an email to potential supporters, with an an endorsement list that is (though not all) a murderer’s row…of fellow Paulistas:

Scott Petersen – Chairman, Douglas County GOP
John Orr – Chairman, Washington County GOP
Ken Ragland – Chairman, Sarpy County GOP
Pat McPherson – Long time Douglas County GOP Stalwart
Glenn Freeman – former Chairman, Douglas County GOP
Andy Abboud – former Executive Director, Douglas County GOP
Tim Heller – former President, Nebraska Federation of Young Republicans & College Republicans
Levi Lippincott – Candidate for Chairman, Sarpy County GOP
Bruce Dickes – Communications Manager & Executive Committee, Douglas Country GOP
Aimee Melton – Executive Committee DCRP
Jason Johanns – Executive Committee DCRP
Jon Tucker – Executive Committee DCRP
Randi Scott – Executive Committee DCRP
Rob Rohrbough – Executive Committee DCRP

We see a few names in there that aren’t Paulies, but plenty that were on the side of taking over the State Party on behalf of Ron Paul earlier this year.

And we understand that many of those folks want the best for the party.

But we wonder about things like…

  • Campaign experience
  • Fund raising
  • Candidate recruitment
  • Candidate assistance
  • Local policy initiatives

These are all issues that many have questioned over the last year or so, and we wonder if there is a real plan to re-address those same points.

Oh, and we’d also like a nickel for every time a certain group says how much they hate the “establishment”.

(Wonder if we’ll get much discussion on all of this…)


You may have seen the (somewhat bizarre) ode to Ben Nelson’s hair by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Nothing like the closing notes of your career to be about your hair.

But on that note, we will credit the state Democrats for their own recognition of the Mighty Coif on Nelson, in the form of a t-shirt:

(See, who says we don’t give the Dems credit?)


Hey, only a few more shopping days until Festivus.
And where is the best place to get yourself a good aluminum pole (very high strength-to-weight ratio)? Well of course!

And when you’re making those purchases, please click through our Amazon banners, so that a little anonymous love will come back our way, and you can assist in keeping our light on.

You can help create another Festivus Miracle!


  1. Interested Observer says:

    The article just said “It is just an interesting thing to mull, like a red wine with some sugar and cinnamon and a little orange peel.”

    That doesn’t really sound like the fire and brimstone, take no prisoners Street Sweeper that I’ve been reading all these months now. What gives? Is that an actual, bona fide Street Sweeper article or is this the work of a “guest” Street Sweeper?

  2. Interested Observer says:

    Actually, SS, I don’t know that I’ve ever had mulled wine before, so I don’t know if I would like it or not. I just don’t remember very many John Wayne movies where he walked into a bar and ordered “mulled wine”. Now, Mongo might have. But as Seinfeld said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . . “

  3. FYI says:

    @Street Sweeper: Just for your info. Bryan was not a Ron Paul supporter. Also looking at that list above there are only 2 people on that list that were actual Ron Paul supporters during the convention process. There were certainly alliances made between some on that list, but a politically convenient alliance does not equal an ideological partnership.

    @#6: Anyone that signs onto Rand Paul at this stage of the game is someone that is just caught up in the Paul hype. Ron Paul was just a messenger, not a messiah. His son is no different. However, Rand is not his father and is doing things differently. He might be a good choice in 4 years, but that is a long time and a lot of things could happen in the mean time.

  4. Make no mistake... says:

    Make no mistake, the crew that follow behind Bryan Baumgart are the Ron Paul crew. They are obviously attempting to ‘brand’ Bryan as not being one of them, but that is his group.

    Take a look the header of his Twitter account, he states that he is a RLC Nebraska member. Fact: This is the latest individual to be a front to the RLC in Douglas County.

  5. Oh how cute says:

    You have made a mistake simply by making your statement. So Bryan is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus. Being a member of RLC does not require one to believe in the views that Ron Paul espouses. If anything that is Campaign for Liberty since he is the Chairman of that organization.

    Also, I’m confused on what is so scary about the RLC other than they supported a different, Republican, candidate for President than those in power. At least a majority of them did so. Otherwise these are people that have not gone away, they are still active in the party. They helped candidates, they helped with fundraisers, some of them even ran for office. Do we not want people involved in the party?

  6. Yep says:

    Was it true that Richard attended a Ron Paul gathering while at the RNC Convention in Florida?

    Oh, I see what you’re doing here. Redirect the conversation away from your dog in the current race, Bryan Baumgart.

  7. To #9 says:

    Yes he is, and he did not support Ron Paul. As previously mentioned politically convenient alliances do not equal an ideological partnership.

  8. Alliance? says:

    Alliance indicates you’ve partnered with a person on the outside. Bryan is an official member, he is inside the RLC.

    So, what’s the integrity of joining a group like the RLC but not believing in one of their primary goals?

  9. Chris Scott says:

    Has the Ron Paul smear the equivalent to the Democrats using the race card? Many times political expident and successful, few times based on fact. I know almost every single one of the people personally and find only two Ron Paul supporters. The smearing has to stop on both sides. The “establishment” term is just as bad.

    Implying that because you mindlessly did not vote for a Romney slate at state convention (even though they had signs showing you how to vote Romney) does not make you a Paul supporter. Just my two cents but hey smear away!

  10. To #13 says:

    I think an appropriate question for Bryan might be when he joined the RLC. If he joined after the conventions when Romney was the nominee does it matter? Perhaps he likes the RLC’s stance on monetary policy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The DCRP under Scott Petersen has no money, no office, no staff, no donor relationships, has recruited no viable candidates, was bypassed by the Romney/Fischer/Terry campaigns and appears to be at war with everyone except Democrats. Bryan Baumgart has no political experience, no relationships with donors or elected officials, and questionable alliances. Go ahead and elect him.

  12. To Chris Scott @2:44 says:

    You complain about detractors playing a “card”. You whine about “smears”.
    Then you label Romney supporters as “mindless”.
    Got it Chris.
    Leave LSB and go back to the platform for Democrats that you’ve set up.

  13. RWP says:

    Well, here’s the thing. The GOP establishment lost two unicam seats this year. It failed to evict vulnerable Dems like Ken Haar. It still harbors numerous RINOs like Kathy Campbell, such that the effort to expand Medicaid under PPACA is still spoken of as a possibility. It failed to pass voter ID. It failed to pass winer-take all or eliminate the sham ‘non-partisanship’ of the legislature. Heineman’s tax cut last year failed, while prenatal care for illegal aliens passed. The State GOP, policy wise, is not doing a very good job. There are no brownie points for electing RINOs. Maybe Mr. Baumgart can do a better job, seeing as he seems actually to stand for something more than simply electing people who call themselves Republicans.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Most of the people Bryan listed in his email are Paulbots (not a smear, just a descriptive term), or are dupes being used by them.

    And the problem with the RLC is that they think they have all the answers, but in reality they’re relatively new to politics.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hand-picking a neophyte successor? Lining up a bunch of endorsements? Telling people how to mindlessly vote? Why, that almost sounds like establishment…

  16. According to RWP... says:

    The election of Bryan Baumgart (because he stands for…something) would mean passage of Voter ID, Winner Take All, and the Governor’s tax cut package, repeal of prenatal care for illegals and the non-partisan legislature, and the impeachment of RINOS like Kathy Campbell. Sign me up!

    I generally love me some RWP, but….Holy Cow.

  17. Anon says:

    It’s not adding up. Bryan joined RLCNE at the end of September, long after Richard Carter joined and signed their pledge and was endorsed by them (who you guys seem to love) and long after Ron Paul exited the race?! It’s clear you guys have an issue with the guy and are on an all out smear campaign. So he can work with all sides, what’s the issue?

  18. Technicalities says:

    Oh come on, you guys are trying way too hard here. Bryan’s been a with the RLC for a while, noticeable even during the State Convention in July.

    Not interested in this dance, I’ll pass.

  19. LOL says:

    What a joke this blog has turned into. Last time I visited I read a rehash of the same material I had read over on Chris Scott’s blog several month’s prior. Not that it isn’t interesting that the 3 Republicans in the mayoral race could cancel each other out sending Ashford and Suttle to the general, but like I said, I had already read about the same information months prior on the other blog. Then there is the whole other issue of the state exchanges where we have Sam Fischer’s company getting paid big bucks from the Nebraska Healthcare Alliance so he sells out and starts pushing it on Republicans trying to sell it off as something other than the big fraud it was. We all know Sam is SS (or at least one of them). Sam and LS have been pushing that democrat crap on us since this past summer. He fooled some good conservatives but he didn’t fool the Governor. Sam and LS turned out to be big sell-outs and labeling them rinos is just too darn nice. Then you get the personal vendetta with the DCRP and all of the false accusations about their finances and Scott Petersen and now this crap with Bryan Baumgart. This blog truly has become a joke. I think I’ll stick to the Objective Conservative and Chris Scott’s blog from now on while this wanna-be national enquirer sinks into even more obscurity.

  20. Tunnel Vision says:

    Your way too tunnel visioned to see that the Nebraska was probably the only bright spot of success in the past election cycle.

    What has the NEGOP done? We’re the only state to hand the Democrats a loss in the Senate. We elected Republicans to each of the Congressional Seats. All electoral college votes were for the Republican Candidate.

    Tell me what State Party can show better results in the past cycle? There aren’t many.

  21. Anonymous says:

    To pretend that the NEGOP had Deb Fischer’s back is an out and out lie. They were solidly in Bruning’s camp through the primary. As were the Omaha YR’s. Many of them like Matt Pinkerton ripped on Deb Fischer via social media even up through the November elections. It was hard working grass roots folks, new people, and yes…even RLCNE’ers that help put Deb over the top. Lee Terry’s race wasn’t much different. The NEGOP refused to cooperate with the DCRP and Terry showed poorly in Douglas County and had to be carried by Sarpy (where there wasn’t much NEGOP presence). The truth is…the NEGOP underperformed and nearly blew it for Terry and DID blow it for Turco and Carter.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hm, I see Scott Petersen, John Orr, Levi Lippincott, Bruce Dickes, Amiee Melton, Jason Johanns, Jon Tucker and Randi Scott…

    Im actually disappointed in the Paulistas tho, they should put up a candidate who could actually do a half-decent job. The county party could actually use somebody who has been involved for more than a year (or at most, two). Someone who has raised money before.

  23. Anonymous says:

    LOL at 9:35 says this blog is not worth blogging in. It took LOL 240 words to say that in this blog.

    LOL says Objective Conservative is a better blog. Objective Conservative currently shows 22 distinct topics with a total of 2 comment, which means LOL isn’t interested enough to comment on Objective Conservative’s topics.

  24. Rod Edwards says:

    I am not going so far as to endorse Brian but I think he is bright and has a lot of energy. He has taken the path available to him to a leadership position. If he has made alliances that some may think are not the right alliances, who is to blame for this? Maybe some have not been open to accepting someone new. Maybe they should? I trust him.

    I have talked extensively with Brian. He is someone who is willing to work to move a conservative agenda forward. I am confident I can work with him. If I can, I am sure others will also.

    Any DCRP leader needs people to buy in to make it work. This has not happened for years. It doesn’t matter how the fractures show, any fracture weakens the whole.

    I will work with the new chairman as I have with every other chair. It is for the greater cause.

    BTW, have not heard of any onther candidates. To this point, there is no debate.

  25. Anonymous says:

    post #34 – Nice list. In to baseless accusations much? I still only see two Ron Paul supporters on your list. And you act like reaching out and welcoming other groups to join in the effort is a bad thing? Even if there were eight people that liked Ron Paul and endorsed him, that still leaves at least 6 more according to you that aren’t. That is pretty balanced and in my opinion, EXACTLY the type of leadership the Republican party needs. Someone who can reach out and motivate others to get involved in the effort. I know Bryan and he is driven by conservative ideals rather than blindly following the status-quot. He will be a much needed breath of fresh air to help energize a party that overall is very divided and took a beating nationally this election cycle. A party that, while sticking to its core principles is badly in need of an updated message. I have confidence that Bryan will be able to surround himself with good, smart, experienced people and be able to motivate and unite and be successful in the position.

  26. Chris Scott says:

    @34-Have you lost your mind? None are Paul Bots. Your smears are idiotic. I would trend lightly accusing people like Mrs. Melton of being anything. BTW being married to Randi Scott I can assure you this household voted Romney. Keeps the lies coming though your propaganda machine is running on fumes. The election is over and most are focused on working together and good people like Rod Edwards get it!

  27. @ Tunnel Vision,

    “What has the NEGOP done? We’re the only state to hand the Democrats a loss in the Senate. We elected Republicans to each of the Congressional Seats. All electoral college votes were for the Republican Candidate.”

    Make no mistake, the national GOP and the various conservative PACs had as much to do with the congressional victories as the NEGOP did. And the electoral college votes? You can chalk those up to the fact that Nebraska voters are sick of Obama.

    While I’m appreciative of the work the NEGOP does, the list of failures at the state level over the past year does beg the question, “Just what the hell is going on?!” By all accounts, Hilgers seemed like a nice enough guy and I would have happily voted for him if I lived in that district…but the ‘carpetbagger’ knock that the GOP used (successfully) against Kerrey was just as easily used by Haar (successfully) against Hilgers. Of course, Todd Akins’ moronic comments didn’t help matters any, as the Haar campaign smeared Hilgers by equating his pro-life stance with Akins’ views.

    And indeed, if the best the NEGOP can do is to continue re-electing Republicans that vote like Dems half of the time, then one really has to wonder what the hell is going on.

    I don’t know if the ‘new direction’ being espoused by many is the right one, and I know things could be a hell of a lot worse…but they could be a heck of a lot better, too.

  28. Kumquat says:

    Why is the NE GOP sponsoring a fundraiser of Attorneys for Dan Welch. It says that the candidate and his committee never authorized it, but it sure seems like the GOP has picked their man in the 2013 mayoral race. Wonder how Jean, Dave and Brad feel about that. Isn’t Ashford an attorney as well? When did the party start to choose someone over another within their own party. Doesn’t reflect well unless…this couldn’t be inside politics could it?

  29. Jordan McGrain says:

    The NEGOP mistakenly shared incorrect details about the Welch event in last Friday’s Chairman’s report, so we agreed to send a correction. The NEGOP is happy to share details of any Republican candidate event, including Jean Stothert and Dave Nabity, through email blast, social media, etc when the information is provided to us..

    Brad Ashford is not a registered Republican, so I could not care less how he feels about it.

  30. Occam's Razor says:

    The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

    Advice, try applying Occam’s Razor before you post. Look it up if you don’t know what that is.

  31. Kate says:

    Since the NEGOP is responsible for Voter ID and Winner Take All not passing, along with the Governor’s tax cut package getting scaled down, the passage of prenatal care for illegals and the failure to get rid of the non-partisan legislature, and the successful elections of RINOS like Kathy Campbell, how would each of you blaming the NEGOP turn these failures into success?

    I would prefer actual, tangible ideas too.

    And go…

  32. ricky says:

    Wonder why Senator Charlie Janssen’s name is tossed about for higher office? Isn’t he the guy that cost Fremont about a million dollars in legal fees? Isn’t he the guy that could not get his right-wing agenda through the Unicam?
    Isn’t Janssen on the far right spectrum of Nebraska politics whose popularity in Omaha and Lincoln is nil? Give me a break he’s going nowhere.

    ricky from omaha

  33. Romney was absolutely right. says:

    It’s not the State GOP’s fault that Haar got re-elected or that the Dems picked up a couple of legislative seats. Dems win political races because stupid and lazy people who want to leach off of the prosperity created by others exist and vote in sufficient numbers that Democrats can get elected in a lot of places without having to try too hard. They just give away other people’s money and the beneficiaries of that largesse vote Democrat to keep the gravy train flowing.

    And our public schools are churning out a generation of stupid and lazy people who think more government is the answer to all of their problems. Can’t pay your mortgage? Hey, Obama has a free government program for that. Need a new appliance? Hey, same answer. Can’t pay your student loan back? Well, then, you better vote Democrat because, without Democrats, there might not be student loans to forgive.

    And, hey, life will be grand as soon as the rich start paying their fair share. (Apparently, the top 10% shouldering 70% of the tax burden isn’t fair to the bottom 50% who essentially pay nothing at all.)

  34. Chris Scott says:

    This Scotty Chriss seems like a really go getter and I need to look into this new KFAD radio station as I have yet to be a guest on it. Got to go and prepare for an OWH interview.


  35. Anonymous says:

    @Romney was absolutely right: Turn off Fox News!
    Polls have shown that those who watch Fox News know less than those who watch no news. Your non-factual rant is a perfect example.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Deny reality all you want, which seems strange for a hard-science professor.

    I seem to remember that your presidential predictions were completely wrong. Perhaps you should realize that you know Chemistry, but know nothing of polling. I don’t find any pollsters claiming they know more about your field than you do.

  37. RWP says:

    Deny reality all you want, which seems strange for a hard-science professor.

    I read the poll. I could cite it. You probably can’t.

    I’m sure you seem to remember a lot of things. Give up the dope, and some of those ‘memories’ will fade.

  38. never left the neb says:

    I certainly hope that Brian understands that the constant destruction of sitting office holders only damages the party more. You don’t build yourself up by destroying those that have already succeeded. The Party needs to start supporting those already in office and expand into the seats that are being held hostage by the Dems, for example the city and county offices.

  39. Anonymous2 says:

    And yet another poll, from Farleigh University, with the same results. Surveyed 1,185 random people by landline and cell phone. Google it.

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