Omaha Mayor’s race: Boy, that escalated quickly

As we alluded to in our earlier post, tasteless t-shirts were not the only thing flying around over the weekend in the Omaha Mayor’s race.

First we received the following flyer against Jean Stothert:

Anti-Stothert mailer 01

Who was this done by? We have no idea, though commenters seem to want to pin it on one camp in particular. Others have suggested that it likely came from a political operative associated with one of the camps — funded by someone with deep pockets in the Omaha business community.

Nonetheless, we were a bit struck by the suggestion that Stothert is not Pro-Life.
Well, on these type of issues, there is one 400 lb gorilla on the issues (that’s not a personal description!) and that is Nebraska Right to Life’s Julie Schmit-Albin.

Julie weighed in on Leavenworth Street’s comment section on the earlier post, and here is what she had to say about Jean Stothert’s Pro-Life stance:

I saw the abortion mailer. The Neb Catholic Conference ought to be livid for the implication that they are involving themselves in this race. The mailer makes it look like it is a current statement from Jean to the Catholic Conference survey when it was from 2006. On the Nebraska Right to Life PAC survey in 2006 Jean did not support taxpayer funding of abortion. We did not endorse Jean or Lathrop in 2006. Our only point of disagreement with Jean in 2006 was over unethical medical research. In 2009 NRL PAC endorsed Jean for City Council. She had had a change of heart on the unethical medical research issue and we called her about it to confirm it.

The current abortion mailer by a bogus entity, “Omaha Alliance for the Public Trust” takes great liberties in contorting Jean’s position on abortion funding, but that’s why bogus groups get to crop up in the waning days of an election. They make their hits and then recede into the shadows without ever having to report to NADC because they’re running as a 501-C-4 (ostensibly), if they even bother file any incorporation papers at all. Note that there is only a P.O. Box listed on the return address for this entity. Who is behind it and why is there no legit address to tie this to real people? As a laborer in the pro-life movement for 31 years I find it interesting that suddenly something calling itself, “Omaha Alliance for the Public Trust” is opining on abortion policy in our State. Funny, I’ve never seen them at the Unicameral.

If others want to pick nits there they are certainly free to, but that issue seems closed to us.

**Update**

We were forwarded this message made by the Nebraska Catholic Conference, which is referenced in the above mailing:

The Nebraska Catholic Conference had nothing to do with the mail piece about which you are seeking help. The Nebraska Catholic Conference does not endorse or oppose any candidate for any public office. We traditionally do multi-issue surveys in conjunction with state elections, but have never done so for any local election. We are a state-level association. Someone took the information from our 2006 survey of candidates for the Legislature and manipulated it to serve their own purposes.

Here is the actual, full quote from the 2006 survey:

Abortion

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, extent to which abortion should be prohibited in Nebraska?

I consider myself pro-life and I would work toward pro life goals as a state senator. My professional background as a nurse allowed me to work to save and prolong life. This has been my profession and I am proud of it. Abortion should be rare and allowed in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. I strongly oppose abortion for the purposes of sex selection or birth control. I also support parental notification and a ban on partial birth abortion.

Using public funds for abortion?

In reference to paying for abortion, I believe poor women should not be denied legal medical services available to the wealthy. I do not support tax dollars being used to encourage abortion over abortion alternatives.

***

Issue #2 on Sunday arose from comments made by former City Councilman, and Mayoral candidate, Dan Welch at a recent Mayoral debate. These were posted on the YouTube and then The Facebook by Jon Tucker and John Orr.

If you’re too lazy busy to watch, Welch says:

“In my opinion, I think we need to go to Lincoln and ask for stricter gun laws.”

After this went up, Welch immediately posted this response:

I regret if a statement I made about gun violence in last week’s debate left a question about my position on the second amendment. Let me be clear – I whole-heartedly support 2nd Amendment rights and do not want to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens in any way.

I am very concerned about gun violence in Omaha and as mayor it would be a top priority for me to reduce gang and gun violence. As I laid out in detail in my Dan Welch Blueprint to Move Omaha Forward – I support stricter gun *sentencing* laws and assigning a gun prosecutor.

I also support modeling an Omaha Ceasefire program similar to the program that has been met with much success in Boston, which includes communicating with known criminals that future acts of violence will be targeted and met with tougher sentencing to remove gangs and guns from the streets.

Welch’s camp also noted that when Dan was on the City Council he voted to allow concealed carry in the city of Omaha.

Which, we believe closes this issue.

But as Ron Brugundy so succinctly put it, “Boy, that escalated quickly.

***

Of course some irony in Welch’s points is that Mayor Jim Suttle has seemed to wrap his campaign around his “call” for some sort of assault weapon ban in Omaha.

Welch at least states what he wants to do, some of his plan etc.

But Suttle? Well, he certainly states the number of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of days since the Westroads massacre that he has sat idly by and done nothing on this issue that he thinks is the most crucial…during his SECOND term. Might have been something to bring up during the 2009 campaign, yeah? Or maybe at SOME point during the past four years, huh?

Or maybe, if he was really serious, or had SOME sort of proposal, he would have run said-proposal past the City Attorney, yup?
Uh, but no. No he has not.

So instead, Mayor Jim Suttle runs with images and ideas of dead bodies to get your vote.
Is that a step up or a step down from paying the homeless to vote?

***

And on the heels of the attacks on Jean Stothert over the weekend, this from U.S. Senator Deb Fischer to Jean on Stothert’s FB page:

Jean, I thank you for your service to your community as a school board and city council member and applaud you for stepping forward to run for Mayor of Omaha. No candidate should have to go through the vile attacks you are facing. Continue to work hard, meeting and listening to the people of Omaha. Your positive message is needed. Stay the course.

***

And this little PSA from the Election Commissioner’s office:

The last day to register to vote for the upcoming Primary Election is Friday, March 22, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. You must register in person at the Douglas County Election Commission office if you wish to vote in the April 2, 2013 Primary Election.

In-person voter registration at the Election Commission office is the only option for voters to register for the first time, re-register at a new address, change political party affiliation, or make any other changes to their registrations for the April 2, 2013 Primary Election.

The Douglas County Election Commission office is located at 225 North 115th Street, Omaha, NE 68154 (two blocks south and one block west of 114th & West Dodge Road).

For more information on voter registration, please visit the Douglas County Election Commission website at www.votedouglascounty.com or call (402) 444-VOTE (8683).

***

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28 comments

  1. Done deal says:

    I find Ms. Stothert’s evolution on this issue very interesting, especially given the time frame. According the the flyer, she supported Taxpayer funded abortion-That is irrefutable. It is her answer, there is no distortion or according to JSA contortion. Question asked and answered. Less than 3 years later she now no longer supports TFA or SCR, just in time for the next election. Keep in mind that she almost won that election to the Legislature. We will never know what her position would be today on either of those issues had she won. Thats the problem with politicians who frequently “evolve” their stance on issues. Her propensity to change, is illustrated quite nicely by Mr. Jerram and I quote” I was impressed with Stothert’s work on the contract, especially her ability to compromise after taking such a hard line against the union’s contract earlier in her tenure.” Now that all sounds very familiar. Hopefully its not a sign of whats too come. What politicians say and do is important and more importantly, relevant, particularly during the election process.

  2. Speaking of Stripper Pole says:

    Wasn’t there an investigation of firefighters having ladies in a Fire Station after hours out West on Pacific Street? I heard the ladies may have been dancers and not “Tap” mind you.

  3. Is it true? says:

    Did some hunting this morning to see if this flier was telling the truth. Here is the verbatim question and answer they are referring to from the Catholic Conference Election Supplement in the mailer:

    Question: “Using public funds for abortion?”
    Jean’s answer: “In reference to paying for abortion, I believe poor women should not be denied legal medical services available to the wealthy. I do not support tax dollars being used to encourage abortion over abortion alternatives.”

    Take what you will from this. Personally, sounds like she’s skirting around the issue.

  4. TexasAnnie says:

    It’s easy enough to think this through folks. Legal medical services available to the wealthy are usually (but perhaps not in Nebraska) available to the poor in the form of a federal/state program. It’s called Medicaid. If Stothert believes taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortion, she should say so. It’s okay for her to change her mind. But she needs to say so.

    Personally, I do not believe abortion should be paid for with taxpayer dollars AND I believe Nebraska Right to Life should keep out of anyone’s privately-funded decision to avail themselves of this legal medical decision. Problem solved! Every time elections devolve to the abortion issue, those of us seeking tax reform become marginalized. Geez…

  5. Dave Rowe says:

    Probably the first source to correct the Fischer post on the Stothert Facebook page. Everyone else is copy / pasting verbatim with the double-negative, and no one has corrected the original.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What do abortion rights have to do with being mayor of Omaha? Last I checked that office doesn’t have an abortion clinic attached.
    and JSA lives in Lincoln who cares what she thinks I wish she would go away.
    Ricky

  7. PoliticalObserver99 says:

    Just want to point out that Dave Nabity was very involved with an organization called Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector, which went after fire union contracts. Is the name just a coincidence, maybe? Is it worth someone inquiring in to this, maybe?

  8. Interested Observer says:

    What is the general opinion of the new “Growth and Opportunity Project” from the Republican National Committee today that deals with the messaging of Republican positions to voters?

  9. Kerrey for NYC Mayor says:

    So who does this leave as strong and consistent supporters of our 2nd Amendment rights?

    Supporting Gun Bans / Controls (Past & Present):
    – Ashford
    – Welch
    – Suttle

    Supporting the protection of our rights:
    – Stothert

    Just so some people knows what happens when these rights are under serious attack, just look at the election results in 1994…

    • Macdaddy says:

      How is tougher sentencing for criminals who use guns in anyway gun control? You are reaching to put Welch’s name under that heading.

    • WelchForOmaha says:

      Dan Welch has not and does not support Gun Bans or Controls. In fact, he supported conceal and carry legislation while he was on the Omaha City Council. Dan whole-heartedly supports 2nd Amendment rights and will fight to protect the rights of law abiding citizens.

      As mayor, a top priority for Welch would be to reduce gang and gun violence. To that end, he has called for stricter gun *sentencing* laws and assigning a gun prosecutor.

  10. Good Bass Fisher says:

    The Big talk at lunch was whether NEGOP will exist in a year.

    Phill Young as Interim ED… I bet he can destroy my beloved state party in less than 6 months. The dude is probably the losingest failure err uhh I mean consultant in the State.

    I want J.L. to succeed, I love the guy. But RIP NEGOP. They’ve made a fatal error letting McGrain leave. Dang diddly do-bop darn!

  11. Kortezzi says:

    Someone needs to work up a “stripper pole” T shirt that substitutes Jim Suttle’s face for Jean Stothert’s.

  12. @Kerrey for NYC Mayor says:

    You need to take Stothert off your gun rights supporter list. Look back, again, at her speeches when she ran for state legislature. She spoke out in support of gun control measures numerous times.

  13. Tonic & Tonic says:

    I’ll bet a bottle of gin that Dave Nabity’s consulting firm put out the mailer as an independent expenditure under the guise of a PAC. They were, no doubt, behind the push poll as well. I received both, but won’t vote for any of the 5 lame streamers. I’ll probably write in Street Sweeper or Buford T. Justice.

  14. To Dave Nabity says:

    I guess your last few weeks in politics is going to have you trying to drag Jean Stothert through the sewer. After today do you really want to do that?

  15. Anonymous says:

    My guess it was crazy Dave behind the push poll and mailing. and being mayor of Omaha involves a whole lot more than gun rights or silly argument over abortion. Fun to see the g o p stab themselves in the back though-

    Ricky

  16. Shameful says:

    Dave Nabity is on the attack. His campaign is calling Jean Stothert pro-choice. This man will go down in flames.

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