Nebraska #NESEN and #NEGOV races start to take shape

Shane Osborn 02Interesting week in Nebraska politics.

The two main statewide races for 2014 have shaped up with Republicans AND Democrats joining in the fray.
Let’s take a look.


U.S. Senate

On the Republican side, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn made it semi-official by filing for office (though holding off on an public announcement and all that).

Osborn’s candidacy had been pretty much an open secret for quite some time – he had made it known that if Governor Dave as out, he was in.
And with that, he now has a full-fledged campaign up and running.
He has hired the major pieces of a campaign staff who have a fair amount of experience in campaigns statewide and nationwide:

Campaign Manager: David Boomer – 8 congressional races since ’98, 5 top targets by both the NRCC and DCCC. Boomer’s streak is best known with Congressman Lee Terry (4 wins 04, 08, 10, 12). He has also managed legislative races in Connecticutt and has been on staff in 3 gubernatorial campaigns there

Consultant: Sam Fischer, Meridian Central – Valentine, Nebraska native (and Senator Deb Fischer nephew), Fischer’s expertise involves micro-targeting primary voters. Fischer’s Meridian Central also worked on Governor Heineman’s primary race in 2006 vs Tom Osborne, 2008 for Mike Johanns, 2010 and ’12 for Lee Terry and this spring’s Omaha Mayoral victory for Jean Stothert.

Treasurer: Molly Lloyd – a former campaign and office staffer for Lee Terry and Hal Daub.

General Consultant: OnMessage Inc.

This is all uber inside-baseball kinda stuff, but slightly interesting to those who are involved.

But possibly the MOST interesting point about the Shane Osborn campaign is Osborn himself! He looks as though he has lost a full Olsen-twin in weight!
He looks like he is back to the physique of his flying-days. Good for him.

And as we segue to the next candidate, we will note that a few of our contacts in the Nation’s Capital reported to us that recent meetings left them extremely impressed with Osborn — and say he is currently the one to beat in this race.

(Again, that ain’t us talking. Simply the messenger.)


And we noted in our previous post that Midland University President Ben Sasse began is statewide “listening tour” to decide whether he will run.
Again, we consider him “in” at this point and note that Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard feels the same.

Hemingway wrote a glowing review of Sasse (“A Virtuoso Pol from Nebraska?“), summarizing his resume and current activities as the President of Midlands:

Sasse remains undaunted. He’s only 41, and he’s already been successful at high levels of business, government, and academia. If Sasse does decide to run for the Senate, at this point in his life he’s got a lot to offer and not much to lose.

The article gives a great review of Sasse and of Midlands University in general. It would seem if the Osborn and (possibly) Ricketts campaigns want to have a theme against Sasse it would be, “Don’t let Midlands lose Sasse! He’s too valuable to them!” The other side of it could even be — with his administrative cred, the guy should be running for Governor, not Senate.

We still don’t know THAT much about Sasse, but he is impressing those who cover him.

(And just a super quick note about Sasse and the “carpetbagger” schtick that is coming from some commenters on this blog. “Carpetbaggers” aren’t born and raised in Nebraska, go off to school and then return for a full-time gig.)


We have not heard anything definitive on Pete Ricketts, except that…
Someone has been polling recently, and word has it that Ricketts will be making up his mind within three to four weeks.
We’ll stay tuned.

In the mean time, state Senator Brad Ashford has said he (probably) wants to run for U.S. Senate…as a Democrat.
You remember Brad. He was once a Republican, or maybe a Democrat, then an Independent, came in 4th out of 5 in the Omaha Mayor’s race and now wants to be a Democrat again.

Good on ya, mate.


Nebraska Governor

State Senator Steve Lathrop jumped in an surprised no one that he too is going on a statewide listening tour.
And with that, state Senators Bob Krist and Tom Carlson have both also said they’re interested in being Governor.

Oh and Democrat Chuck Hassebrook said that unless Bob Kerrey tells him that he can’t, that HE is going to run for Governor.

In the mean time, Republican state Senator Charlie Janssen is IN for Gov, and no one has heard from former state Senator and Speaker, Mike Flood in a while.

And THEN, along with Charles Herbster, who we noted last week, former Gallup executive Mike Van Buskirk of Hay Springs name has come up.
We know next to nothing about Van Buskirk, except what we read on the internets. Seems he’s into windmills these days.


We noted in the comments recently the following poll that was published.
Eat it up here:

Here, generally are the results to discuss:

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler (D) versus Attorney General Jon Bruning (R)
Not sure…..22%

State Auditor Mike Foley (R) versus Chuck Hassebrook (D), Member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents

Not sure………..22%

Former Ameritrade COO Pete Ricketts (R) vs. Former Lt. Gov. Kim Robak (D)

Not sure………19%

State Senator Steve Lathrop (D) versus former State Treasurer Shane Osborn (R)

Not sure……..25%

Attorney Mike Meister (D) versus Midland University President Republican Ben Sasse (R)

Not sure…….41%

Candidate……….Fav / Unfav
Beutler………………24% / 13%
Bruning……………..28% / 36%
Foley………………..25% / 16%
Hassebrook………..11% / 13%
Lathrop……………..15% / 10%
Meister………………8% / 10%
Osborn………………33% / 15%
Ricketts…………….22% / 32%
Robak……………….23% / 16%
Sasse……………….6% / 11%

That enough data for you to chew on?
Go ahead, spit out an opinion!
We double DOG dare ya!


Finally, along with all of the President’s other problems…

(Nebraska Tweeter, and local prince of one-liners, Dan Moser Tweetered:

“First they came for Verizon customers, but I did not speak out because I was not a Verizon customer…”)

…the Pres recently proposed a new person to represent the United States in the United Nations.

She would be Samantha Power, former executive director of Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

The Washington Free Beacon recently posted Power’s 5 Worst Statements (Ex: she called for a U.S. world apology tour).

But along with the rest, the Boston Globe recently re-published her demand, in 2001, for former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey to be investigated for war crimes (regarding the village massacre in Vietnam.)

Apparently the President is now going to walk a mile in her Birkenstocks and really get down with her type of thinking.
And add her to Eric Holder and Susan Rice and then we would just note, AWESOME JOB OBAMA VOTERS!
How’s that thrill up your leg feelin’ these days?


Hey, pick up Dad something nice on Amazon.
Click the link up above


  1. Lil Mac says:

    Osborn needed to lose weight. Any candidate selling himself to voters as a former military officer had better not look like a round doughnut salesman. It’s not about photo ops. It is because obesity signals an obvious lack of self-control. Many voters assume that anyone who cannot control their own behavior is unfit to hold electoral power to control everyone else’s behavior. The same goes for a host of other flaws and obsessions and bad habits but being fat is the most obvious. Thus, while other factors are weightier and yet to play out for Osborn, him not being fat is a necessary first step. I expect his foremost concern right now is whether former U. S. Senate GOP nominee Ricketts will be in or out.

  2. Macdaddy says:

    Chris Matthews still has the thrill.

    As for the rest of us, we should rightly ask, if the war on terror is over as Obama has claimed, W(hy)TF is he still collecting data like this? His government can’t even stop a terrorist when the Russians serve them up on a silver platter with names, addresses, and evidence of zeal for Allah. How is collecting all this amorphous, vague info going to lead to anything other than the temptation to use it for political purposes? The fact is, the Obama administration has been way more effective at stymying American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights than they have been at stymying Islamic terrorists trying to blow us up.

  3. To Vince Powers says:

    Will Vince Powers ask Ms. Power for an apology?

    “Kerrey has a long record of distinguished public service. But this does not render his account more believable than that of anyone else, particularly since we already know that he accepted a medal on the fraudulent grounds that 21 Viet Cong were killed in the raid and that he has altered his story repeatedly in recent days. Our experience working with the testimony of thousands of war criminals who deny their crimes shows that it is essential to look at the full range of evidence.” -Samantha Power

  4. RWP says:

    It is interesting the Glob republished the Power/Goldhagen column. They actually had it completely scrubbed from their website while Kerrey was running for Senate. I had to get it from a secondary source.

    So the fact remains, the Obama White House recruited to run for Senate a man its own atrocities czar (and now UN ambassador nominee) said should be investigated for war crimes. What conceivable excuse could there be for this?

    It’s been said that conservatives think liberals have bad ideas, whereas liberals think conservatives are bad people. That may be generally true. But watching liberals for so long, I can’t reasonably explain how they act by bad ideas. There’s genuine evil in there too.

  5. Macdaddy says:

    It’s all about power, my friend. Machiavelli could take lessons from these people. Obama is of the opinion that if he frets about an issue, it gives him the right to even do the exact wrong thing if he feels like it. As a Senator/presidential candidate, he lambasted the very policies he doesn’t even bat an eye expanding. Powers is his eager protege. This is going to get even uglier.

  6. Anonymous says:

    David Boomer–oh goody. Nice move Shane. We can expect the same worn out campaign of negativity and nastiness with nothing new in terms of strategy. Boomer has a great reputation for playing on the dirty side which is just what voters are starved to see. Lee Terry has gotten increasingly more vulnerable within his own party. Osborn has baggage and the fact he can fly a plane to be a hero over a decade ago isn’t exactly a resume for what he’s going to do for me.

  7. Lil Mac says:

    I’d perhaps add that power corrupts no more absolutely than in the hands of an absolute fool. Obama is an idiot savant when it comes to raking in electoral votes. But in much else he is a dolt. For example, he is today discussing China’s cyber spying, as if to justify his own domestic gestapo tactics. But while China spies on Obama’s government, Obama’s government spies on American citizens, even members of his own media. The raw tyranny exposed in this man is breathtaking.

  8. ricky says:

    Wow Charlie Janssen announcing for Governor a long time ago has obviously not scared anybody off, nor has Senator Area 51 gained any traction. Nothing he did in the Unicam stood out, and the voter ID law he wanted is long gone.
    It doesn’t matter who Nebraska sends to DC as Senator; both the Senate and House are dysfunctional and broken. That is why Mr Heineman did not bother. And talk about a pol whose time has come and gone that is the Gov. Nobody pays attention to him anymore.
    With the weakness of the GOP candidates, a Dem has a good chance of being the next Governor of Nebraska, probably Steve Lathrop.
    And if Mr Ashford finishes 4th out of 5 in the race for mayor why does he think the people will elect him to the Senate?


  9. Handfull of Pills says:

    Ricky Fulton needs to spend time with me or he’ll keep making ludicrous comments with no basis in reality.

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