Herbster is IN for #NEGOV

Charles Herbster 03We have heard it from reliable sources that Charles Herbster will run for Nebraska Governor in 2014.
We are looking for a formal announcement within the next two weeks.

Herbster is a southeast Nebraska cattleman and the President of the network marketing company Conklin.

A political unknown, Herbster will have the ability to self-fund the startup of his campaign to sell himself statewide.
Those who know him believe he has a strong personal story to tell, and his politics run Nebraska conservative.

Over the weekend, Herbster made it known that he will be off and running.

Add him to state Senator Charlie Janssen and “possibly” former state Speaker Mike Flood on the Republican side.
Former regent Chuck Hassebrook and state Senator Steve Lathrop (for all intents and purposes) are in for the Dems.

[UPDATE at 2:50pm: We have not changed what we reported last week about Flood’s stance. (Our “quotes” up there a a wink to you, Reader.) We have heard from numerous sources that Flood is in. We realize he says he has “not changed his stance.” We realize he has said he has not “made any announcements.” We simply have stated, and continue with that, that Flood WILL announce for Governor for 2014. Not sure when he will do it, but that he WILL do it. (Oh, and put a few too many Dr. Peppers into your local political reporters and they will confirm it too.)]


A few have asked about the whole “Charlie Janssen – Gangnam style” video from the Sine Die gig.

Here’s the thing. That would have been a run-of-the mill, slightly funny, a little partisan skit in general, and you would not have heard much about it.
What took it to another level was the portrayal of Janssen’s wife in the video.
That was uncalled for, mean-spirited and all those who took part in that aspect of the video should apologize to Janssen and his wife for it.

The part where it was a partisan video, making fun of Janssen and his campaign…meh. It was done in the spirit of a private partisan party, so –on that aspect — them’s the breaks. There really shouldn’t be much whining about that — though we would suggest that in those situations if you’re going to make fun of an R, you also make fun of a D, and everyone is happy.

But the suggestion from some in the news media that this is all just about “Conservatives” upset at a partisan video is really a load of crap and they should be ashamed for taking sides against Janssen’s family on this.

Those who are willing to report it, without explicitly pointing out that the video featrued AND made an unflattering portrayal of Janssen’s wife, are frankly just as culpable as those who made it. Where is Erin Grace of the OWH taking a courageous stand on this issue? She lamented an elected pol getting called a bad-word on a Facebook post as the end of the modern world, but something like this is cool — what, because it was trying to be “funny”?

No, it’s because Janssen is a pro-gun, anti-amnesty conservative, so pretty much anything is fair-game for him and his family.
Welcome to the two-faced media, Senator.
Gee, who coulda seen that coming?


Speaking of amnesty, we had brought up a few weeks ago outgoing Senator Mike Johanns position on the immigration bill in the Senate.

To follow-up, Johanns has now drawn somewhat of a line-in-the-sand with his recent Op-Ed in the OWH.

It would seem that he has heeded the views of the majority of his constituents on what many note is a wildly expensive bill that will do zilch for border-security.
And yet there are some who seem to almost be saying that we have to pass it to see how good it will be.
That sounds awfully familiar. Where have we heard that before?


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  1. Its Obamacare all over again says:

    Do you really think MJ would have an immigration bill that is as costly as an albatross that Obamacare carries hang around his neck as his legacy?

  2. Macdaddy says:

    Where have we heard we’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it? Well, that would be a more honest statement than the BS currently being defecated by Republicans in support of the Rubio Amnesty Bill.

  3. Not A Chuck says:

    So we have a Charlie, Chuck, and Charles all running. If we can find a Chaz to toss their hat in it’ll be a perfect world.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Gotta wonder if Herbster changes the calculus for Flood.

    If Flood doesn’t have the most money (he won’t) and doesn’t have the best record on conservative issues (he certainly won’t) then where is his advantage? Flood was always going to be wrong on certain important issues against Janssen, but now he doesn’t even have the most money to spend.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh stop. When you propose marriage to your potential wife in the grandiose and highly public style of the state legislative floor, you’ve opened the door to satire and juvenile giggles. This is a lame story that’s stale and run 16 minutes too long.

  6. Tonic & Tonic says:

    I guess we’ll see if the Pete Ricketts “spend my money for some power” strategy works to get the Herbster past the #NEGOV primary.

    My prediction: The field gets crowded enough that his dolla dolla bills y’all don’t have enough of an impact and he walks away with <16% of the primary vote.

  7. Lil Mac says:

    Ricketts did okay in his primary. Republicans liked him and felt Don was done. Ricketts’ problem, which no Republicans have today, was Ben Nelson who pulled thousands of Republican votes every time Nelson ran. That was additional to all the Independent votes he got. That guy was weirdly popular right until he rubbed Nebraskans’ noses directly in his ass crack so hard that even somnambulant Independents woke up got the idea that they had been wrong about Nelson. There’s no place like Nebraska, at least electorally there ain’t.

    Nelson was, lest we forget, a multi-millionaire who seemed never to spend a dime of his own money. So while the point about Ricketts and Herbster self-funding may be valid, it is also valid to ask what is so great about wasting everyone else’s money to promote your own personal ambition? Managing our public coffers is a main part of the job, after all. And the honor of being poor is overrated.

    Anyway, Nelson isn’t running this time. Most Democrats are less electable now because, frankly, they are more honestly Leftwing about being Leftwing. And nothing will kill a guy faster in Nebraska than being honestly for what he is really for.

    Herbster’s sort of a newbie. If he’s a quick learner he can do what other’s have done.

  8. TexasAnnie says:

    Lil Mac:
    Ricketts wanted to be a U.S. Senator. Herbster wants to be Governor of Nebraska.
    Does that make a difference in your “newbie” theory? After all, promoting one’s “personal ambition” beyond the influence of the state’s borders usually attracts monies from beyond the state’s borders as well. And despite what Lee Terry denies, campaign contributions DO influence voting records!
    I agree with your notion that “honesty” in Nebraska politics kills one’s campaign. Your manner of citing this condition is curious though…

    Progressive Oasis:
    Maybe Stothert will proclaim that Nebraskans have treated the LGBT community badly! If I were there, I would attend. I did so while living there. I personally knew several young persons who, upon graduating from public universities took their degrees elsewhere, including their Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Y’all spend a lot of $$$’s educating them!

  9. RWP says:

    I think Herbster is a dangerous choice. He’s a major backer of James Dobson, whose views on teh gey are less and less mainstream every year. Plus he runs a Amway type company. Companies like that create success stories, but they also create disaffected failures, and the Dems can probably dredge up several wholesome looking couples who put up their life savings, lost them, and blame Herbster. It’s the nature of the business. Plus he has zero governmental experience.

    The worst part of it is, I think he could win the Republican primary and then be incredibly vulnerable in the general election.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great point about Erin Grace. Manufactured outrage over a private Facebook post, but nothing about a more public attack on a private person. But misogyny is ok if you’re a democrat attacking republican women. The hypocrisy on the left is mind blowing.

  11. Lil Mac says:

    TA. Tonic made the comparison between Ricketts and Herbster. I responded in that context. As far as the newbie aspect goes, Governor Nelson is an example a wealthy newbie like Herbster, which is why I mentioned Nelson.

    Regarding the influence of outside money, your point is commonly stated. But until you mentioned it, I hadn’t thought through the truth of it. But now that I have, I think that in terms of influence of donated dollars, the old saying, “there is no place like home” takes a back seat to “consider the source”.

    At the risk of being un-Huskerly, allow me to suggest that donations from Nebraska crap-heads aren’t any better than donations from non-Nebraska crap-heads. We all commonly assume any money that is local is better than any money that is distant. But that isn’t true. Most of us won’t do business with our own relatives or next door neighbors and for good reason. Sure local is nice and sure all donations come with an implication of influence. But just as there are Texans who loath policies other Texans think are wonderful, Nebraska donors also widely differ.

    If a Nebraska incumbent is taking donations from some Nebraska donors whose quid pro quo is in my estimation the road to tyranny and ruin, oh hell yes, I much prefer my incumbent get donations from donors in Idaho or NYC whose aims seem more in line with what I see as prosperity and freedom. Thanks for surfacing that line of thought.

  12. 2014 is going to be FUN! says:

    On the upside of being a wealthy candidate, voters don’t have to fear you will pander or feel obliged to return favors. In Ricketts case, he could easily shove off to CubsLand to enjoy his wealth. Instead he has invested money and time into making Nebraska better and hasn’t asked anything in return. Whether it be saving North Omaha’s Catholic Schools to provide better opportunities to children from the area or simply keeping TD Ameritrade in Nebraska providing job opportunities and revenue. His involvement helped make the company what it is today and success in the private sector is a big plus for our leaders in today’s economic environment. His vocal opposition to the HHS mandate, his Pro-Life stance, his faith, and his strong work ethic puts him squarely in line with Nebraskan values. Plus…if Nebraskans had chosen him last time, the nation wouldn’t be saddled with ObamaCare. Nebraskans are smart…they don’t make the same mistake twice.

    Osborn, Ricketts, Janssen, Flood…it’s a great time to be a Republican in Nebraska.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “saving North Omaha’s Catholic Schools”….and you don’t think he did that for any political good reason just all in the spirit of giving so as not to receive…..? We’re not talking about Jesus here just a politician with lots of bucks. Sounds like a GOP consultant wrote this polished PR piece for positioning with the faithful Holy Mary. I wonder who that could be?

  14. Gaius Gracchus says:

    The last word on Catholic schools East of Grand Island and North of Lincoln is the incumbent archbishop of Omaha, and no one else.

  15. Anonymous says:

    5:29. Voters didn’t expect Ricketts to be Jesus. But most voters today think Ben Nelson turned out to be the devil. What sticks in your craw is that what 3:38 said is spectacularly, undeniably true.

    We can get so wrapped up in the rotten aspects of Nelson’s kickback bribery attempt that we forget what it was he actually sold his vote for. Nelson saved Obama. All by himself he saved Obama.

    Ben Nelson was the one deciding vote on Obamacare. Had Ricketts been elected, there would have been no Obamacare. And without Obamacare, Obama would not have been reelected.

    Every Conservative who ever voted for Ben Nelson should have this tattooed on thier ass, HAD RICKETTS BEEN ELECTED INSTEAD OF NELSON, WE’D TODAY HAVE NO OBAMACARE AND LIKELY NO PRESIDENT OBAMA.

  16. Susan Smith says:

    It’s because of Mr. Ricketts generosity of paying for Memorial Day services advertising that attendance increased dramatically. His donation was done without pomp and circumstance and I can tell you that before he did that maybe 25 citizens showed up (in addition to the military men and women) for the services – you can imagine how that made our military members and veterans feel.

    Jumping to the political aspect – Ben Nelson had been conservative and seemed to vote in the interest of Nebraskans PRIOR to B.O.’s election. Conservatives and Independents could not have known that he would sniff/whiff the coattails of B.O. and the rest of the Socialists to the point of alienating his Nebraska constituency. It was political suicide for him and a good lesson for those who voted for him.

    I know that some conservatives did not support Ricketts because of his pro-amnesty position. Does that matter now that we are faced with the worst SHAMNESTY bill introduced to date? No, because both Sens Fischer and Johanns voted to advance the bill. They should never have done that and so it seems that Sen Nelson may not be the only politician in NE to see his otherwise bright political career go dark.

  17. John says:

    Never vote for a democRat. They’re all socialists and fast becoming communists. I like the idea of someone self funding a campaign. That way they aren’t beholden to anyone.

  18. TexasAnnie says:

    Ricketts saved North Omaha Catholic Schools? Wouldn’t you rather he simply pay his taxes, than take tax exemptions? Not only in his selected “giving” but in his receiving as well: TD Ameritrade takes tax incentives! If everyone had to pay their fair share (the flat tax) no exceptions and no excuses, we could all enjoy lower tax rates. Ricketts’ example of selected “giving” is no more nobel than any typically Democrat taxing & spending policy of redistributing private wealth!

    …and as to Ben Nelson, I knew him to be the devil incarnate before y’all did! He was a man who once looked me in the eye and lied to me (about the origin of LB742, 1995). I had a child in special education there while he was Governor. He didn’t take anything from my child, but y’all should still be ashamed of what he did to YOUR wards of the state. Perhaps IF the ‘Ricketts’ types had been paying their taxes without all those tax incentives, Nelson would not have done what he did to the disabled children of Nebraska who were dependent on the state! Y’all SENT Nelson to Congress whereby he simply continued his double-dealing and lying. Only there his damage was not contained within Nebraska’s borders, it expanded nationwide!

    So please think carefully who you choose to replace gentle Johanns! Will you pick a corporate pig (one unwilling to pay a fair tax rate)? ‘Cause if you do, it will affect us in Texas too!

  19. RWP says:

    I see Chuckie Hagel disgraced himself at UNO yesterday, asking an Indian faculty member if he was a member of the Taliban. It was not just a bad joke, it was ignorant as all hell. It sure would be nice if the guy who we’ve chosen to direct a war had a clue who our enemies are. But then, the major objection I had to Hagel was not that he was a Judas willing to change his positions to suit whoever was in power, it was that he’s just too damn stupid for the job.

  20. To TexasAnnie says:

    I would love a flat tax and I have no doubt Ricketts would support one also. To answer your question, “Wouldn’t you rather he simply pay his taxes, than take tax exemptions?” Absolutely NOT!!! I want to elect a smart businessman with a good grasp on financial success. Only a moron would give more money to the government to squander than they legally have to. Ricketts has never sought fanfare for his philanthropy. In fact, most have no idea just how much he has quietly done for the community and its people.

    I still like the fact that Ricketts could self-finance and wouldn’t be beholden to anyone. A refreshing change in a rep for once.

    btw…what’s with the crazies posting on this site? Texas Annie can’t make up her mind. She supports a flat tax but also supports dependence on the state?! And then you have Susan Smith, who is widely known in Republican circles in Omaha as the crazy anti-immigrant lady! Obviously something crawled up her crawl and she’s been a one trick pony on a mission ever since!

  21. TexasAnnie says:

    Crazy you say? Why do YOU support the taking of persons into state custody and then refusing to provide for them? If I’m crazy, then you’re sadistic!

    My mind about the flat tax (or no income tax as we do in Texas) is well made up! You do realize, I hope, that the flat tax would eliminate the tax incentives that folks like Ricketts enjoy… And as to the notion that he’s simply a “smart businessman” I retort: I don’t confuse greed with intelligence.

    How the hell do you think those tax incentives got written into the tax code?

  22. V is for . . . . . says:

    A lot of people cannot wait until Herbster is fully vetted. He has left quite a trail of destruction among former employees in his company, and even among his sales force. Let the stories begin…

  23. To TexasAnnie says:

    The point is…they are in the tax code. I repeat…”Only a moron would give more money to the government to squander than they legally have to.” That’s not greed, that’s smart. Not surprised that’s over your head.

  24. TexasAnnie says:

    No, the point is EXACTLY the point I made. Not the point you inserted. I’m not surprised at your inability to follow a debating point and I’m thinking you must be a run-of-the-mill “conservative” for failing to do so. It’s not that Ricketts should not take tax incentives already written into law, rather, the point is that we need to elect Senators who will work to eliminate tax injustice. You conceded that you would love a flat tax, yet, you applaud Ricketts for taking his tax advantage. I made it clear in my response to earlier Ricketts commenters that supporting Catholic schools (for which he takes a tax credit) does not impress me, in view of the tax incentives he also takes for doing crony capitalism. You call that smart. I’m calling it greed!

    Furthermore, you imply that Nebraskans should not support those they have taken into state custody. Hmmm.

  25. To TexasAnnie says:

    “we need to elect Senators who will work to eliminate tax injustice.” Then elect Ricketts and quit your bitching. He would support a flat tax. Your allegations otherwise are false and baseless.

  26. TexasAnnie says:

    It is not false that Ricketts takes tax breaks not available to most taxpayers.
    And MANY Republicans have been elected on a promise of working for tax justice.
    Once elected, they just keep taking their tax preferences and to hell with the rest of us…

    AND, why can’t you make your arguments without insult? You seem like a sixth grader.

  27. Anonymous says:

    #27: Nothing is sticking in my craw or anywhere else for that fact. I’m not the one making it seem as though one person is God saving Catholic schools. You’re the one that brought up Ben Nelson. Glad you found the shift key on your keyboard to drive your point home as if it was an original idea never heard. Looks like Ricketts is positioning for a walk on the waters of another Senate race and has his people out early.

  28. TexasAnnie; If Jean Stothert truly wants to reach out to Omaha’s LGBTQIA community, she can publicly embrace statewide workplace protections and statewide marriage equality. She should display the very same leadership the city she is supposed to lead already does by setting the example as a shining progressive oasis with workplace protections. Equality for all, doesn’t stop at Omaha’s city limits. Just simply claiming to uphold Omaha’s workplace protections is just simply not enough for someone like her who spent her entire political career working against us! Call up the Mayor’s Office and let her know!!! LOL

  29. PistolAnnie says:

    what a breath of fresh air to have a successful business person/not career politician running for public office. Herbster sounds like a breath of fresh air. Not to mention, one who is in tune with the 3rd district!

  30. Watching says:

    You better get to know the guy before you say breath of fresh air herbster is a totally autocratic leader not democratic and he hates daily office jobbing and will not allow participation much more to follow

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