2012 Leavenworth Street Nebraska Politician of the Year

Deb Fischer

U.S. Senator Elect Deb Fischer is the 2012 Leavenworth Street Nebraska Politician of the Year.


Probably not. But this honor is not based on many of the reason some have suggested.

First let’s get over all of the “first woman” accolades. One’s gender doesn’t merit the award.
Next, get yourself past the “last minute” primary victory part as well. Resources are important, but they only support an effort. They don’t make it.

Most of the qualities for a successful pol are the decision one makes.

So let’s start with her decision to RUN. Oh you chuckle at that, yeah? Everyone knew that Jon Bruning was in — and many were ready to give him the nomination, especially after he had stepped aside for Mike Johanns last time.

But when Don Stenberg factored himself into the race — and got himself some national support to pump up his campaign, there was a clear split among the party faithful. And there was also a VERY broad section of the GOP Primary that hadn’t made up their mind.

And then Fischer made up hers.

Had anyone heard of her? Well (FWIW), we hadn’t. We openly scoffed at her candidacy.
But we had not, like she had, really considered the opening that was available in a three person race.

But she also had to prove herself to the public. She needed something to hang her hat on. And with that she stepped up with her roads funding bill. She made it clear that she was willing to go against the wishes of the Governor, and then be successful in her efforts no matter what the popular Governor thought or did. (Oh, and funny how we haven’t heard much from all of those who said she was trying to buy 3rd District votes with that law, after the OWH found that most of the money will stay in Omaha and Lincoln anyway…)

And then there was a strategy of laying low in the primary. Hey we wanted her to step up in the debates more. Take some tough shots. She and her campaign (managed by the Aaron Trost) decided to stay 100% positive. A tricky decision in a primary where the mud was flying – particularly against Bruning. She stayed dry and clean and you can bet that voters recognized this.

She established herself as a tough legislator.
She established herself as a clean and viable candidate.
And she established herself as someone who could garner significant support when she needed it.

Nebraska GOP voters took notice, and completed the deal.

And in the General, she stayed the course.
She never got flustered by Bob Kerrey and his 100% negative campaign.
She took care of business raising money, campaigning hard, holding her own in debate after debate after debate with Kerrey — who told anyone who would listen how he was going to clean her clock.

And then on Election Day the voters finished the deal once more.
Because she let them know that she is smart, capable and will represent Nebraska well.

That makes her makes her the 2012 Pol of the Year.
Congrats Senator.
(We are looking forward to the next 6 years.)


Fahleson and McGrain

Who else?

Well, many point to the influence of outside groups in these past elections.

Tea Party.
Club for Growth.
Independent PACs.

And…Ron Paul.

A’member him?

The Paulies showed their grit in Nebraska recently by organizing themselves significantly at the county level — taking over the Douglas County Party.

And they made it clear they were gunning for the State Party. Particularly the seat of retiring Chairman Mark Fahleson.

And then there was the very significant threat that they were going to take over the State Convention and provide an embarrassment to the actual nominee, Mitt Romney, at the national GOP convention.

And Fahleson, and GOP Executive Director Jordan McGrain started organizing and counting on their own.

First Fahleson kicked those who wanted his office squarely in the groin by announcing that he was passing up the National Committeeman gig and instead staying as Chairman. Boom went the dynamite.

And then Fahleson and McGrain — with the Romney campaign in town watching every step — put all their ducks in a row, clamped down on the proceedings, and showed that they too could be organized. And that they could count. And that they were not going to send a blow to the national convention from Nebraska.

That was no small feat — and Fahleson and McGrain were certainly not alone in the effort.
But they were the leaders as it all went down.

And for that, we congratulate them as, if not Pols of the Year, maybe…Operatives of the Year.

(Or whatever accolade you want to put on a ribbon.)


Couch (a/k/a/ "Sofa")

Third Runner-Up:

Bob Kerrey’s Sister’s Couch

If Nebraska were more like Massachusetts or New York, maybe the bald-faced power grab by Bob Kerrey would not have been such a big deal.

But when Kerrey, after spending 12 years firmly planted in New York City, announced that his new home in Nebraska was actually the couch in his sister’s basement, the clear majority of Nebraskans shook their heads and never accepted the proposition.

And we credit Mark Fahleson again for not letting the issue die — continuing to challenge Kerrey’s Nebraska residency in court — and not letting Nebraskans forget about Kerrey’s real home.

The issue never died for Kerrey, all the way up to General Election Day.

And all people had to remember was a basement couch.
(Hope it was comfy.)


Thanks for reading everyone!


  1. Lil Mac says:

    Sweeper, good calls. Especially regarding Fischer’s careful choice to go high road and stay there, which is the most painful and difficult test for any politician. Most cannot do it; many won’t even try. It is incredibly difficult to crawl up and hang on a political cross voluntarily as enemies shoot arrows into you and humiliate you while you speak calming good words to the crowd day after day, and while all who love you scream out that you must hit back, even as your enemies too do all they can to tempt you to drop into the mud where your too-human reaction for revenge destroys you in the eyes of voters.

    Fischer proved her mettle, just as Kerrey proved his lack thereof by stabbing Hassebrook and then abusing Fischer for months. This was beyond the issues, beyond politics. There was something classic about this race and its outcome; her ennobling strategy and grit to carry it through and his low path and downfall so terrible of his own doing.

  2. Voter says:

    NEGOP worked very hard on convention but if Ron Paul had more delegates it would not made a bit of difference. Would rather have had the NEGOP win Acela Turco and Richard Carter’s race over winning against the Republican Liberty Caucus. Definetly agree with the Deb Fischer part though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    NEGOP can’t “win” those races. Republican groups spent around $75K against Kolowski and Crawford. At some point, it’s up to the candidates, right? Or maybe the loudmouth DCRP and RLCNE could have spent more time with Acela and less with Erica Fish? Just a thought.

  4. Voter says:

    My point being is that the whole Ron Paul convention thing had nothing to do with embarrassing the state but about embarrassing the Governor who wanted an appointment. No one in the public cared about how many delegates Paul got. Even Mitt’s recognized the Paul delegates. NEGOP certainly won the convention battle but lost the war when it came to Romney. I suspect that many Ron Paul people voted for Johnson or stated home. Do your really think the Maine Republican party is walking around in shame? No one cares about about delegate counts as everyone knew Romney would win.

    And let’s be honest, Fahelson’s move is delaying the inevitable as many of the Republican Liberty Caucus did not go away as hoped and will probably have a major impact on the new chairman.

    You are spot on though that the candidates are most at fault. Acela was not the strongest of candidates and would not take the advice of the people she paid to give her advice.
    You are correct in the

  5. Anonymous is correct says:

    Candidates are responsible for their campaigns; however political divisions in a party can sink the best executed campaigns. Voter sputters that RLCNE did not want to embarrass the state, but their actions demonstrate that embarrassing Mitt and Nebraska was their sole goal. Voter is a sad representative of a Ron Paul supporter because he/she sits in the cheap seats and criticizes and REFUSES to support candidates that do not pledges their undying support of the Liberty Caucus.

    Acela ran a good campaign and close to upsetting an opponent who dominated opponents by 15+ points. Acela ran a campaign which made me proud and she does takes responsibility for her loss.

    However, the DCRP and RLCNE members are Ron Paul obsessed and refuse to take blame for their wasting of resources and allowing democratic advocates to take Senate seats in the Nebraska Legislature. Districts 31 only needed 700 (or so) more voters to turn out for Acela, and historically, the DCRP could have turned out the votes to win this seat. But the DCRP ignored the Legislative races in Western Douglas County (even though the DCRP chair lived in this region of the county) and allowed Democrats to win a historic conservative seat.

    Nebraska now faces higher spending, bills to increase spending, support Obamacare, recruit illegals, fund Plan Parenthood, etc. that will be introduced by Rick Kolowski.

    I find it reprehensible that RLCNE cheerleaders like ‘Voter’ blame and ridicule heroes like Acela who put it on the line to jump in the fight and battle for their beliefs; even though they face impossible odds.

  6. Anonymous is correct says:

    Where were you Voter? Did you help? Or did you watch from the cheap seats?

    My facts are correct and your quest for candidates who pledge their souls to RLCNE will cost us our liberty.

    End your obsession with Lee’s seat and support lower ticket candidates.

  7. Voter says:

    Bryan is no paulbot but keep the smears up! Btw how did republicans do with the youth and minority vote?? Hilgers loss! Turco loss! Carter loss! Keep patting yourself on the back though!

  8. Anonymous is correct says:

    Voter, as chair of DCRP, you will have the ownership of winning races. Paulbots and RLCNE candidates won’t win. Brian, you will have to recruit sane candidates who can win.

    Voter, you keep blaming the candidates. DCRP did not help Republican candidates. You will soon learn the price Nebraskans will be pay because of the Teacher Unions and Dick Holland. To bad DCRP and RLCNE celebrate Republican losses.

    Shame on you Voter.

  9. RWP says:

    Let’s stop supporting Jeff Fortenberry, who yesterday voted for a bill with $41 in tax increases for every $ in spending cuts, and which, per CBO, added $3.9 tn to the debt.

    Any actual real Reublican care to run in a District 1 Primary?

  10. Interested Observer says:

    Ah, didn’t Mike Johanns vote for that same bill and isn’t he a Republican, too? Why didn’t you mention his as well?

    The New York Times article about the House vote says:
    ““After more than a decade of criticizing these tax cuts,” said Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, “Democrats are finally joining Republicans in making them permanent. Republicans and the American people are getting something really important, permanent tax relief.”” Mr Camp is a Republican, but when he said “permanent tax relief”, what exactly does he mean? Won’t we still have trillion dollar annual deficits? Won’t those borrowed dollars eventually have to be paid back later on, with hundreds of billions of dollars of interest? Won’t all those dollars have to come from future taxes and most likely future tax increases? How “permanent” is all or any of that then, actually?

    How legitimate is our perception of our economy today and how legitimate is the economy, itself, if it can’t actually sustain our government doing those things that a government should do? I haven’t said this part before, but it annoys me whenever anyone talks about the Clinton “budget surpluses”. There never were actual surpluses then. Even in the late ’90’s when people talked about the surplus, the government still didn’t actually have enough revenue to pay all the expenses AND pay all the payments on the national debt. I understand they only paid the payments on the publicly held portion of the national debt with revenues, but even then didn’t actually have sufficient revenue to also pay the payments on the intra-governmental holdings of national debt. Also, if it weren’t for Allan Greenspan’s camouflaged inflation during his entire tenure at the Federal Reserve, including the tech bubble and the housing bubble, there still wouldn’t have been the expanded turnover of dollars to create the false perception of a roaring economy and it’s related budget “surpluses”.

    I thought that I remembered that some of the Bush tax cuts were intended to be temporary, to stimulate the economy that had just faltered due to the economic recession caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks that had essentially shut down the travel industry and it’s related businesses, among other things.

    This inexcusable deficit spending is the most greedy and selfish thing imaginable! Borrowing from future generations just so fat, lazy people today can live beyond their own means, have whatever they want, without actually paying for it! Nice instant gratification. I simply cannot understand why able bodied Americans can’t just pull their own weight and pay their own way in life. Why so many feel such an exaggerated sense of entitlement, that they don’t actually have to work for a living like all the rest of us do?

  11. Macdaddy says:

    The American people are not serious about the problems we face. Therefore, I support this deal because it will give me more money to better prepare my family for the coming Depression. I also supported going off the cliff. In fact, I support anything that Washington comes up with because none of the proposals are serious. None of them, Ryan’s ill-fated plan included, dared address the problems we face. We voted for this mess. Enjoy the ride.

  12. Macdaddy says:

    We are the richest, most powerful nation on Earth, indeed. Two days into the New Year and nobody has the foggiest idea of how much money is supposed to come out of our pay checks. And nobody cares.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The easiest way to trim the pork and pay down our $16T debt this year? It’s easy, get rid of all military spending that isn’t directly related to protecting the shores and shipping lanes of our nation. We need to stop policing the world.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The shipping lanes America uses to economically survive extend entirely around the world. Or did you think the USA ships goods only from US ports to US ports? I’d explain more of military and economic reality to you but you obviously have never seen a globe.

  15. Macdaddy says:

    The US spent $700 billion on defense in 2011. Our annual deficits since the Ascension of The One has been over $1200 billion every year. My apologies to my first grade teacher, but I don’t see how Anon 12:06’s math adds up. Those maths is hard.

  16. Interested Observer says:

    Since I’m on my inflation soapbox today, I have another example. A very fundamental definition of inflation is “the money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth”, that excess above the rate of economic growth being the issue. Or another way, inflation occurs when you have too much money flooding in.

    Twenty years ago, Japan began to realize that their unprecedented, robust economic growth was not actual real growth after all, but instead was just plain, old fashioned inflation. The government determined that they had to profoundly reduce the rate of inflation before their economy exploded. One comparative example was shaking up a bottle of beer or soft drink and then suddenly opening that bottle and having the contents violently foam out. RWP, please help me here. I think I remember my old Chemistry Professor in Hamilton Hall calling that “decarboxylating”. RWP, is that the right word? Anyway, the Japanese Government decided to S L O W L Y open the lid and S L O W L Y let off the excess pressure in a very controlled manner, instead of simply letting the bottle explode. Their economic growth has been almost stagnant since, but at least it didn’t violently explode.

    I’m going to also suggest that the rise in health care costs in the U.S. today is specifically BECAUSE of the hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars the Federal Government is flooding into the health care industry, especially through Medicare and Medicaid. It appears that hospitals in all parts of Nebraska continue to add on and remodel since they have such extraordinary funds flowing in. I would almost describe this as a Health Care “Bubble”.

    I am absolutely convinced that the quality of health care today is largely disconnected from the amount of dollars spent on health care. I am also convinced that because of this and because of the obvious visible evidence of hospital and other health care construction, that the excessive dollars spent could be significantly reduced, WITHOUT affecting the quality of care provided to the actual patients.

  17. RWP says:

    Decarboxylation is loss of CO2, but usually from a molecule, not a solution. I’d call what a soda bottle does outgassing.

    Japan’s deflation has mystified a lot of economists, but many put the blame on a too-high savings rate (paradox of thrift) and incredibly low birth rate.

  18. Biology teacher says:

    Anonymous @ 2:50 and 2:51, Snot comes from a nose, semen comes from a prick. You don’t deserve any respect and you are childish.

  19. Interested Observer says:

    Did all of you see what John Boehner said to Harry Reid last Friday just outside the Oval Office in the White House? The very same thing I’ve always thought anytime I’ve ever seen Harry Reid! LOL

  20. Lil Mac says:

    That was indeed funny. And it was well deserved. For Reid had first called Boehner a “dictator” on the floor of the Senate for Boehner doing his job in the House, like Reid does his job in the Senate. And considering that if Boehner really was a dictator he’d have had Reid shot, Reid got off easy with a traditional invite to explore his own neither regions. Back in the old days, Senators caned each other senseless. Yet this arguing does make sense. It is those who bemoan it as dysfunctional that is silly. For deliberative politics is a war, just short of bloodshed, for the future of our nation. And opinions differ. The average loving family cannot make it through a holiday dinner without arguments. Of course politicians fight. Most of them don’t fight hard enough or well enough. So make some popcorn and sit back and enjoy the gridlock. It is what makes us free.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Are you calling Richard Carter a Paulbot then?! Afterall, Carter joined the RLC long before Baumgart and even signed their pledge and received their endorsement. Time to grow up!

  22. Chris Scott says:

    Bryan is no Paulbot nor am I. You use this smear because some in the party hate paulbots and it is politically expedient. Smear away but don’t get in a tissy when Democrats falsely smear Republican candidates. You wouldn’t want anyone to think your a hypocrite (which of course you are.)

  23. narcissist says:

    Nice McGrain…you nominated yourself for “operatives of the year”?! You give Chris Scott crap all while crowning yourself on your own web blog? And for what I’ll never know. Accomplishing the least?! What a riot!

  24. Anonymous says:

    “The average loving family cannot make it through a holiday dinner without arguments.” – Lil Mac

    Perhaps in a disfunctional family such as yours. In most of our families in Nebraska, we try to get along with one another.

  25. ITK says:

    If you think that Carter’s loss was because of help from the NEGOP or lack of help from any party you are sadly mistaken. He was an extremely flawed candidate who should be questioned about his “Conservative” or “Republican” credentials. It is not hard to find past article he wrote bashing Lee Terry and the Republicans on his little page from a website that I wlll not mention (SS rules). Everyone said, oh Richard is a die-hard Republican — I ask you idiots who think that to look at his past statements and ask yourself — Why??? How??? Really??? Sue Crawford may have had the best planned attack to undermine a candidate in a long time and I have been around politics for a very, very long time. Obviously the Carter campaign didn’t do any research on themselves and eliminate past mistakes and statements that could harm their candidate and all the Crawford campaign did was question his past which was pretty relevant IMO.

    I’ll just leave it at — it’s been 1719 days since he has posted at that blog and all his relevant posts are still up there for the entire world to see and question what he actually believes.

  26. ITK says:

    Carter a “paulbot”?? Ha! Ha! Ha! He can’t decide what party he wants to be. One day he is a Republican. Then supposedly becomes an Independent? Then switches to be a “Democrat” and run against Lee Terry, then get’s blasted in the primary by Jim Esch and switches back to being a “Republican”.

    I doubt Richard even knows what he really believes.

  27. Lil Mac says:

    11:03 Anonymous. Karma will come back at you for you slamming my family. I didn’t slam your family.

    But I do thank you for stumbling in to make my point, i.e. that all loving families “try to get along” but of course argue at times, and thus we can expect no less from the diverse humanity of competing interests that is the American electorate and its representatives who fight tooth and nail to keep their constituents free, prosperous and best served in a tough competition with other citizens across the land, who often suffer what benefits you and vice versa. Obama meekly obeying Republicans, and them him, now that would be truly dysfunctional. Of course they argue. Opinions vary. People advocate their needs. But not all people turn that against someone’s family as you do.

    Since you made this personal when you attacked my family, I personally offer my sympathy to your family. For people like you who respond to a political point by attacking the loved ones of others, you are the sort of broken beings who are a sad burden for any loving family, as yours surely is. For the way you act here is the way you act at your holiday table. And that makes me profoundly sad for those who have to put up with you out of love, and profoundly happy that I am not in your shoes. My guess is that you have a very nice family.

  28. kingmaker says:

    Deb Fischer – sure, no brainer. She came out of nowhere and earned the trust of Nebraskans. Congrats to her.

    But, echoing an earlier post, if you’re looking to honor a behind-the-scenes power broker, you have to throw some attention to Jessica Moenning, who really initiated Fischer getting into the race, rallied important early support behind her, and played a huge role in the last-minute surge for her in the primary. If there’s recognition for a skillful and gutsy pol, 2012 was Jessica Moenning’s year.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ricketts won his primary managed by Pat who then quit, leaving Jessica to drive Ricketts down to defeat in the general. Or was that loss Ricketts’ own fault? Because if it was his fault, and it was his fault, then Fisher’s win is due to Fischer and not Jessica, just as Kerrey’s loss was Kerrey’s own fault. Don’t confuse the blacksmith with the hammers they choose and use to do the job.

  30. Best Political Ad says:

    Street Sweeper- I nominate Spenser Zinmerman’s commercial as the best with the mad max voice over. Pan to keystone been case. Please link to video for all our viewing pleasure!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Anon@12:20, Not at all. I’ve got a pair, so mere words don’t hurt me – unlike most of the fragile egos that post here.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Divorce lawyers love people who test their maturity by doing nothing while others slander their spouse. Good luck with that, Romeo.

  33. Ghost of NEGOP future says:

    How many of their targeted legislature races did NEGOP win this year? Senators Hilgers, Zimmerman, Turco,& Carter would like to know.

  34. Late Nominee says:

    How about the sophomoric trolls who 1 or 2 line comment crap that extends the posts out to 100+ comments and drives away regular readers.

    Bring some substance or stay off. You are dirtying up Leavenworth. Keep it green.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Late Nominee, if you want to read without the peanut gallery comments, get yourself a subscription to a newspaper – and skip the editorial page.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Or better yet, go read New Nebraska Network. There hasn’t been anything new posted on there since October of last year.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Yea, all these bloggers’ comments are getting in the way of bloggers commenting. Why can’t we have a nice quiet blog where nothing happens and smoothness reigns. And while we are at it, lets have a glazed eyed Congress and White House who all agree on every issue. Won’t that be nice?

  38. Interested Observer says:

    That’s pretty good when even the New York Times blasts Al Gore for selling out his failing TV channel, Current TV, to Al Jazeera and personally pocketing around $100 MILLION.

    SS, I hope I didn’t say anything SO inappropriate here that it would force you to delete this comment, TOO!

  39. Omaha Watcher says:

    Former Omaha World Herald Editor and Chief Harold Anderssen had intereesting observations about the mayor’s race on his blog yesterday. He sees it as a Suttle v Stothert race with Ashford as a spoiler.

    Most interesting was his comment about the other two GOP candidates. Andersen said “The two other announced candidates—former councilman Dan Welch and perpetual political busybody Dave Nabity—will surprise me if they turn out to be serious contenders for one of the two nominations.”

    Looks like the GOPers better rally around Stothert or they will see an either Suttle or Ashford as the next mayor.

  40. Interested Observer says:

    The funny thing about being “inappropriate” is that it was a direct copy and paste from the World-Herald from the convention! They were HER words, not mine.

  41. Macdaddy says:

    The fiscal cliff avoidance bill that Obama is going to sign by auto pen will collect $60 billion a year in new taxes. And it gives $60 billion a year in business tax breaks and subsidies. Good to know those tax increases that were going to make America the most awesomest place on Earth went right to Obama’s rich, rich buddies. Be proud of your vote, America.

    BTW, payroll tax break is over. Get back to work.

  42. TexasAnnie says:

    Yep, Macdaddy! It’s always about business tax breaks and subsidies, even when they are claiming it’s about tax cuts for the middle class. I’ve said it here before and I’ll keep on this soapbox:
    The Congress Should Be Stripped Of It’s Power To Chose Economic Winners and Losers.
    And so should state legislatures for that matter. We need a flat tax, no exceptions and no excuses. Or better yet, a consumption tax to eliminate and replace the IRS.

  43. Can't Wait says:

    If the rumors are true that Former Senator Hagel will be Secretary of Defense Nominee, Senator Fischer who is now on the Armed Services Committee will get to give Former Senator Hagel her opinion of if he is the right man for that job…

  44. Anonymous says:

    Chuck Hagel is a valid candidate for the job. Anyone that opposes his nomination is going to do it for political reasons, not for whether or not he would make a good Defense Secretary and carry out the requirements of the office. Enough of this partisan crap. Let’s just give the guy the same chance he’d get if he were from your party.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Jo, it doesn’t really matter unless you are still all hung up on your partisan biases. The President’s cabinet doesn’t have to have political purity.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see that Bryan Baumgart thinks that the people using Robert’s Rules at the Sarpy County GOP election to get what they want is “business as usual”, and not in the good way. In case anyone missed it, but this is politics..don’t be surprised that there is a high level of internal politics in a party organization.

  47. Chris Scott says:

    What happened in Sarpy was garbage. I will say that the NEGOP had nothing to do with it as I did not see Fahelson once talk to Jerry Anderson. Please don’t tell me these new people were there simply to get involved. I heard one lady show up and say “ok what do I do Jerry told me to show up” she was then give a slate card. When the Omaha Young Republicans held their elections they welcomed new people but said they would be added after the election since they were new and the integrity of the election needs to be preserved. That seemed to me very fair and reasonable. Now why is that precedence applied in Sarpy? Pick a standard that is fair and reasonable and stick to it. Don’t change the standard depending upon how many of your people will be seated. Don’t be Hippocrates!

  48. Anonymous says:

    You mean newly seated members of the central committee were following the rules in trying to reconsider a previous motion in accordance with Robert’s Rules? The gall! If anybody had any questions about the purpose any of the new people, the time to ask them was when they were presented to be seated on the central committee, in public. Not online on blogs.

    And the Young Republicans had the new people seated after the election because that’s how the constitution of the YRs was written. Once you pay the dues, you become a member AFTER the next meeting. They all just happened to join right before the meeting with the elections.

  49. Chris Scott says:

    Actually the agreed upon understanding at Sarpy was to seat new members after the election. They tried to pull a fast on and got their hands caught in the cookie jar. It looked bad for a few pols but spin away.

  50. Anonymous says:

    In 1940, FDR appointed Republican Henry Stimson Secretary of War and Republican Frank Knox as Navy Secretary. The RNC was really pissed about that. Yet Republicans Stimson and Knox led our military past Pearl Harbor and through WWII. Lucky us that FDR chose those Republicans. — JFK’s Treasury Secretary was GOP Douglas Dillon who had contributed heavily to JFK’s opponent Nixon. — Pres Nixon appointed Democrat Daniel Moynihan his domestic policy counselor and Democrat John Connolly as Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury. Nixon almost replaced GOP VP Agnew with Democrat Connolly as Nixon’s VP running mate but Nixon bowed to GOP pressure. Since targeting Agnew was a stepping stone toward impeaching Nixon, the GOP’s greatest embarrassment –Nixon’s resignation- might have been averted had Agnew been replaced. But that’s hindsight.

    Hagel as SecDef for a Democrat Administration isn’t plowing new ground. And if you don’t like Hagel offering opinions that piss you off, you will like him keeping busy as a SecDef who does the shooting not the talking. The same dimwitted Media that giggles at Hagel’s sharply opinionated commentary is also largely unaware of Hagel’s history of successfully managing, fixing and doing more with less ala very large complex national and international endeavors. Hagel would make a good SecDef and it would shut him up on that which most pisses off Republicans. Sort of a win, win deal.

  51. Macdaddy says:

    Hagel will be an unmitigated disaster as SecDef and Obama knows it. But that’s the point anyway, isn’t it? You talk about Hagel’s management skills. Huh? When? Where? He’s currently a “Professor,” which, last I checked, wasn’t really a management-oriented job. His military career consisted of being a squad leader, his business career consisted of him bouncing from company to company.

    But let’s focus on why he would be an exceptionally bad SecDef: he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the military. At a time when the Iraq war could be won or lost, he sided with those who wanted to see us lose there and he did it in such a way to try to keep his fingerprints off of it. Nebraskans saw right through it, Jon Bruning stepped up, and Chuck Hagel ran away. Don’t even get me started on his anti-Semitism. On the Left, we have the LGBT community against him. Hmmm, I wonder how much he would bend over for that constituency group should be get SecDef? Probably a lot to show that he’s one of them. Hagel is a snake in the grass. He has no business being anywhere near political power. Of course, that makes him perfect for what Obama wants to do to the military.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Among whom was the understanding made? Did the new members say they wouldn’t try what they tried? I imagine they didn’t.

    And if that’s the case, then thats the “liberty Republicans”/Paulers being naive and assuming something that wasn’t.

  53. Chris Scott says:

    Ahhh the motion approved was to seat them after election. But it’s over and the majority of the voting members agreed with me and Ken Ragland’s decision. There is the spirit and the letter of the law. It was underhanded but actually positive in the sense that you got the opportunity see some pols true colors. Do you think that Mr. Anderson who is the leader of the Glenn Beck 9-12 Tea Party will help bridge the gaps with some of the areas that Republicans are not strong in with voters particularly with minority and young voters?

    It’s over move forward and work together.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I get it now…. you’re panties are still in a wad about your and Bryan Buamgart’s failed takeover attempt of the Omaha YRs.

  55. Chris Scott says:

    Lol I put taking over the YRs right after finding the Loch Ness monster on my bucket list. You notion that obtaining a leadership position in the YRs is some coveted crown jewel that would be fought fiercely for is odd. YRs do great work and I am happy simply being a member

  56. Anonymous says:

    Don’t get you started? Doesn’t take much to do that. As for correcting your ignorance regarding management skills, how about Congressional Chief of Staff, Reagan Undersecretary, founder Vanguard Cellular, CEO of USO, G7 Summit, Red Cross, Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, Pres McCarthy Group, CEO AIS, Chair of the Atlantic Council and Chair President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. You say Hagel doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the military? Where’s your war record? Brunings? And you are CEO of what? Your hate is convincing but your reason lacks much. And while you are right about Hagel’s attacks on GOP leaders, what did you expect? That Obama would invite the RNC Chairman to serve?

  57. Anon says:

    Chris is right. The move revealed some important things. Not only did the motion to reconsider get voted down, Levi actually picked up additional votes/support. Obviously, some of the folks who had previously voted for Anderson agreed that it was a shady move and wanted no part of it. It appears that it is you (Anonymous 11:43) that has your panties in a bunch. You are the one who can’t get over the YR election and it appears the Sarpy election now either. The move may have been legal, but to deny that it was shady only reveals your true character. It’s easy to claim support for such unethical behavior anonymously. If you really feel it was on the up-and-up, I challenge you to do so under your true identity so the rest of us can see the true character you possess. They say character is how you act when no one is looking. I would think that includes how you post when no one knows it is you. Would you post the same under your true name? If not, maybe it’s time to question your own character. In the end, it doesn’t surprise me that a person of your moral character would support such a move. Maybe you were one of the backstabbers?

  58. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 12:14, those are mighty slim pickings for a management record. Half of those he was a board member with zero management responsibilities. Do you really want to get into his record at the USO? That’s where his anti-Semitism really shined. As far as my CEO record goes, quit trying to change the subject unless you’ve heard rumors Obama was going to nominate me for SecDef. Hagel is a tremendous self-promoter, along the lines of Bob Kerrey and Obama. There are a gazillion Americans with war records equal to Hagel’s, none of whom had the opportunity to stand up on a national stage during a war and support the troops, but instead tried to stab them in the back. He and John Kerry will be two peas in a pod.

  59. RWP says:

    I must say I don’t understand the Hagel nomination. Even some fairly reliably Democratic Jewish groups are opposing it. There are estimates he may lose 10 Dem senators, which would finish him. His record on Hamas, on Iran sanctions, on being wrong multiple times on Iraq, all will be used against him. No doubt Obama figures he can’t back away from another conformation battle, but sheesh, he was more likely to get Susan Rice confirmed than Chuck Hagel.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Anon 8:56 and 10:50. I’m not buying it. You are obviously a dem troll trying to make the GOP look bad. As if a true republican would support acts of betrayal to win an election. That might be acceptable in your party, but the GOP actually has principles to stand on. Busted. Move along.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I am not so sure about that. I remember Matt Pinkerten once posting on his facebook page that elections are like chess games. Basically he said something to the extent of you have to do whatever it takes to get votes. I think it was over sen.coash cancelling on his buddy Ted Nugent who had volunteered to do a fundraiser for his campaign. Nugent had made some comments that Kyle Michaelis didn’t like and sen.coash was taking some heat for not standing by his friend who was doing him a favor. Matt insinuated that it was okay to cave in to the demands of Kyle and New Nebraska in order to preserve votes. It was early May. I’m sure it is still on his fb page. Though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. He also ripped on Deb Fischer on facebook all the way up through the general election. Some of his friends even told him to knock it off. That there were a lot of them getting sick of his comments. There are republicans that treat politics like a game of battleship. It’s not just the democrats. Don’t kid yourself.

  62. Wayne says:

    I know Matt Pinkerton very well and can vouch for his character. He is hard working and committed to the Republican Party. He is just smart enough to recognize that sometimes strategy is more valuable than “character”. There is a high level of internal politics in a party organization and these new people just can’t understand that. They mean well, but their lack of real experience will hurt us as a party in the long run. You have some good young leaders in the republican party as is. People like Matt, and Brandon Petersen, and Andrew Northwall, and Ben Boll, and James Weir, and Travis Keiderling. These people get it. They are experienced and all understand the importance of strategy in party organization. I guarantee that all of these people agree with me when I say there was nothing wrong with attempting to overrule people that were naive enough to vote you onto their central committee. In grown up politics, the ends does outweigh the means.

  63. Anon says:

    and if Baumgart is to naive to realize that principle or character doesn’t win elections, then we are in BIG trouble. He needs to get off his high horse and focus on strategy. Principles don’t win elections. That’s why the dems keep smoking us.

  64. Chris Scott says:

    Wayne of course the people you mentioned agree with you. We will however parts ways when you say strategy is more important than character. It’s over lets just move forward and work together. The move was low rent but this isn’t touch football either.

  65. Chris Scott says:

    Wayne, I also find a bit troubling at the thought of you, the person presiding over the election and in charge of the integrity of the elections strategizing with those stated people. Hopefully that is not the case.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Acts of betrayal? How? I have heard nothing about those new members swearing they would support Levi. The principals I have are based upon the rules. And the rules say that motions can be reconsidered.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 6:50 is obviously just the same dem troll as before. Trying to smear republicans. I don’t buy it. Trying to sell us on the belief that republicans are okay with betrayal as long as it fits within the rules. Get lost troll.

  68. Chris Scott says:

    I have to ask a question. Let me preface it by saying in no way, shape, or form is it meant to be disparaging but rather in the context of strategy. The party has a perceived image right, wrong, or indifferently of being the party uninviting to youth, a party of old white guys, and extremist. Now forgive me for being “naive” when it comes to strategy but in your infinite wisdom you wanted to counteract that perceived image by electing a 72 year old white guy that is head of the Glen Beck faction of the Tea Party.

    Was this actually the strategy is Sarpy County GOP? Brilliant!

  69. Anonymous says:

    Those are somewhat better arguments against Hagel’s nomination than the previous “snake in the grass” nonsense. But if Hagel is such an inept guy you’d think him being in there would embarrass Obama. And his failure to get confirmed would do the same. But arguments here include reasons why he cannot be confirmed and that seems to argue on Obama’s behalf. Hagel is either a float or a sinker. Pick one. We understand you don’t like him. Get in line. But if Hagel is a turd in the punchbowl, it is Obama’s punch. I cannot tell if the fear here is he will fail or that he will succeed.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Im not a dem troll. But how am I trying to smear Republicans? By saying Im for the rules above any naive assumption that everyone HAS to play nice?

    And Chris, who cares? Frankly, anyone who perceives that image would find new faults if you “fixed” those. Saying the GOP is uninviting to youth, full of old white guys and racists is a red-herring argument.

  71. Macdaddy says:

    It might be Obama’s punch but it’s our punchbowl. The performance of the SecDef has effects that last for years after he leaves. It is a vital job and I don’t want a turd at that position. Nominate Hagel for Education Secretary, or Labor if Obama likes him that much. Sometimes you have to save the village idiot from himself.

  72. Anonymous says:

    “As if a true republican would support acts of betrayal to win an election. That might be acceptable in your party, but the GOP actually has principles to stand on.”
    I busted a gut laughing at that one!

  73. Anonymous says:

    Hold up!!! Are you telling me that Wayne Bena and Matt, Brandon Petersen, Andrew Northwall, Ben Boll, James Weir, and Travis Keiderling all approve of this type of behavior? That they agree that, “there was nothing wrong with attempting to overrule people that were naive enough to vote you onto their central committee.” “That the ends does outweigh the means.” That, “strategy is more valuable than “character”? And these people are supposed to be the future of the GOP? Yeah, good luck with that GOP.

  74. Anonymous says:

    So according to Chris Scott, there were elected officials involved? You name the state senators, but who were the Papillion city councilman or other elected officials? I think the people have a right to know the names of their representatives that are involved with this kind of behavior.

  75. Anonymous says:

    The President has one especially direct constitutional job, as CinC. He has more direct control over Defense than any other area of government in terms of least shared responsibility with other branches.

  76. Anonymous says:

    What’s the discussion over Hagel? He’s not a Nebraskan. And he’s not a Republican. Neither of those are requirements for the job.

  77. Scotty Chriss says:

    I love that only after a few years here in Nebraska, I can peddle that I am a political insider and be on Smash Mavis’ show. I can trash anybody I want!

  78. Chris Scott says:

    Check your IP addresses ( which I am sure you do). The above comments are not mine. Btw there is no need to trash someone that openly trashes themselves by showing their true colors and engaging in low rent maneuvers. I have no axes to grind, but I will happily provide sunlight on dark deeds.

  79. Anonymous says:

    The Hagel discussion here is related to the same principled partisan myopia that invited a beatable Obama to beat Romney, to drive down GOP numbers in the House, drive up Democrat numbers in the Senate, and left Obama with more power. Obama is good at being underestimated. He likely sees Hagel being hated by partisans right and left as a big plus among average Americans who loath political partisanship. Against this is a GOP Minority Leader McConnell who must prove himself a liar when he said Hagel has a “clear voice and stature on national security and foreign policy”.

  80. Robert's Rules... says:

    I find it interesting that the Ron Paulers etc. utilized Robert’s Rules to try and get their way in other counties, but when others also utilize Robert’s Rules, they cry foul…

  81. TIP says:

    I find it interesting also that the coup was pulled RIGHT after a “need for unity” speech was made. Here’s a tip. Just say the move was a little low let’s move on and work together. It’s done. It Richard Carter would pull this move lord knows what he would pull in the legislator.

  82. Timothy says:

    Lets not forget Palin’s endorsement which helped in the primary (first hand experience….someone who walked precincts for Fischer).

  83. Spike says:

    I see the majority of you brain dead NE GOPERS have a problem with a man that has a brain & uses it, IE. Chuck Hagel. Instead of feeling pride that a qualified R. Nebraskan was chosen for SOD, you jackasses follow the lead of AIPAC & AIPAC pawn Pols & disown him! Just what is it about you people that makes the greater majority of you so incredibly STUPID??? Like what, 80% of the NE vote for Rummey!

    Yeah SS, DF, LWS Pol of the Year! Question; when you look in the MIRROR, do you see a Jackass looking back at you??

  84. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 8:54, millions upon millions of Americans are not waiting with bated breath for Hagel to be confirmed as SecDec. 99% of Americans could care less. Cabinet appointments really should be about governing well and not winning elections. Obama has failed, yet again, in that respect. You know who does care about who’s SecDef? The 1% of Americans who are in the military and now have to wonder what idiotic and dangerous ideas Hagel has in store for them. Yes, Republicans underestimated the ability of Democrats and their fifth column in the MSM to lie about Romney for months on end. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to stop Obama from appointing a back-stabbing social climber with poor judgement.

  85. Scotty Chriss says:

    Come to my ULTIMATE INSIDER BLOG where Krystan Bon Bon with trash the Omaha Police Department. We are always making stuff up everyday on our site.

  86. RWP says:


    AIPAC hasn’t taken a position on the Hagel nomination. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has. You know Simon Wiesenthal. He survived that fake genocide you, Ahmendinejad and the rest of the left exposed.

  87. Interested Observer says:

    OK, this is just too funny to not mention. Right now, the movie “Man of the Year” is showing on the USA channel. It’s the 2006 movie about how the “not to be taken seriously” Robin Williams character runs a shoestring campaign and comes from way behind to beat the 2 very well known, establishment candidates to win the election. At the end of the movie, he is on the cover of Time magazine as the “Person of the Year”.

    Does this sound at all familiar, especially to be playing right now in the second, held over, week of this article, “2012 Leavenworth Street Nebraskan Politician of the Year”?

  88. Interested Observer says:

    The last line of the movie was the old Mark Twain quote, “Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason”.

  89. RWP says:

    So our 30 ‘Republican’ senators managed to elect a majority of Democrat committee chairs?

    The state GOP is a pathetic joke, a confidence trick played on Nebraskans, who think they’re electing a legislature that reflects their values.

  90. Macdaddy says:

    Why should the NEGOP be any different than the national GOP? Just be thankful they didn’t put Ernie Chambers in as Speaker.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Cabinet appointees don’t govern. But Obama appreciates Republicans believing they do because that helps coat him with Teflon. The question the GOP should be signaling is, why is Obama replacing a Secretary of Defense who refuses to trim national defense? But asking that gets in the way of embracing Obama’s offer to take revenge on the GOP replacement, whom if confirmed will be more obliging to Obama’s purposes, and if defeated at the hands of his own Republicans will allow Obama to say he tried and that will help him to ram through someone who will strip defense down to anorexic levels.

  92. RWP says:

    They tell us if we vote Libertarian, it accomplishes nothing but electing Democrats. So we vote Republican, and they put Democrats in charge.

    A vote for the GOP is clearly a wasted vote.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to Nebraska, RWP, home of the nonpartisan Unicameral. Talk to Bud Pettigrew, maybe he can bring you up to speed on Nebraska’s unique form of nonpartisan government. And quit sampling those legendary concoctions you create in your lab, they’ll mess up your mind.

    Oops, too late.

  94. TexasAnnie says:

    RWP: Sometimes, even when one votes Libertarian it’s a waste (Bob Barr, 2008; he was no Libertarian at heart but took the nomination because “he had name recognition” at the convention).

    Why the expression of remorse about Republicans in the unicameral? The university system will still get the lion’s share of available taxes, even with Democrats chairing the legislative committees.

  95. Chris Scott says:

    I also “liked” Shar-Pei puppies on Facebook as well. But by no means is that an endorsement of Shar-Pei’s as they are known to highly partisan dogs.

  96. RWP says:


    You mistake me for someone who has a particular interest in the university’s legislative appropriation. My own view is it should be privatized.

    In any case, Heineman is pushing the unicam to jack it up $50 m in return for a tuition freeze. It’s a canny move; Nebraska is likely to have a surplus, which the saps in the unicam will use as an excuse to expand Medicaid along Obamacare lines. He knows he won’t get a tax cut out of these Dems and RINOs, so the next best thing is to get the biggest, baddest special interest group, the University of Nebraska, to fight for the money instead. And, of course, if students don’t pay tuition, that’s equivalent to a tax cut.

  97. RWP says:

    The Legislature is non-partisan only for Republicans. The Democrats are under no illusions.

    The unicam remains non-partisan only because of the secret ballot for committee chairs, a travesty that makes ‘open government’ impossible. Like China, our Senators meet in private, grift out deals, and divvy out the spoils.

  98. RWP says:

    ….but I am at an advantage over many of you suckers. I know how my state senator voted. I know that because he’s a Democrat, and so he voted for every Democrat who was running for a committee chair.

  99. Anonymous says:

    So, RWP, why don’t you run for the legislature? You seem to know more about everything than anyone else. Well, at least according to one egocentric UNL chemistry professor, you do.

  100. Interested Observer says:

    I absolutely don’t like the idea of the University System tuition “freeze”, as currently proposed. I thought our smaller government Governor wanted to actually reduce the size of government and now he wants to continue feeding the inflation of our higher education budgets even further? Why not simply FREEZE the University budget, as well as the tuition?

    The Lincoln Journal Star said on January 7, “Heineman said the state will increase NU’s funding from $498 million to $541 million in fiscal 2015 to make up the difference.”

    Taking that comment literally, that $43 million increase represents an 8.6% increase in that one fiscal year. The overall rate of inflation in the U.S. last year was around 1.8% and the University System is getting a budget increase of this magnitude? Doesn’t that 6.8 percentage point difference represent REAL GROWTH? How do we then budget in the following years? Is part of this current growth represented by bricks and mortar construction of expanded space? Doesn’t that expanded space require expanded cost of maintenance, heating/cooling and staffing perpetually?

    Once again, the REASON the cost of higher education is going up so fast is because of all the money that is being wastefully thrown at it! The same way that this is happening to the cost of health care, not to mention WELFARE GRAZING! What in the world is so wrong with a little self-discipline and a little personal responsibility?

  101. Anonymous says:

    Yes, by all means, privatize the Nebraska University system. Then we can let our semi-pro football team fund itself without the need to actually educated those Neanderthals.

  102. so... says:

    Ummm…you mean private universities such as Creighton, Wesleyan, Hastings, Midland, Doane, Dana…oops, sorry about that Blair.

  103. NADC Watcher says:

    So word is that Dave Nabity finished last in fundraising out of the three Republicans running for mayor. I thought he had all of the guys with deep pockets supporting him. Looks like a pretty weak campaign so far.

  104. Matt Pinkerton says:

    I’ve been on political sabbatical since last April and was just doing a little catch up. Judging by the comments above, I did not win POTY?

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