I was born in a small town…

#NEGOV candidate Bryan Slone has a new ad out.
See it here:


As with most statewide candidates, Slone was born in a Small Town.
Educated in a Small Town.
Taught the fear of Jesus in a Small Town.
Used to daydream in that Small Town.
Another boring romantic that’s…Slone.

And just because he is the umpteenth candidate to let us know that he gets his Nebraska values from a place with one diner, a single stoplight with no yellow and a goat who is the town constable, we will take a few pokes at his ad.

Slone grew up in small towns says the slide…featuring the state Capitol in Lincoln.

Slone - Small Town - Lincoln

Slone stacked something called “hay bales” and thus has “SMALL TOWN VALUES” says the slide…superimposed over the Omaha skyline.

Slone - Small Town - Omaha

Maybe the concept here is, “Oh sure he’s seen it all in a Small Town. Had himself a ball in a small town. But he ain’t there anymore…

Heck, we don’t mean to pick on Slone. This is the state of the “3rd District providing the votes” campaign we’re living with.

(Though we do feel we must note that this is Slone’s second ad in a week — the first getting deleted after they put it out with Slone mistakenly expressing his opposition to expanding MediCARE in Nebraska — as opposed to MediCAID. We understand, as we have mixed that up on a number of occasions — though we also don’t have a team of muckrakers, character assassin-mudslingers and garbologists.)

But, we will put our foot down if Slone says that he wants to go to the Governor’s mansion and “paint the mother PINK!


Hey you know who else is from a Small Town?
That would be AG candidate Brian Buescher!

See him in a YouTuber here:

This spot has the feel (and audio) of being just a little more homemade. But we give Buescher points for getting it out there, in any case.

But hey, is this another Small Town guy who once ran for the Omaha City Council? Ah well…


There is a debate tonight on the mean streets of Omaha between the Senate candidates (home court advantage for Bart McLeay!).

Note that you can catch the webcast of the Senate debate starting at 7pm (CDT) tonight (Tuesday) here.

We will do our best to Tweet along as it is happening. Let’s all agree on #NESENdebate, yes?

Joe Jordan is asking questions, so we look forward to fewer softballs and more follow-ups. Joe likes a good “gotcha”, so look for a few of those as well. If he doesn’t force the candidates to mix it up a little we will be revoking his “tough questioner” badge.

And we will touch on this below, but how about, “Whom do you agree with more, regarding foreign policy on the Ukraine/Russia issue — Ted Cruz or Rand Paul?

Now there’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t one, eh? We dare — no TRIPLE DOG DARE — the candidates to take sides on that one! (A slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple-dare-you and going right for the throat!)

Oh, and no letting them get away with, “Ho, ho, ho! You’re not going to lead ME into that trap Joe!” You’re better than that Jordan. Step it up.


Maybe you caught this statement by Senate Minoroty Leader Mitch McConnell to the NYT, about the the Senate Conservative Fund — mainly a product of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint:

“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” Mr. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said in an interview, referring to the network of activist organizations working against him and two Republican incumbents in Kansas and Mississippi while engaging in a handful of other contests. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”

He came out later that he meant the SCF specifically, as opposed to the Tea Party, saying

I’ve always been and continue to be a big supporter of the Tea Party and the conservative change it’s bringing to Washington. One of the biggest obstacles to that change, however, is the Senate Conservatives Fund, a rogue political operation that has co-opted the Liberty movement for its own enrichment to the detriment of the conservative cause. This is a point that I have been making repeatedly and energetically over the past several months, because in my view this group has deceived a lot of good people. They claim to share our goals but undermine them at every turn. I think they should be stopped, and I don’t mind saying so.

As you know, the SCF has endorsed Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse. McConnell is supporting Shane Osborn [this is assumed by some pols, though Osborn has NOT received a formal endorsement, nor any cash from McConnell or any related PACs].

We think McConnell (and DeMint) are focused more on Kentucky than anywhere else, but there is little doubt they will take their battle to the race in Nebraska.

Are Nebraskans paying attention?
Once the ads start, will they be able to avoid it?


To stray from straight Nebraska pols for a few, we were intrigued by the the foreign policy discussions going on last week.

First we saw Florida Senator Marco Rubio gorilla dunk on liberal loverboy Tom Harkin, after Harkin extolled the wonderfulness of modern day Cuba. Rubio spoke without notes on the Senate floor, and ripped the Cuban government and their actions in their own country and Venezuela. It is worth watching if you haven’t caught it. See it here:


Then there was Texas Senator Ted Cruz ripping into first Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney for not being principled enough. Then Cruz took on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for being soft on Russia regarding the Ukraine. Cruz has been citing Ronald Reagan often in standing up to the Russians. See the ABC interview here:


So Rand Paul then took to the op-ed pages to denounce those who like to quote Reagan too much, without acting like Reagan, or something along those lines. You may remember that Rand’s father, Ron Paul, had great distain for international intervention. Many of Ron Paul’s followers — who now pin their hopes on Rand — took that plank of Ron Paul’s platform as one of the main items that differed from the other Presidential candidates. You can see Paul on FOX here:


It was quite a dust-up for those grabbing for the “heart” of the conservative Republicans.


But do those arch-conservatives — particularly those who attend CPAC — really make the difference in GOP Presidential politics?

A recent analysis posited that there are four GOP groups that choose the GOP Presidential nominee:

1) Moderate or liberal voters;
2) Somewhat conservative voters;
3) Very conservative, evangelical voters; and
4) Very conservative, secular voters

The article states, “Each of these groups supports extremely different types of candidates. Each of these groups has also demonstrated stable preferences over the past twenty years.

But it is group #2, the “somewhat conservative voters” who are “the most numerous nationally and in most states, comprising 35–40 percent of the national GOP electorate.

While the numbers of moderates, very conservative and evangelical voters vary significantly by state, somewhat conservative voters are found in similar proportions in every state. They are not very vocal, but they form the bedrock base of the Republican Party.

As the article points out, there are many different dynamics that go into the choice of the Somewhat Conservative voters, and that the different candidates can overlap among the groups. It then breaks down those groups in the various early voting states.

Notably, they make the case that because of those various dynamics, a specifically “Tea Party” candidate will have a difficult time capturing the nomination.

(We wonder how much of this Mitch McConnell believes, and whether that influences him as he oftentimes takes on the SCF and its brand of Tea Partiers. He may believe they simply don’t have the numbers.)

Of course none of this has much to do with Nebraska, because of the relatively late primary voting the state has. It is interesting and frustrating, to say the least, that there has been so little discussion about fixing the primary process so that other states can have a say in the early vote. The random system that is set up now — with the heavy emphasis on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — is more than a bit maddening. (We want to slap the flinty New Hampshirite who isn’t sure about a candidate because he hasn’t met them yet…)

In any case, with those groups in mind you can watch how 2016 shapes up, how the candidates land, and whether those breakdowns end up being true.


  1. Ode to the Third says:

    Here, where men sit and hear each other groan, where candidates go and proclaim their hunting lust.
    Do I wake or sleep when realization sits in that the Ne 3rd district decides pols fates?
    Was it a vision or a waking dream that God put North Platte in Ne and not Colo?

    Ricky From Omaha

  2. Bigger Issue says:

    It is one thing to casually say “Medicare expansion” in a conversation or even in a debate. But Slone said this in a video which I’m sure took more than one take. Also, I would assume he reviewed the final product before it went public. His media people should have caught it but ultimately it tells me Slone is really out of touch.

  3. Interested Observer says:

    Street Sweeper, that “Four Faces of the Republican Party” article is really interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I’ve asked several candidates for Governor and Senator if this is the year to “out Conservative” their opponents and their respective responses were also really interesting. Only one said that he thought so earlier, but has recently changed his mind.

    Since nothing lasts forever, I wonder if simply pandering to the Tea Party will guarantee a primary win this year. I guess we’ll know in a matter of weeks, now.

  4. Regency says:

    “As with most statewide candidates, Slone was born in a Small Town”
    Not quite the case…

    Bruning was born in Lincoln, NE
    Ricketts was born in Nebraska City, NE.
    Foley was born in Rochester, NY.

  5. Pointless post... says:

    As #5 pointed out this posts generalization about small town birthplaces is dead wrong..

    Also I am the only one that noticed a bias for Brunings videos on this site..Anytime one comes out its is praised for being “direct” and “we love candidates talking to the camera” yet when any other video comes out for other candidates it is ripped apart

  6. Sorry. Forgot how sensitive you all are.
    We’ll go alphabetically:

    Bruning (who represented Omaha in the unicameral and lives in Lincoln): “Bruning, Nebraska, Bruning, Nebraksa, Bruning Nebraka!”

    Carlson : Well, Carlson is actually from, and reps a small town, but is focusing on his waterskiing.

    Foley: From upstate New York. Not sure he has quoted John Cougar…yet.

    McCoy: Lives in Omaha, but is all about his rancher upbringing

    Ricketts (went to Westside HS in Omaha) : “Nebraska City!”

    Slone: “Got nothing against a big town. Still hayseed enough to say, ‘Look who’s in the big town.'”

    Point being, Most of these guys live in Omaha and Lincoln, yet you’d think they wake up in Beemer and go to sleep after a long day of sod busting.

    It’s also a little funny. A little. We didn’t say big chortling laughs, but it’s chuckleworthy. And no we did not mention or a show a freeze-frame of Slone glancing at the camera at the beginning, mainly because we forgot.

    So there’s that.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Jon Bruning was born in Lincoln NE.

    Charles Starkweather was born in Lincoln NE.

    Are we supposed to believe this is just a coincidence?

  8. To Sweeper says:

    Sweeper: Bruning represented GRETNA in the Legislature, which is most certainly not Omaha and was even less do during his term.

  9. Billionaire Pete says:

    Correction: I live in Chicago, where I attend $uper $ecret meeting$ in my dad’$ $crooge McDuck money pool underneath Wrigley to plan political attack$ back in Nebra$ka.

  10. RWP says:

    3rd rate GOP candidate just beat Dems last gubernatorial nominee in FL13, a district Obama won. good early sign for November. Outspent and with less name recognition. Jolly won by 2 points.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, Bwahahahaha! Of course this means Boehner will have a freer hand in screwing us over on immigration and spending.

  12. C'mon man says:

    That’s great but Slone’s lived in DC or Omaha for the last 30 years. That’s longer than he lived in a small town. Of course, Omaha is smaller than Chicago and bigger than Lincoln. Senate debate looks like another snoozer.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Some of these candidates look like rodents. Not evil and rat-like but cute like a hamster or a vole. Or perhaps a pica. The rodent pica, that is. Not the typeface pica or the bizarre eating habit pica.

  14. Kids as Political Props says:

    Ben Sasse should be ashamed of himself after what he pulled at the debate. During the debate we went to great lengths to weave into his closing a family story and stated that “I’m running for office because I am a dad” Then after the debate I watched Ben Sasse and his handlers go find his kid, take him from the rest of the family and rushed him to a room across the hall where the TV cameras were. Ben’s handler helps him pick up his son and escorts Ben and his son to a waiting TV camera. Tyler Grassmeyer then snaps a picture of the interview and less than an hour later sends a fundraising email with the picture he just took right after the debate. Tyler are you so desperate you have to create desperate pleas for cash with set up photo shots that are not organic? This is the same guy that used the kids a few weeks ago in another fundraising email. PATHETIC!!!

  15. so? says:

    whats wrong with taking a picture with your son? you make it sound like he was plucked out of the nest and torn away from his sister ducklings….

  16. Born In Sweetwater says:

    I was born in Sweetwater, Nebraska. There is no place that is smaller than Sweetwater. I think I will run for Governor or Senator….if being born in a small town is a guarantee of success.

  17. @ Kids as Political Props says:

    Okay… good to know that the Osborn campaign now thinks it is a bad thing to be a dad in Nebraska. Interesting…

  18. Macdaddy says:

    Sweetwater, I think I’ll run, too. I was born in the back of a Greyhound bus rolling down Highway 41. My “town” is so small it isn’t even incorporated. Now if I could just get Omaha to leave me alone with the dog licensing baloney.

  19. To Kids as Political Props says:

    I attended the debate and saw the Sasse Camp do exactly what you said. His staff set up the photograph. I was shocked to see how choreographed it was. It’s one thing to have your child with you when the press approaches you, but it is another when you grab your kid and chase the press all over the building. On another note Bart won the debate.

  20. The Children says:

    All politics aside, I feel bad for Ben Sasse’s kids. At some point in their life, I imagine they will see how they’ve been paraded across the state in an RV and used as pawns in dad’s race for power. And maybe they’ll be okay with that. But it seems it could be damaging to a kid’s childhood; I know a few adults who had this happen to them as children. I hope it’s not something that negatively impacts his kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.