Innies and Outies

We present this Separated at Birth, suggested by a longtime reader who was no doubt watching the West Virginia vs Iowa State game last night:

Bena - Huggins SAB 01

Sarpy County Election Commissioner (and former NEGOP Communications Director) Wayne Bena and West Virginia basketball coach, Bob Huggins!

Consider yourself famous now, Wayne.


Surprising no one at this point, Jon Bruning formally entered the Nebraska Governor race. We mentioned Bruning’s interest in October of last year (after which Bruning assured anyone within hearing distance that he was definitely NOT running). Things turned again a month or so ago, and here we are.

As many have noted, we await the media barrage by the Ricketts crew — both Joe and Pete —  should Bruning start to pull away. And we expect all of the items that were brought up in 2012 to return. We are not sure that there are any that couldn’t be recycled.

What will be interesting is to see how Bruning handles the attacks this time. Not unlike you coming up with the perfect comeback only after you’ve left the room (“Well the Jerk Store called, they’re running out of YOU!“), we have to think that Bruning has been planning his responses to Ricketts for the past two years, turning them over and over each time his head hits the pillow.

We imagine that the ads are being created as we speak.


And of course our Mike Foley rumor was reiterated “in the papers” after we told you about it late Friday. We don’t know what sort of timetable Foley will be on for making his decision — except that he only has a week to do it.

We imagine that there are plenty who see an opening for Foley. His problem is that if he takes a gamble at Governor, and loses, he is out of politics for another four years or so.

Interesting decisions on his part.


Like Ben Sasse before him, Shane Osborn was interviewed by Survivor contestant and shoe designer, Elisabeth Hasselbeck on FOX and Friends recently. See it here:

(Not to be too critical, but the “…why politics?” question by Hasselbeck could be fixed by a producer noting that Osborn has already served four years in statewide office.)

In any case, the Osborn and Sasse camps seem to be going head-to-head on the cable nets. The free media is nice for them. We will see where they go when they start spending more of their own cash.


And as we had noted earlier, Bart McLeay is now on TV with a relatively large buy. For his sake though, we only wish he had gone with the “agriculture” ad standing by the barn — as opposed to the “Making Me Kringe in the McLeay Kitchen” ad.

But maybe it’s us.


Yesterday retiring Oklahoma U.S. Senator Tom Coburn gave his endorsement to Ben Sasse in an interview “with the papers”. With that endorsement, Sasse adds Coburn to his personal list with Congressman Paul Ryan.

Not to be outdone, the Osborn camp sent out an email from former Presidential candidate Steve Forbes, showing his support — which had also originally gone out weeks ago.

We aren’t sure these endorsements are really turning heads, but again, the free media ain’t bad


  1. Suggestion says:

    I am sick of all the platitudes and boring debates. The only way to settle the Governor’s race is a twerk off.

    Can you image Carlson onstage twerking to a Lil Wayne song?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I want to see Ricketts and James Carville separated at birth photos. Ricketts is an untrustworthy snake. James Carville as long been known as the serpent head. Perfect pair.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper bring back the Separated at Birth between Jon Bruning and Boogie Nights actor John C. Reilly. That’s a total classic!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who in the world is telling Osborn to follow Sasse’s alleged lead by being interviewed by an fluff brain. Forbes? Now there’s someone who is pertinent to today’s real world. Best answer for the Rickett’s duo do over? Silence. Unless of course you cause them to mess on themselves by bringing issues like blight and baseball camps in Arizona.

  5. NOT Matt Butler says:

    It’s not illegal to have your campaign make payments to a company you own a big part of for “consulting,” is it? Just asking for a friend…

  6. Anonymous says:

    A really “priceless” comparison would be of Ricketts separated at birth from Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers movie franchise. Dr. Evil is the bald rich villain who barely has a pulse of a personality always quoting “one million dollars.”

  7. Hesdeadjim says:

    To the above:

    My guess is that his lawyer is better than yours, and he probably got a legal opinion.

    But I can only speculate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL Wow looks like the GOP better brace themselves. Their top tier Gov candidates are persona’s of a middle aged porn star and a rich mafia like bald man?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Matt was sued for refusing to pay rent for a commercial space and lost in court. And after losing the argument that it shouldn’t matter that he signed the amended lease without reading it, he has demanded a jury trial. All just a few months before the primary. With a lawyer the whole time.

    You Northstar people need to take a step back and get some perspective.

  10. Anonymous says:

    WTF LOL war on camp consulting ethics between the most corrupt GOP elephants in the room. Allow me to introduce in the ring leg cand Matt Butler & maj owner of Andy Northwalls Northstar Syndicate all formerly of Janssen camp now with Bruning camp versus The Moaning Mafia and her high $$ backscratchers with the Ricketts camp Taking All bets for best GOP best ethics practices winner

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am betting on Chuck Hassebrook as our next governor. Not any of the GOP candidates with a circle of consultants with no ethics.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ding. Ding. Ding. My bet is that the REAL best ethical campaign consulting winner is Jane Kleeb and her big donkey DEM Chuckie Hassebrook.

  13. Too Big to Succeed says:

    Hopefully whoever the governor nominee is, that they will have the courage to dismantle the Frankenstein monster that is DHHS. Ben Nelson built it in his lab and it continues to terrorize the village. It was pathetic to see Director Winterer try to defend this monstrosity in person yesterday. To say that he is not even sure if there are any problems that need to be addressed is all the Legislature and every candidate should need to hear. It is clear this thing is so out of control and that even the Director has no idea what is going on. Time to admit that the Nelson Plan did not work and that size does matter.

  14. Some Thoughts says:

    I agree that McLeay needed to go with the Agriculture ad and not that horrible fake kitchen chat ad. Fire whoever thought that was a winner.

  15. Fremont says:

    Gee, despite the courageous leadership of Midland U and the Fremont Chamber to repeal, the voters kept the ordinance 60-40. Boy, I hope this doesn’t hurt Dr. Sasse’s chances for the Senate, because he’s so smart he’s allowed two positions on every issue whereas his mortal opponents only get one.

  16. Tea Party Patriot says:

    Ben Sasse and his step-father took it in the shorts tonight in Fremont. Their organizations went against the people of Fremont and lost big time. No real conservative would try to repeal a vote of the people, but Ben Sasse did. He went with the establishment of Fremont and not with the citizens.

  17. Let Fremont be Fremont says:

    What is up with that community North of Omaha? I thank my lucky stars I did not lose the womb lottery (Warren’s phrase) and be born to somebody in that town.
    They gave us Charlie Janssen and Ben Sasse and the town caught the eye of Kris Kobach.
    They have cops and waitresses buying shots for 18 year olds.
    Fremont ties themselves up in legal knots because they don’t like brown faces in town.
    Being in federal court is going to be pretty standard fare from now on up there. If I were somebody living there I’d high-tail it to Omaha and get an apartment in Benson or Dundee ASAP.
    Pretty sad but Omaha welcomes the enlighten Fremonters that want to move down here.

    Ricky From Omaha

  18. Fremont says:

    Vote Analysis — thank God that there’s a rational explanation. After Dr. Sasse was for Medicare Part D and then against it, for the individual mandate and then against it, against GOP efforts to defund Obamacare and then for them, I was worried that he’d get accused of flip-flopping on another issue. I’ll sleep better tonight.

  19. Fremont says:

    Ricky, first of all, Fremont is basically west of Omaha, Yes, it’s a tiny bit north. Think of it this way. On a clock face 12 is north and 9 is west. Fremont is maybe 10 on the clock face. The drinking incident was in Waterloo. I know this gets confusing, but Nebraska does actually have several cities. We in Fremont are just crying in our collective beer that we weren’t lucky enough to have you born in our town. Maybe we were just tired of having any chance of getting a decent hourly job in town being cut out from underneath us by a Federal Government that doesn’t enforce the border. I’m sure you would’ve been thrilled if an undocumented worker had taken your job at the Post Office.

  20. thank you says:

    Jeremy Jensen was a great worker and should get props for his work. The grass roots workers basically carried the water. Great job!!!

  21. Fremont says:

    Well you’ll get no thanks from Ricky, Midland U or the Chamber who fought so courageously to repeal the ordinance only to be thwarted by democracy. It’s just so darn inconvenient when the voters won’t do what the Establishment tells them to do.

  22. Pol Watcher says:

    Great job by Meridian tonight. Took $77K from chamber interests to beat down that pesky ordinance and only came up 1200 votes short. The checks will still clear, I’m sure.

    Meanwhile, a bunch of dedicated volunteers hopped on an (often maligned) Omaha based phone system and smoked Meridian like a Christmas ham.

    Is that candidate for governor okay paying a consultant who worked to repeal this immigration ordinance?

  23. Tea Party Bust says:

    Sasse proved last night he is not a true conservative. The fraud sided with the ACLU instead of the citizens of Fremont. He can’t hide from this one.

  24. Interested Observer says:

    One aspect of the Fremont housing ordinance is the demand for housing by the illegal population in the first place. Why are there so many illegals in Fremont looking for housing in the first place? Are they doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and business owners looking for a place to live? The Greater Fremont Development Council website lists the largest employer in Fremont as Hormel Foods, Inc. with 1400 total employees. It is my understanding that it is a large meat packing plant, just the same type of business that is located in many other Nebraska towns.

    It is interesting to note that almost every one of these Nebraska towns with a meat packing plant has a similar illegal emigrant population. A very interesting additional similarity, to me, is that each of these Nebraska towns get a disproportionately HUGE chunk of our State Aid to Education. Most of these meat packing towns get nearly TWICE the per pupil amount of State Aid than another town down the road without a packing plant and therefore, without the illegal, largely non-English speaking school population.

    So, my question is, what is the reason that Hormel or any other huge meat packing business is not paying enough real estate property tax and why aren’t their employees paying enough real estate property tax, either on their own homes or on the rental properties in which they live, to support their own kids education? Why does the average Nebraska taxpayer have to pay, not only for their own kids’ education in their own school districts, but ALSO have to pay for these other meat packers’ kids, many who do not speak English as their first language, in these other Nebraska towns through Nebraska’s unfair State Aid to Education?

    This whole issue of illegal emigrants is a lot bigger than just the Fremont renters ordinance. I think it’s time for the Legislature to look into the cause and effect of why some towns are so greedy and taking so much more than their share of our precious tax dollars in the form of State Aid to Education. The Lincoln Public Schools receive a fraction of the per pupil state average, while towns like Fremont, Lexington and every other meat packing town get so much more than the per pupil state average.

    Texas Annie talks about corporate welfare. This unequal distribution of State Aid is a blatant example of the hard working, middle class Nebraska taxpayer subsidizing large corporate meat packing companies, which, I would submit, are not paying their way, either to us ranchers in the first place with their proven, fraudulent pricing schemes, or to their local school districts in property taxes.

    How long can Nebraska afford the current management of our meat packing industry?

  25. Interested Observer says:

    I intended the last sentence to read, How long can Nebraska afford TO SUBSIDIZE the current management of our meat packing industry?

  26. To IO says:

    My god, that was the best take I have seen in a long time on this. What people don’t realize its about $10,000 to educate a kid a year. If an illegal family has 3 kids in the school district that is about $30,000 a year to pay for those children. Fremont public schools lose millions each year due to the immigration problem. I’m surprised Ben Sasse didn’t care about that.

  27. @ Osborn trolls re: Fremont ordinance says:

    Not sure if you idiots are aware or not: Ben Sasse lives outside Fremont. He didn’t get to vote yesterday. He didn’t oppose the ordinance–and he has been on leave at Midland for months. Find me one quote where you see him saying anything negative about the ordinance, please.

    Oh, you can’t find one? OK, well, how about I Google Sasse on immigration, and see what we find? I see the same thing, over and over: Sasse calling for securing the border. And here’s his website:

    “The Federal Government’s primary responsibility is to protect Americans from enemies foreign and domestic. The American people are not safe unless we know who is entering and leaving our country. Neither Party has been willing to get serious about border security, dating back to the mid-80s when a Republican president agreed to amnesty in exchange for promises of securing the border later. It never happened.

    President “You can keep your doctor” Obama refuses to lead on this issue because he is more concerned about turning Texas into a Democrat state than he is about solving the problem. Republicans must not make a deal with President Obama. We must secure the border. End of story.”

    Yeah, what a squish.

  28. @#40 says:

    Where does Sasse stand on what to do with the 11 million people here illegally after the border is secure? It seems all he will say is “I’m not even gonna talk about that until the border is secure”. Very courageous and Senatorial. For a guy who claims to be a DC Outsider, he sure acts like a politician.

    As a voter, I would like to know what Sasse will do with the 11 million illegals that are here once we secure the border. After all, that is what the immigration reform issue is really all about.

    If he can’t give us a straight answer here, while he is facing the voters, there is no way we can hold him accountable when he is in DC.

  29. @40 says:

    Sasse is still the head of Midland, he still draws a paycheck, and he still make the major decisions there. You sasse people should read your own statements. Your so called “management committee” does the day to day management. The Ordinance was a major policy decision. Tie into the fact that Ben’s step-father was a big proponent of the repeal, your new defense is laughable. Ben got caught on his flip-flop!

  30. To @40 says:

    Sasse and the Chamber were against the Ordinance in June of 2010. According to Wikipedia “Sasse was announced as the 15th president of Midland University in October 2009. At the age of 37, he became one of the youngest chief executives in American higher education when he took over leadership of the 128-year-old institution in the spring of 2010.” Was Ben on leave in 2010 as well?

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