Pete Ricketts 2006Finally! A little excitement in the Nebraska Governor’s race!

As we noted last week, Republican Pete Ricketts brought in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for an endorsement event. In a broadside response, fellow candidate state Senator Charlie Janssen sent out a fundraising request that was centered on this message:

(Walker and Ricketts) both support a pathway to citizenship for people in the United States illegally. That is something Nebraska conservatives should not put up with.


The Ricketts camp shot back, on the same day, with the following, also in a fundraising request:

Charlie Janssen has launched a baseless attack against Pete Ricketts, and oddly against conservative icon Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose endorsement Pete Ricketts received today.

The truth: Pete opposes amnesty and opposes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In 2006, when Nebraska Republicans chose Pete to run against Democrat US Senator Ben Nelson, Pete took on the issue of illegal immigration. Pete opposed amnesty, prioritized border security, and recommended stiff penalties for the employers who’ve compounded the problem by supplying jobs for illegals.

It’s unfortunate that Charlie Janssen has chosen the low road instead of working to save his fledging campaign with his own ideas. The last thing Nebraska Republican primary voters want is gutter politics… Thanks for your support of Pete Ricketts for Governor – please rest assured that Pete opposes illegal immigration, amnesty or a pathway to citizenship.


The Ricketts camp goes on at length about his no-pathway-to-citizenship positions, as a candidate for Governor.

But, that’s not what it looked like back in 2006, when he was running against Ben Nelson for U.S. Senate.

Ricketts said that “illegal immigrants should be required to pay a fine and to go through a rigorous process to obtain residency status.” [Omaha World-Herald, 12/4/05]Ricketts “favored a pathway to legalization for undocumented workers who met certain criteria.” [Omaha World-Herald, 4/15/06]

Ricketts: “I think we can allow residency and if we can reduce that population 11 million illegal immigrants, by allowing some of them to go into a residency program.” [Republican Forum Luncheon, 4/19/06]

Immigration: Do you support some type of program that would allow immigrants currently here illegal to gain legal status?” David Kramer: “Yes” Pete Ricketts: “Yes” Don Stenberg: “No” [Omaha World Herald, 5/2/06]

“We need to establish a way to bring the illegal immigrants who want to work, obey our laws, and contribute to society out of the shadows. I support working towards a program that would allow some illegal immigrants to stay….” [Ricketts Campaign Press Release, 5/1/06]

“Ricketts said he does not support all portions of the Senate bill, but he has endorsed a pathway to legal status.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 6/8/06]

By the way, the above is what the Democrats found on Ricketts. Go figure.

Back then, Don Walton had a story regarding immigration, where then Senator Ben Nelson hammered Ricketts position as “amnesty lite.” Further, we noted that Ricketts supported Chuck Hagel and President George W. Bush’s position supporting the then Senate bill.

So, if the Ricketts position has evolved, then…ok.

But he shouldn’t hammer Charlie Janssen or any other candidate for pointing out what was his strong position when he ran for U.S. Senate — which position would have had much more influence for the vote on the immigration issue anyway.

We don’t have too much of a problem with Ricketts saying that his position has changed — but just say it. And keep in mind, that all of the other candidates will point out that your position has changed.


We would note that with all of this, it would seem likely that the replay of the 2006 Governor’s primary could resurface — this time with Mike Foley’s support for tax payer funded benefits to illegals (pre-natal care) coming up again.

With the candidates looking for separation on SOME issue, this may be the one that each grabs to show how they differ. We can’t imagine that this one stays underground.


On this same point, we also finally have some distinction in the Senate race.

Sid Dinsdale and Bart McLeay have both come out supporting the Senate bill — supported by Mike Johanns — which would grant certain immigrants a legal status, without the possibility of citizenship. Both Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse have said they do not support this, saying that we have to have border security first, though not dipping their toe to say what would happen afterwards.

As we pointed out yesterday, one can certainly argue that by bringing up this issue in the Year of ObamaCare, Republicans are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but c’est la vie.

We will let the Senate and Gov candidates argue this one out. We would note however that taking anything other than the hard-core, no-amnesty, position on this is difficult, politically. Ben Nelson took Pete Ricketts to task on it back in 2006.

Note that Ricketts is having none of that this go-round.


At least the GOPers don’t have to worry about Dave Domina going the Ben Nelson route. He has come out for full amnesty.


And with tonight’s State of the Union looming, thinking back to SOTU’s past…

You Lie 090909


  1. Ricky says:

    Awwww a race to the bottom to see which candidate for Governor is the most conservative.
    I think most people want a path to citizenship for those people already here.
    But not in the minds of the conservatives that vote in the G O P primary.
    How sad. I think I will move to San Francisco or New York City where there are a few liberals around.

    ricky from omaha

  2. Finally! says:

    We’ve been waiting for you to say you’re going to move for years, Ricky. San Francisco and New York City just don’t have enough retired postal workers. I hear that postal shorts look great in The Big Apple in the summertime. (Just don’t try to buy bigger than a 16-ounce soda in NYC though)

  3. NE is against Amnesty says:

    An enormous majority of Nebraskans are against amnesty, and agree that illegal immigration is in fact illegal. I know it’s difficult for people like Ricky to understand what “illegal” means, unless there’s a Republican involved.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I received the fundraising piece from Charlie Janssen’s campaign. It was a well written contrast piece of facts. If Ricketts thinks Janssen has taken the “low road” then he’d better invest in tissues for the tears awaiting him when his opponent dares to take him to task in a manner that wasn’t nasty or negative. Charlie has long stood his ground on immigration so I hardly think it can be considered “gutter” politics that he strikes a sharp difference with one whose position he challenges. Ricketts, however, has a history of low roads and gutters in his campaign style. With said, who cares what Scott Walker thinks. It isn’t as though he lives in Nebraska or has a pesonality beyond that of a dead toad run over twice.

  5. Winner Take All says:

    Janssen’s “Winner Take All” bill is being debated on the floor today. Liberal talking points about “I want my vote to count” being tossed about like confetti at a party.

  6. Fort Street Fury says:

    It’s funny how geography can change someone’s mind:

    In CA, OR, WA, DE, CT, NY, MD, PA, OH, IA, FL, CO, NV and VT Democrats seem to love winner take all. Nebraska Democrats are a different breed though, and they know that winner take all is a bad thing.

    In Honor of NE Dems, I propose a federal law banning winner take all nationwide.

  7. Ricky says:

    Well that does it I am selling my house and moving to San Francisco’s Marina District. (I used to live in SF by they way right after college). The G O P won’t win nationwide by the way.
    I need to be around like minded liberals. I can’s stand people like Janssen or Sasse. (Actually I never met either one of them).
    So when I move I won’t be posting on L Street any longer. Sorry.

    Ricky From Omaha

  8. Ricky Logic says:

    “I can’s stand people like Janssen or Sasse. (Actually I never met either one of them).”

    And you wonder why people constantly hammer on you on here, Ricky.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ricky, you can still post on LS. Being in Texas doesn’t stop TexasAnnie from giving us her opinion on all things Nebraskan.

  10. BO Pelini's Avery Moss Problem says:

    Wouldn’t that be something if Pelini put Nebraska on probation by playing somebody not eligible.
    How can you attend class if the Lincoln police banned you from campus?
    And I feel sorry for that gal who was exposed to Avery Moss’s junk.


  11. Ricky says:

    Of course I would endorse Ricketts if he game me $420 K.
    Hell for that amount of money I would endorse Mr Street Sweeper for Governor.
    By the way Ricketts is a Westside High Grad, as am I.
    I heard he was a big dork in high school. He came about 10 years after I did.


  12. San Francisco Liberal says:

    Attention all L Street readers!
    Just a note to tell you everything is fine out here in the Bay Area.
    We support Obamacare and amnesty and solar panels.
    And we would love to have Ricky move out here we love guys like him.

  13. Mary Jane says:

    Ok, LS. Second day running that you’ve made sniping remarks about Foley for Governor. Yesterday you tried to imply that it’s the auditor’s fault for exposing the $22 million mistake at HHS. Wrong! I put that mistake at the leadership of both HHS and the state of Nebraska. Is it better that we keep it all covered up? That’s what you seemed to suggest. Seems to me that’s a big part of what’s wrong locally and nationally. When we look for accountability, all I hear are crickets chirping.
    As far as pre-natal care for illegals, I would say this. If someone makes a decision based on moral values and not political expediency, I may not agree but I can understand that decision. We have a plethora of politicians in this state and country who have been quite willing to tell people what they want to hear and then do the exact opposite. Frankly, I’ve had enough of it.
    Love ya, LS, but I’m not buyin’ what you’re sellin’!

  14. Fremont Ne Conservative says:

    Attention L Street readers.
    Just wanted to invite you all to our big gun show this weekend.
    All the conservatives will be there.
    And just drink our water when you come up here that is what Janssen and Sasse did and look now they are big shots.

  15. Tonic & Tonic says:

    You read it here: For $420K, practically anyone would endorse Pete Ricketts for Governor. Even our resident liberal Rickey.

  16. To Mary Jane says:

    Just so you know, Mary Jane: You and the other legal and hard-working and taxpaying citizens of Nebraska spent $6,000,000 on health care for illegals in the first year of LB599. How much do you expect it will be during the 2nd year? I am guessing at least $15,000,000. So get ready to dig really deep in your pockets to pay for that. Thanks state senators for putting that on us legal citizens, and then to make sure it happened, for overriding the Governor’s veto of the bill.

  17. Anonymous says:

    To Ricky
    Did not know that you were a Westside grad. Can you verify this or other alums you know? Is it true that Ricketts, who likes to claim he understands hard working Nebraskans because he was raised like any other middle class family despite his family wealth, actually got a new corvette for his birthday in high school?

  18. Mary Jane says:

    Just so you know, we already pay for it. Unless you go into all the hospitals and yank them out of their beds, we’ve been paying since at I’ve been in healthcare and that was 1983. The only way that we avoid paying is to secure the border. What we need to ask is why our border has remained unsecured. Who has benefited if not illegal drug runners and employers of these workers? As for $15 million, I wonder how much of the $3 trillion spent on the War on Drugs came from Nebraska taxpayers. Some war if we didn’t use any of that money for border security.

  19. Ricky says:

    Trust me I am a WHS Class of ’73 grad.
    Like I said Ricketts is about ten years younger than I and I did not know him then.
    I just heard he was a dork. Back then. I am sure he is a dork no longer. (He paid me $420 K to say that).
    I do remember that the son of the guy that founded Godfathers was in my class. They had the first mansion in Regency. And the son gave my buddy a Jaguar car. How do you like that?
    Also my friend who got this fancy car (his name was john) died right after high school in a construction accident. That was sad.
    I don’t get the $420 K reference though. Is that what Ricketts gave Scott Walker?
    Nobody likes the Ricketts family anyway after Joe gave Deb Fischer and Justin Wayne a bunch of campaign money.

    ricky from omaha

  20. Tonic & Tonic says:

    Ricky- The ricketts family is responsible for about $420,000 in direct contributions alone. PAC and independent expenditures… I hear the check needed an extra line of text!

  21. Mary Jane says:

    I don’t understand why people are ragging on Pete Ricketts and his family. I, for one, am grateful to them for their loyalty in staying in one of the most tax-unfriendly states in the US. With a business of that size and success, they could make more money just about anywhere else. Besides that, their presence encourages other businesses to come here too. I also appreciate the fact that Pete is raising his family here and contributes to the community with his time and money. If I had the dough, I would hope that I would be generous enough to back good people for office. Geez, this is a tough group today.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Pete’s corvette was for his sweet 16 bday. My brother was an upperclassman @ WHS when he was there. Pete also likes to talk about his job flipping burgers at Burger King. Let’s take a guess daddy’s gift for Pete agreeing to work 1-2 shifts/wk one summer vaca in exchange for a new corvette. Yep, that’s every average teenager’s upbringing. The guy is a phony.

  23. Hesdeadjim says:

    Anonymous above is just being nitpicky. I got a car in exchange for working when I was younger… it just wasn’t a Corvette.

  24. Not a Ricketts supporter says:

    So what if Pete had a Corvette. Since when did we republicans say a family can’t spend their wealth as they pleased. Joe Ricketts should be praised for making sure young Pete learned the value of having a job in high school. Burger King is not a glamorous job. Go after the guy’s record, not this petty class warfare crap.

  25. Peaches57 says:

    Two words for Pete Ricketts – Flip. Flop. Either you believe it or you don’t. If you don’t grasp the costly impact of what illegal immigration has done / is doing to our country, then maybe you should sit down with someone who has lived through it and does. If you didn’t understand the enormity and fiscal complexity of it, then maybe you shouldn’t have run for the Senate then – or Governor now. Charlie is a little brash but at least he says what he means… I hope.

    Incidentally, I know Congressman Joe Wilson personally, he is a dear friend, and his nickname in Washington is “Gentleman Joe”. An ‘excited utterance’ at the last SOTU does not prove anything about his caliber – other than the fact that he simply couldn’t take any more of what was eventually proven to be a long list of lies. More and more people, as they have become aware of the enormity of the ObamaCare fiasco, have said much worse things. Joe was right, even though as a gentleman, it truly embarrassed him to have the truth burst out of him like that. I’d rather have a little honesty spring out of the mouth of a politician than endless, subservient and respectful lies.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thank you street sweeper for informing us of the truth. Those Ricketts 2006 public record quotes clearly show he supported some form of amnesty. Will The Burger Matt Miltenberger be sending another email blast explaining to the supporters why he lied in his email from yesterday saying that Pete Ricketts has never been pro-amnesty and that these are just false negative attacks by Janssen?

  27. 1st Amendment Lover vs Husker Football says:

    Once again I have to praise L Street for allowing the discussion of issues that local rags ban.
    I still am confused over why Husker coach Pelini allowed the player Moss to remain on the team despite exposing his private parts twice to a young woman.
    And I also wonder how a guy who has been banned from campus can attend class and appear in the on field stadium. The issue is fuzzy about when the entire campus ban was implemented.
    So I went to the Omaha World Herald chat session today with Sam McKewon and asked the question about when the ban. They refused to answer.
    So after that I went to the Lincoln Journal Star chat with Brian Christopherson and asked the same thing. Once again the editors refused to allow my question to be asked.
    Obviously both papers are intimidated by Pelini and the Husker Athletic Department, and the papers number one goal is to protect their access to the football program.
    So thank you Leavenworth Street for posting my questions about Pelini. That guy thinks he can control the media, won’t take questions, but for (a lot) of money you can attend a Big Red Breakfast or attend the recruiting dinner next month.
    It’s a sad situation Husker fans have here with this bunch in charge. Thanks a lot T O!

    Ricky From Omaha

  28. Anonymous says:

    That is an amateur mistake by The Burger. Him thinking Ricketts is going to coast into a win has him getting too big for his junior high 27 inch waist amnesty lite britches. I bet the Ricketts camp is in some need of several rounds of Amnesty Lites tonight.

  29. Hey Sweeper... says:

    Hey Sweeper, did you see that Dinsdale opened an office in Grand Island? The Kearney Hub is reporting that Sid had an event in Kearney where only three people (the third was a Dinsdale intern) showed up to his event. Probably a good thing Sid is opening an office in the Tri-Cities. It sounds like he needs some help out there…

  30. Drew says:

    The Federal government has most of the control over immigration. While there are some things the state government can do, the issues mentioned by Ricketts and Janssen simply are not under the control of the governor. Janssen would have been better off mentioning his tax cut proposal as Rickett still has not offered any.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Ricky also criticized GOP candidate commercials Ricky never watches.

    There are stupid people all over politics but Ricky pegs the dumb ass meter.

  32. TexasAnnie says:

    Yes, Drew, immigration is a federal issue, and if Nebraska attempts to circumvent the proper role of the federal government, it will come with even more cost to Nebraska taxpayers and without any real and permanent solution. It does look like the House Republicans are inching toward amnesty.

  33. To Drew says:

    Ask Nebraskans whose tax money is going to illegals on a daily basis (think they aren’t collecting welfare benefits in Fremont? Try asking the people who live there and see it everyday) if they want their state government to try and do something about it. It was okay for Colorado and Washington to circumvent the proper role of the federal government on legalization, and not too many people seemed to complain about that…especially our own President, who has engaged in that activity a few too many times.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Americans embrace a hopeful comforting blinding mythology. We believe we are fundamentally different from Auschwitz’s victims, its coopted Kapos and its horrific guards. But we aren’t.

    What separates us from them is a brief document that hobbles the worst of the rot that lives in everyone everywhere all the time. You and your children and all whom we can elect are exactly like everyone in Auschwitz, numb victims and willing monsters alike.

    What led them into their hell was their hope that power in the right hands could save them. They didn’t see that freedom only exists because all hands are the wrong hands. They failed to see that only by diluting power is power sufferable to usefulness with minimal tyranny. Instead, they applauded their own blind hope in political saviors they empowered. They applauded, and thus created, their own tyrants, who are nothing more complicated than anyone empowered who is un-hobbled.

    When a President tells Congress that he will exercise power around them and they applaud, the hobble is off.

  35. Send 'em home! says:

    When are we going to build the wall around our northern border to keep dangerous Canadians, like Justin Beiber, out of our country? He has committed numerous crimes ihere and yet he still roams free. WTF?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, that Obama guy is just like Hitler. Only Hitler enslaved and murdered millions of Jews, among others, and destroyed his own country, among others. Obama wants to provide jobs, healthcare and education to Americans.
    Yup! Same thing.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Great to know the most important political topic of the day is Ricky’s possible move to San Francisco. I mean this is pertinent to my life like navy beans to chili.

  38. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t the Federal government’s job to provide jobs, healthcare and eduction to Americans.

    That’s your opinion, not a fact. The general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution pretty much classifies your opinion as nonfactual.

  39. Edu-muh-cation says:

    “The first clause of Article I, Section 8, reads, “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” This clause, called the General Welfare Clause or the Spending Power Clause, does not grant Congress the power to legislate for the general welfare of the country; that is a power reserved to the states through the Tenth Amendment. Rather, it merely allows Congress to spend federal money for the general welfare.”

    Looked it up on my Google Machine and got that off those fancy new Interwebs.

  40. No, it’s the Supreme Court’s opinion. It’s always adhered to the opinion of Justice Story, which holds the general welfare clause is merely a qualification on the United States’ taxing power, and is not a grant of general legislative power.

    Remember, the only place in the body of the Constitution the phrase ‘general welfare’ appears is in the Taxing and Spending Clause. It says taxes may be raised for the general welfare; it does not say the US can do anything it likes for the general welfare. To do so would make the Tenth Amendment meaningless.

  41. Anonymous says:

    The two writers of this “general welfare” clause differed on its meaning. Madison agreed with GH’s view. Hamilton had a much broader view of “general welfare”. The Supreme Court in United States vs. Butler (1936) agreed with Hamilton’s interpretation. End of story.

  42. (Not) End of story says:

    This narrow view was overturned in 1936 in United States v. Butler. There, the Court agreed with Justice Story’s construction, holding the power to tax and spend is an independent power; that is, the General Welfare Clause gives Congress power it might not derive anywhere else. However, the Court did limit the power to spending for matters affecting only the national welfare.

  43. Anonymous says:

    …provide jobs, healthcare and education to Americans

    I’d say that problems in these areas fall would affect “national welfare”.

  44. GH II says:

    Provide educational opportunities, provide health care opportunities, and an environment for business to thrive is one thing…mandatory health care, education and jobs promotes ZERO incentive for individual growth. All it encourages is sucking off the government teet for years to come.

  45. Ricky says:

    Watching the Repubs response to our great President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama’s State of the Union Address makes me happy we have that great man as President.
    The Repubs look clumsy and inarticulate R E: dolts like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
    Lee Terry had a response that I can’t even remember it was so mindlessly dumb.
    In my new home in San Francisco we appreciate the Kenyan Muslim guy from Harvard.

    Ricky From Omaha

  46. Macdaddy says:

    If the Republicans vote for amnesty, then I am done voting for Republicans. They can lead us into Hell without my support.

  47. From the edge says:

    Charlie needs to first secure his border between sanity and right wing nut job. That fence is not tall enough at the moment.

  48. Hal Daub - BO Pelini Partnership says:

    Dear L Street Reader,
    Just a note to inform you that I begged my NU Board of Regent representative Hal Daub to do something to rid Nebraska of the sociopath football coach Pelini.
    I tried to convince him (in emails) that under his stewardship the state of Nebraska has been embarrassed over and over and the reputation of the football program tarnished under Pelini’s (and Tom Osborne who hired him) leadership.
    Especially in light of Pelini keeping a sex offender (if you call exposing yourself twice a sex offense) on the team.
    But Mr Daub basically told me that there was nothing he could or wanted to do about the situation, that Pelini and Super Regent Hawks were greater in power than the Board of Regents, President Milliken, Chancellor Perlman, and AD Eichorst.
    Pretty sad but there you go. Maybe if Pelini gets the Huskers on probation for playing Moss while he was banned from campus might change the Board of Regents minds.

    ricky from omaha

  49. Gaius Gracchus says:

    #64 – Congratulations! You learned what a Land Grant, public universitty is for, how it’s governed, and who actually runs it.

  50. Anonymous says:

    But Macdaddy, St Ronnie had no problem with it in the 80’s. You have make sure the rich corporations have cheap labor. You can’t have those nasty unions making those wage demands when we have plenty of folks from the south who will work for a lot less.

  51. Hmmm... says:

    The first #NESEN Debate was last night and there were no comments on this thread… very interesting. What this tells me, is that anyone who comments on the Senate race is probably campaign staff trying to push opposition research on another guy or beef up their own guy. Hmmm…

  52. Or Probably says:

    #68, or probably that most posters here live in Lincoln or Omaha and could really give a rat’s ass about what happens west of Seward. It’s nothing new in Nebraska…it’s always been that way and always will.

  53. Oliver Warbucks says:

    Why are all of you other corporate capitalists so concerned about abortion? If your wage slaves get pregnant, it removes them from your assembly lines for months, possibly years! That hurts your profits. Get your priorities straight!

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