Janssen waves goodbye to #NEGOV

Charlie Janssen 01The breaking news, for those of you who were awake, came in around 12:30 AM Monday morning.
Charlie Janssen is OUT of the Nebraska Governor race.

We heard some rumblings about this a week or so ago, and then we should have jumped on the huge hint laid out by Don Walton in his Sunday night column, saying that there was more to come.

But, as noted above, we received a hint about this last week:

“Bruning – Janssen ’14”.

Now, of course, Attorney General Jon Bruning is not yet IN the race.
And, there’s that little point that one needs to be the party nominee before a Lieutenant Governor reaches the ballot.

But…we had heard rumblings that the candidate and potential candidate were chatting. And both Bruning and Janssen have had Jordan McGrain as their manager, though that does not necessarily guarantee any cooperation. We would also note that there have been some reports that Janssen may be interested in Auditor, especially if Pete Pirsch were to switch his campaign to Attorney General.

The name of Don Stenberg for AG has also come up in the media (after being mentioned here first, of course). While the race wouldn’t be given to Don, he has a solid voter base to fall back on should he wish to try.

There are less than three weeks for all of this to wrap up — well the pre-campaign stuff anyway.

And then let’s be honest, who knows who else might drop. Would anyone be shocked if Senator Tom Carlson judged that his $157K in the bank may not be able to compete against Pete Ricketts’s $1.4M? Then again maybe Carlson doesn’t care. But those are votes that will come off the rest of a very slim victory margin.

Exciting stuff.


Over in the Senate race, we chuckled a little at the recent Ben Sasse email that went out, Subject line:

A difficult email to write

OK, c’mon guys. When we first saw this, we figured it was the Janssen announcement. Instead, it was a bit of a whine from the Sasse camp stating,

“Sadly, Osborn’s campaign and DC supporters at FreedomWorks have decided to run a negative campaign.”

Now, they can complain about Freedomworks, but you can’t put that all on Osborn. And the recent “Veteran” ad put up on Osborne’s behalf, which they also reference, isn’t exactly evidence of negative campaigning. And frankly, again the reference to Osborn’s DC support is a little chuckle-worthy, considering that Sasse is, literally, the cover-boy for the DC conservative literati.

There is nothing wrong with that for Sasse. But when they then complain about the exact same thing regarding Osborn, we roll our eyes a bit.


It will be interesting to see what the forces surrounding Sasse will do to agitate the race toward him.

So far, Sasse has been on the cover of magazine, received endorsements by politicians and radio hosts and had glowing interviews on national TV shows.

Problem is, he has to get elected in Nebraska.

Osborn has the (soft) lead at the moment, and Sasse hasn’t taken it from him, and certainly didn’t at the debate. At some point, someone or some group is going to have to go negative on Osborn in order to bring his numbers down. You can argue that Deb Fischer ran a positive campaign, but never forget the bombardment that her opponents took from outside sources to get her up there.

Osborn still comes across positively, and the hero pilot stuff still resonates.

Sasse still comes off as a wonk, and while claiming to be the ObamaCare expert, hasn’t necessarily come up with any clear, clean explainable alternatives. In the mean time Sid Dinsdale’s little bit of name ID with Nebraska giant Pinnacle will continue to give him support. And then “unknown” Bart McLeay made a semi-major TV buy in Hastings that challenges anything Sasse has done.

Short summary — Sasse is making waves, but not in Nebraska.
Reminds us a LOT of…Scott Kleeb.

And we don’t mean that pejoratively, Sasse-supporters-currently-freaking-out-at-us. All we are saying is that you may remember when Kleeb arrived into Nebraska with the good looks, Yale-pedigree and cowboy boasts. Kleeb had a giant strike a against him, being a Democrat. But the almost-too-slick stuff turned off the 3rd District voters — who Sasse must also woo this time.

With Sasse being off the air for an extended period of time AND sending out an email that has a whiff of desperation — in February — we aren’t real sure of the campaign direction.

Now of course, this could all change tomorrow. It could show Sasse peaking two weeks before Election Day, which would likely be the plan anyway.

But we also feel like someone is going to have to come out and take a direct shot at Osborn — and not just the “he’s being negative!” type.

There is a HUGE percent of Undecideds in this race (just like in the Gov’s race) and they are going to need to be pushed one way or the other. Osborn may be trying to push them early. We just wonder if Sasse may be waiting too long.

(And if push DOES come to shove, what could that mean for Dinsdale or McLeay.)


Hey, how about that Keystone XL report?

“…petroleum releases from the proposed project is unlikely to extensively affect water quality in (Ogallala Aquifer).”

Oh, and they also note that they’re going to extract the stuff whether the pipe is built or not, so that part of your “environmental” equation doesn’t add up either.

So that leaves NIMBY for the President to hang his hat on.

We’re still not holding our breath.


  1. Good Luck Charlie! says:

    Charlie will go far no matter what he decides to do in the future. I was a solid Charlie Janssen voter and am solidly in the Jon Bruning for Governor bracket if that comes to fruition.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard from a reliable source that apparently Ben Sasse called Mayor Stothert’s office last week looking for a meeting with her. Once his scheduler ironed out the “what day and time” questions with her scheduler — apparently, Ben’s scheduler proceeded to tell Mayor Stothert’s office where Jean could go to meet with Sasse in HIS office. “He’s very busy you know.” Ha ha — apparently they realized the error of their ways because within 15 minutes Sasse’s office called back to say that Ben would be “pleased to meet with the Mayor in HER office.” Uh, yeah.

  3. Random Thoughts..not by jack handy says:

    I also heard that Sasse’s people called Stothert’s office wanting a meeting in 2 or 3 days…they do realize she has a city to run?

  4. YEA! says:

    She can’t just drop everything to meet with a candidate for united states senate! Who does he think he is? Does he think he is ESPN wanting Stothert’s take on Peyton Manning knowing the name of the city she gets to run?!

  5. In The Third says:

    Only a dufus would suggest that Stothert to come to HIS office for a meeting that HE requested. If the term “wet behind the ears” ever applied, it is to Sasse in this comedic bit. Chances are that Stothert, should she decide to enter the race for U.S. Senate, would kick Sasse’s ass. Sasse is classless and clueless.

  6. Interested Observer says:

    I’m going to try this once more. What is the reason that the Janssen campaign failed to sufficiently engage the voters, the message or the messenger?

  7. To Interested says:

    I’m not sure why you’re suggesting the Janssen campaign failed to engage the voters. Seems pretty clear that engaging the donors was the problem.

  8. Ricky says:

    Oh okay Nebraskan’s rejected State Senator Janssens campaign for Governor big time but maybe he can be Lt Governor.
    Cornhuskers reject the extremism of Janssen and I predict Bruning will not get the G O P nod anyway.
    Nice try Mr Street Sweeper the guy from Fremont lost tens of thousands of dollars of his own money on his campaign. That’s how clueless he is.

    Ricky From Omaha
    Oh wait a minute that was a complete bust at the Super Bowl.

  9. Horatio says:

    I actually think Charlie stepped down in a classy and honest way. He didn’t make up some fake story. He is a good businessman and he has a good future.

  10. has anyone seen.. says:

    Polling for NEGOV? I’m curious to see where candidates stand and compare it tohow much they’ve spent.

    Has McCoy’s $275K spent added up to anything above single digits?

  11. In The Third says:

    I participated in a phone survey on which of the GOP candidates I would vote for. The survey was Sunday, I think. Anyway, this informed voter chose Sloan of course.

  12. Ricky says:

    A young man came up to my door on a cold Sunday and gave me some literature and said “Vote Osborn for Senate”.
    I said why should I vote for Osborn.
    The guy said “He’ll get rid of Obamacare”. I said but I love Obamacare. The guy said “No you don’t”.
    So then I ordered him off my property. But then I thought; how would Osborn get rid of Obamacare if elected? Even if the Senate takes majority the Great Mr Obama would veto any law repealing the health care law.
    And the Great Mr Obama does not leave office till 2016, then probably Hillary would take over.
    So I wish the G O P would come up with some new ideas instead of living in the past. In 2016 no Republican will want to run on taking health care away from people.
    But since this is Obama’s law and everything he does the Repubs don’t like; that is what is driving them.
    Grow up G O P and get some new ideas please.

    ricky from omaha

  13. Political Junkie says:

    Although I usually find Ricky’s posts rather pointless, he really hit the nail on the head here. GOPers keep running on “repealing obamacare” when there is no legal way of having this happen. The Senate is not going to get 60 votes to repeal the law and even if it did – as Ricky stated – Obama will veto it. I really wish in one of the remaining debates a moderator will simply ask: “If the House keeps it’s majority and the Senate turns Republican, what solutions will you put forward to change and help the healthcare system knowing that the President will veto a repeal of the ACA through 2016?”…then see if anyone actually answers the question.

  14. YoungVoter says:

    So with Little Charlie dropping out. I’m sure Brunning anncoucement is just days away. I’m not surprise all that Bruning is getting in. Brunning has been whating a higher political office since at least 2008. There was no way he was going to let a chance at the open governors office pass him and he would have to wait 8 years. Second I think he gauges that he has a base of support of 25-30% which in a 6 person primary will allow you to win. Third the Anybody but Brunning faction of the republican party will be split up among 5 others. Fourth I think he wants to get payback on the Ricketts.

    So he has name recogination, lots of money and a base of support. It’s going to make it a very interesting race.

    As for Charlie he realized that after a year of traveling that state the only people that thought he would make a good governor were those how thought that when he started the race. Not enough support to win a 6-or 7 person primary and not enough money to keep going. Rather then suffer a career ending defent he can run for Lt Governor, State Auditor, Treasuer

  15. TexasAnnie says:

    Right!!!, Political Junkie. Whether we like Obamacare or not, health care reform is here to stay.
    We could stop bickering about the prospect of insuring everyone and get down to economizing…for EVERYONE.

    Interested Observer: BOTH??? ‘Ya think?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bryan Slone (Sloane??) has an intro video up where he invokes the Governor’s name five or six times. Watch for the Governor to endorse Sloan/Sloane in record time if Bruning jumps in . No one gets to play on the Governor’s name that much without his tacit support or eventual endorsement. This race can settle down any day now.

  17. Some Thoughts says:

    I see Lautenbaugh and Wayne want to bring Charter Schools to Omaha now. You know who else has charter schools? Minneapolis. Charter school Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy uses taxpayer dollars to fund the teaching of Islam! Google it. Your jaw will drop. Is that the “creative” and “forward looking” solution Omaha needs? I hope not. Charter schools means any crazy group can open a school on the taxpayer’s $$ without any taxpayer control. Think about it.

  18. Bob Loblaw says:

    The appeal to charter schools isn’t that they are out of taxpayer control, it’s that they’re out of the teachers union control.

  19. DC Sasse says:

    The Washington Crowd are starting to figure Sasse is full of it. Whether its Obamacare or Immigration, the story changes all the time.

  20. To DC Sasse says:

    People in Fremont feel the same way. Funny how a plea deal just showed up in the Dannnelly case. There needs to be a timeline on who knew what, where and when in this matter.

  21. to: Funny Story says:

    You’ve crossed a line. Disgusting. Go home.

    Sweeper, please delete the 9:15 AM comment. I’m not a Sasse supporter but this should not be a forum to make such accusations.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with comment #30. Granted free speech is free speech, but garbage like that insults those who wish to have an exchange and dialogue of ideas. I’m not a Sasse supporter, but that’s disgusting and needs to be deleted. If that was really the “funniest” start to that person’s day? What does it say about them?

  23. @30 & 31 says:

    I agree its terrible but the fact is someone under Ben’s watch did threaten to rape and Kill someone. (And then he didn’t inform the student population of this guy) It’s a matter of public record.

    Maybe if Ben had spent more time at the college and less time in D.C. he would have better control of his University. From what I hear this thing with the A.D. is not going to be the last to come out of Midland.

    Ben’s ‘hands off’ approach is apparently not working.

  24. To those above,

    It is clear that the person was relating the ridiculousness of a story where two elderly citizens were so shockingly uninformed about a candidate — as opposed to accusing said candidate of a crime, by the commenter him(or her)self.

    BUT, so as to unbunch your panties on this fine morning, we’ll delete it and blah blah blah.

    Thanks for reading.

  25. Anonymous says:

    In all due respect Sweeper, if you truly buy the idea the person was “relating” the “ridiculousnes” of the story, there’s swampland in Florida that awaits you. No “panties” bunching, just a comment.

  26. funny story says:

    I WAS truly, 100% relating the ridiculousness of the situation. People get candidates and the offices they are running for confused and it makes me laugh. This story displeased me as much as it did anyone.

    I meant no ill-will by sharing the story. It was one of those face-palm moments.

  27. Fremont Resident says:

    Ben Sasse is no laughing matter here in Fremont. Students are getting assaulted at Midland under his watch and he supports repealing our immigration ordinance.

  28. Ernie's takeover of the Unicam says:

    Senator Chambers halted the blinking lights on vehicles bill brought by Sen Lautnbck. Ernie stopped Janssen’s bill to change the way electoral votes are distributed in Nebraska.
    Tomorrow Super Regent Hawks bill put forth by Hadley to let Hawks pick the new NU President all by himself will be torn apart.
    Charter schools are not happening in Nebraska, despite the push by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Omaha World Herald, Senator Lautenbk, Justin Wayne and right wing disc jockeys on AM radio.
    (Kudos to the Omaha Public Schools board for NOT going on record in support of charter schools. Will the Legislature now force this group to run another election?).
    Voter ID is going nowhere, mountain lions will be safe.
    Am I missing anything?

    ricky from Fullerton

  29. to: Funny Story says:

    The way the comment was worded did not explicitly reference a story. Any Joe Schmo who read it and is not an uber politico would think you were implying that Sasse did those terrible things. Just be careful what you write.

    And, Sweeper, making light of this or that someone would find it a bit offensive? Your comment speaks for itself and I have to say, beneath your style.

  30. To Gerard says:

    When people actually start paying attention to this Senate race, and realize 13% of Sasse’s $ is from NE, the votes will be cast in a different direction.

  31. Tea Party Voter says:

    Once people realize Ben Sasse supports illegal immigration he will lose his base. He and his step-father support repealing Fremont’s immigration ordinance. This is all documented here in Fremont. I want to see how Ben’s campaign spins this!

  32. Tea Party Voter says:

    To: To Tea Party Voter
    Go look up Larry Shepard of Don Peterson & Associates. Why would Fremont’s largest real estate company be against restrictions of renting to illegal aliens? Loss of rents? Also is a Fremont city council person employed by Don Peterson & Associates? A council person who voted to repeal the ordinance? Follow the Sasse family money, it reveals a lot about Ben Sasse. Dollars over principal!

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