Pulling and Punching

When last we left you on Friday afternoon, we were continually updating our latest post after the national conservative PAC Freedomworks switched their endorsement for the Nebraska Senate race from Shane Osborn to Ben Sasse.

The follow up on this has been interesting.

The original Freedomworks endorsement seemed to have been mainly pushed by Freedomworks VP Dean Clancy. Clancy had written a blog post about Sasse, mainly noting a column written by Sasse supporting Medicare Part D.

Sasse in the meantime has received the endorsement of many conservative groups, including the Senate Conservative Fund, headed by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who has had a long running feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Since that time, while McConnell has not endorsed Osborn and McConnell’s PAC has not endorsed Osborn and no money has been exchanged between the two, some PACs friendly to McConnell have supported Osborn. That, apparently, was enough for Freedomworks President Matt Kibbe to pull the plug on Osborn saying, “it is clear that Shane Osborn formed allegiances with Mitch McConnell and the K Street lobbying class“.

We only find this interesting in that when we posited this same idea to some politicos a week or so ago, we got fairly strong push-back that that wasn’t necessarily the case.

In any event, almost immediately after the Freedomworks switch, the aforementioned Dean Clancy resigned from Freedomworks. His blog was deleted as was his post about Sasse. He has not yet given any statement regarding all of this.

Once again, we note that we don’t know how much of this really goes into the heads of Nebraska voters.

One can certainly argue the merits of all the candidates. But for some of these endorsements, it seems that an awful lot is pursuant to a feud between Mitch McConnell and Jim DeMint.

And is an attempt to wrestle power from McConnell the deciding factor in the Nebraska Senate race?


Over in the Gov’s race, the papers have declared that it is Jon Bruning’s race to lose, with Pete Ricketts a close second.

The Bruning camp states that this is the reason for the attack pieces being placed against him, like the one on page three of the OWH on Monday morning:

Bruning Sour 16
(click to embiggen)

You will note that the contact on this ad is Aaron Trost. Trost, who was the campaign manager for Deb Fischer’s successful Senate campaign (and not the Jean Stothert campaign as we had brain-farted earlier) had worked with Jessica Moenning and Taylor Gage in that race — and who are now working  (in one way or another) with the Pete Ricketts campaign.

Is this the smoking gun that some are looking for to associate Ricketts with the anti-Bruning ads?

Does it really matter?

Look, we know that Joe Ricketts disliked Bruning enough to hammer him with the “anyone but Bruning” spots in the 2012 Senate race. There shouldn’t be a huge surprise that this would be going on in this race — especially with Pete in it. The fact of the matter is that while many would LIKE to know who is paying for the anti-Bruning stuff, they really don’t care.

There is no way you are going to get Pete’s face on those anti-Bruning ads. And even if there were several news stories that it was in fact Joe Ricketts who paid for them…meh.

No one is really going to care either.

Either the spots stick or they don’t at this point. Whether you like it or not, it is Game On.


We Twittered on Friday night about former Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey hammering his President of the United States about ObamaCare — to the foreign press.

Kerrey said, to the U.K.’s Daily Mail,

“(Obama) had to know he was misleading the audience,” Kerrey said quietly, recalling the newly minted president’s countless promises as Congress and the public debated his signature health insurance overhaul.

Kerrey goes on to say,

‘That self-delusion moment comes in a single declaratory sentence,'” Kerrey said, which is, “If they just get to know me, they’ll vote for me.”‘

‘It’s just self-delusion. … Some of us are good at it, and some of us are bad.’

Boy, remember all the times during the 2012 Senate race that Kerrey told the voters of Nebraska how awful ObamaCare was and how delusional Obama is.



You will note that after living in New York for over a decade, Kerrey moved back to his sister’s basement couch and tried to convince the people of Nebraska to vote for him.

And even though they had previously elected Kerrey to be Governor and Senator, they clearly voted for Deb Fischer in 2012.

But, Kerrey says, President Obama is the one who is delusional.


  1. Tonic & Tonic says:

    The simplest answer is usually the right one. The attacks on Bruning are most definitely the work of Pete Ricketts and his gallant gang of…. (keeping it G rated here).

    FWIW most of the attacks are complete bunk. I especially like the “Though a millionaire, he kept a $20,000 pay increase” attack seen on the bracket piece above. Nobody would turn down a $20,000 pay increase, especially when the legislature gave it to him. It’s not like he increased his own pay.
    Additionally, it is disingenuous for Pete’s organization (liberal use of the term) to criticize anyone’s wealth.

  2. Ricky says:

    Whomever is funding the anti-Bruning ads we thank you for getting the truth out there.
    (After watching the Cubs blow the opener to a walk off homer, I see a Beau McCoy for Gov ad on ESPN. McCoy is riding a horse all over. That is what we need in a governor; horse riding skills. They have a plane now who has need for a horse?).
    Anyway, usually the early ads target the front-runner, and we see a lot of anti-Bruning ads so maybe he is. All I know is I have never met ANYBODY that likes the guy. And Bruning lost his last race to a candidate running state wide for the first time. I predict AG Bruning will NOT be the next governor of Nebraska. He is not qualified for that job anyway.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Whatever Ricketts or Herbster or Buffett etc wishes to throw away of their own dollars on politics is theirs to spend, wisely or foolishly.

    However, what incumbents waste is our business. And that’s Bruning.

    If you want to hate Joe Ricketts and Buffett and other zillionaires, you can join the Communist Party. But as long as the USA taxes us and our elected incumbents spend our cash, anyone who uses our tax dollars, especially top law enforcers like AGs must be accountable to us for every penny.

  4. To anon says:

    They should be accountable and that’s why all of these smears have been discredited. It’s good old fashion lies and smears by the Ricketts crew, which they seem to enjoy – see Stohert right to life. It’s Ricketts who should be held accountable for defrauding voters and trying to buy this election like the previous ones.

    Oh and this bracket is even less accurate then my NCAA picks.

  5. Hesdeadjim says:

    To the above *than*

    Also, the Ricketts crew had nothin to do with the Stothert mailer. That is, unless the burger king man who funded the Stothert abortion mailer is supporting Ricketts, which would make sense since both he and Pete Ricketts are illegal immigrant sympathizers and both have a history of tasteless negative attacks often run through PACS… it’s all becoming clear and the smoking gun is right there.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I remember Bob Kerrey saying there were things wrong with Obamacare. That it could be improved. . I also remember him saying that Social Security and Medicare needed to be shored up. So a democrat criticized a democratic President. Kerrey has done that before. A bigger story would be a Republican criticizing President Bush, about his errors. Oh wait one did. Chuck Hagel. Now he is a RINO in republican eyes. Most democrats won’t have a problem with Kerrey’s remarks. Maybe leaders should criticize Presidents ,and not always toe the party line.

  7. Actually... says:

    We call Chuck Hagel a RINO because he had an Obama sign in his yard and is a bleeding heart liberal, not because he criticized President Bush.

  8. Anonymous at 6:50 AM,
    Kerrey is saying that it was the most obvious thing in the world, that Obama KNEW that the “you can keep your policy” statement was flatly, easily, wrong.
    Oh, it’s so ridiculous Mr. President! You’re so delusional!
    So Kerrey saying — while in Republican Nebraska, mind you — that ObamaCare had “some things wrong” is a far, far stretch from coming out in everyone’s face that they’d NEVER be able to keep their policy or have great doctors.
    Kerrey is brilliant at reading old newspapers to tell you what is going to happen last year.

  9. Crow says:

    So Ricky says Bruning won’t be Governor…this from the same guy who predicted that Stothert would get crushed. Get ready to eat me again, Ricky!

  10. Ricky says:

    I did not say Mean Jean would be CRUSHED I said I thought Mr Suttle would win. I underestimated how little help the local Dems would give Mr Suttle. I think the South Omaha Right to Lifers Nordquist and Mello think they can do better in the next Mayoral election.
    Good to see Mayor Stothert is keeping the policies Jim Suttle started, like the restaurant tax and the TIF for rich corporation business.
    Too bad for Omaha though that the current mayor spent a fortune giving the old fire chief a golden parachute and failed to stop the city’s bond rating from falling.
    (By the way Mr Suttle was also right about the fool-hardy move of Omaha Steel Castings to Wahoo. Does anybody seem something fishy in Lozier feeling generous in buying a company in free-fall, at the same time UNMC decides to buy the land at Saddle Creek Road from the bankrupt company?)
    I give Stothert credit for taking on MECA, although she is bound to lose. Nobody has ever gotten the best of the monied interests behind MECA.

    ricky from omaha

  11. Anonymous says:

    It was either Sweeper or Don Walton who reported a couple weeks ago that Josh Moenning left Fortenberry’s employee to become Communications Director for Ricketts. What’s the story? Is it too sticky right now for Fort supporting Foley to have his (former) employee helping Ricketts and will Moenning get to go back to Fort when this is all over? How does that work when you’re a federal employee and what happens to your benefits when you stop being a fed employee for a while and then go back to it? Sounds like an accounting nightmare for the federal government when Congressional employees hop between fed jobs and campaigns.

  12. Not on my watch says:

    Osborn’s K-street donors won’t let him down. They will attempt to rock Ben Sasse’s world with their corporate cash. will Washingon have it’s way?

  13. Also Anonymous says:

    It’s easy to be a bleeding heart Liberal and spend someone else’s money than to be a heartless son-of-a-bitch Conservative and have to figure out how to pay off all the debt the bleeding heart Liberals have accumulated.

  14. but really... says:

    let’s not forget that some of our own have been there to help accumulate massive debt over the years… nobody can plead innocence on the debt front.

  15. Tonic & Tonic says:

    If only the supposed Republicans in the Unicam had the kind of fortitude that ernie chambers does. The highest ranking Democrat (who officially holds office as a Democrat) in this state is the Mayor of Lincoln and yet Democrats somehow rule this state

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Ricketts will fold to give Foley a bump in District 2 and gain power at the same time. With all the Moenning cross breeding, it would certainly torpedo Bruning.

  17. Bob Loblaw says:

    So glad our completely clueless legislators overrode Governor Heinemans veto of spending $2.5 million on courtyard fountains. What an idiotic idea to spend the peoples money on. Politicians haven’t been this out of touch since the Palace of Versailles.

  18. Drew to 18, 21, 22 says:

    Do you know what a DC insider is? Someone who stays there for more than a decade and never moves on to anything else. They lobby, they legislate, they cajole to get legislators to do what they want. Sasse does not come even close to that. If he has a house in Virgina, it is probably a tiny business tax write off as he does consult with businesses who have located headquarters on the east coast.

  19. I have no idea why people are so obsessed with these national races. We have a state legislature that is nominally majority Republican, that just finished out a biennium with ANNUAL 7% spending increases. This majority republican legislature elected Heath Mello Appropriations chair, and counts among its members Kathy Campbell, who sponsored the Medicaid expansion bill. We are now the third most heavily taxed state in the nation, after California and New York.

    The Nebraska Republican Party is a bad joke, folks. This is why I’m not a Nebraska Republican. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who we elect Governor, if, at the county level, we’re electing people to the left of the state Democrats. And that is what we’re doing, all over the state.

  20. Bill says:

    To Gerald. 3rd highest tax state? Yikes. But, I chose to look at the glass as half full. At least we keep taxes low on cigarettes (we are 38th).

  21. Larry Sheldon says:

    I was inclined to vote for Lee Terry, but he refused to shut off his telephone robots and let us (included in “us” us an open-heart surgery patient recuperating) rest and sleep.

    So I will leave unmarked any office that has Terry’s name in it.

    And Sasse is similarly on notice”: ONE more call……..

  22. Steven says:

    Ricketts has never done anything in his life except work for his billionaire dad. Why is he even a legitimate candidate? Are Nebraskans that stupid? I don’t care who wins that race, as long as it is not Pete Ricketts. What a do nothing, rich boy scumbag. Can you imagine this guy in the real world? My guess is his ceiling, without family money, is somewhere below subway manager. Maybe at a food court.

  23. Tonic & Tonic says:

    Well Drew, you could guess that about Sasse’s VA house… but then you’d be wrong. It’s big and it’s expensive. What else does Ben Sasse love that is big and expensive? Medicare Part D? What else does Ben Sasse love that is big and expensive? OBAMACARE

  24. @ Steven says:

    I’m sorry that the legislature killed the minimum wage bill that would have forced your employer to give you a pay raise. However, there is no need to take it out on those who actually create jobs, pay taxes and increase the collective disposable income to by the products that keep you employed.

  25. anonymous says:

    My favorite job creator is Ebenezer Scrooge. I think Scrooge is the perfect Republican businessman. May we have many more like him.

  26. Ricky says:

    Is repealing Obamacare still the core idea behind Mr Sasse and Mr Osborn’s campaign?
    Even though millions more now have health insurance and there is a lot to like about the law and don’t forget neither of them could actually repeal the law even if they got elected.
    Isn’t it time for those two to move on and quit trying to convince the GOP hard liners a one-note campaign is not helpful?
    Nebraska would be a lot better off if people like Sasse and Osborn actually tried to find solutions to the real problems the state faces and not run on the hope that people dislike Mr Obama enough to believe in the absurd promise that repealing the ACA is possible or even a good idea.

    Thanks people give it a try please.


  27. Anonymous says:

    Since they don’t have, and won’t have, the numbers necessary to repeal Obamacare, just how damned stupid is it for all of the GOP candidates to use that as the foundation of their campaigns? They might as well promise to cure cancer, build an elevator to the moon, and eliminate income taxes since they are already lying every time they open their mouths.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm. Seems like Boomer’s former boss, Rowland, is going down again in Connecticut. Why was it Boomer left the Terry and Osborn campaigns?

  29. Tonic & Tonic says:

    To the dipshit above:
    We discuss and argue over Nebraska Politics at this blog. Not Connecticut consultants.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Boomer’s been VERY involved in Nebraska politics for years. What happens in Connecticut happens in Nebraska, perhaps?

  31. Good old Boys says:

    The NEGOP is a microcosm of the GOP, just a bunch of country club folk who want to stay in charge. They bow down to Barry Kennedy (Chamber of Commerc Lobbyist), and the banking lobby. Everything that is wrong at the national level of politics is just repeated by the NEGOP. Want to fix it, then vote for individuals who represent the core party values. People like Bob Krist, Greg Adams, Galen Hadley, and Mike Gloor are no more conservative than Danielle Conrad, they just give money to another group. If you don’t want such high taxe then don’t elect folks like this.

  32. Ricky says:

    Very good Anon at 4:09 AM. (wow that is early). Pretty funny; promise to build a bridge to the moon while they are at it.
    All I can say is Mr Sasse and Mr Osborn must think the GOP primary voter is dumb and can believe that even a committed Republican majority of the House AND Senate can repeal Obamacare.
    They can not. I see the U S Senate going majority GOP by 51 to 49 this year. That’s it.
    And in 2016 Hillary is a lock to be US President.
    It’s a pipe dream that Sasse or Osborn can repeal Obamacare, and I hope at the next debate a good Republican can ask more of their candidate.

    Ricky From Omaha

  33. Macdaddy says:

    Ricky, in case you haven’t noticed, Obama is repealing it all on his own. So far the only group of people that Obama refuses to bend over for is a small group of elderly nuns and Hobby Lobby. The employer mandate will go this year. What’s left of Obamacare? A website that still doesn’t work.

  34. Macdaddy says:

    Uninsured Americans as of October 2013: 50 million.
    Uninsured Americans as of April 2014: 50 million
    Americans who have died since the 1st of the year because of lack of insurance thanks to Obamacare: 11340.
    Getting the government to force people to spend more money on insurance: Priceless.

  35. Anonymous says:

    You’re very good at making up numbers, Macdaddy! You should get a job with Faux News or the Republican party.

  36. Ricky says:

    What are you smoking Macdaddy? I think you and the people on Fox News are the only ones who believe Americans have died because of Obamacare.

  37. Anon to #40 says:

    #40–you can’t leave a campaign you never joined–Boomer had no deal or commitment to a Terry 2014 race. He helped set Osborn’s campaign up and then needed to be in CT on his gov’t relations business. If you are an operative, looks like you don’t have much going on.

  38. Macdaddy says:

    Obama claimed that people died because they lacked health insurance. He said he was going to fix that. He took ownership of it. He has failed. People lack health insurance and therefore people are dying because of it. Obamacare is the law of the land. Obama should put on his mom jeans and accept responsibility for those deaths. You Democrats own the failures of Obamacare. 126 people a day are still dying for lack of health insurance. Those are Obama’s numbers. Be a man and own them.

  39. OWH READER says:

    Just a post to give you a chukle. The OWH has an Omaha Sex Therapist with the last name Jirka on their Live Well site

  40. Another OWH Reader says:

    Even funnier, I think, is today’s lead editorial where the OWH editorial writers whine about the secret money funding campaign ads and how awful that is. Too bad the editorial writers didn’t tell the readers how much money the OWH received for running the ad—the nasty ad against Bruning– or tell us who wrote the check to pay for the ad. The hypocrisy of the OWH is breathtaking!

  41. Interested Observer says:

    Street Sweeper, what is your opinion of Bryan Slone’s new TV ad about rural growth in Nebraska? There’s a link on Robynn Tiger’s article from a couple hours ago.

  42. You Didn't Ask Me says:

    IO, you didn’t ask me, but I just looked at the Slone ad and I think it has a great message. I just wish he would look into the camera instead of off to the side. If he looked into the camera with that great message, it would be a game-changer of an ad.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Macdaddy, we’ll own the deaths from Obamacare when you own up to the unnecessary deaths and thousands upon thousands of disabilities from GOP wars sponsored by the Koch Bros. and Halliburton.

  44. Omaha Steel Castings and the move to Wahoo says:

    A major debate between the Suttle camp and Stothert camp in the last election was that Mr Suttle lost Omaha Steel Castings Company to Wahoo and Stothert claimed the Democrat Suttle was anti-business.
    Rather inarticulately Mr Suttle claimed the company’s move to Wahoo was falling apart and perhaps the company would stay in Omaha. The failed Planning Director at the time Rick Cunningham did not help explain things.
    But, as it turns out, Omaha Steel Castings move is a complete disaster. According to the OWH, moving did not cost 12 million dollars but upwards of twenty million, and even then problems exist.
    Count me skeptical on the reasoning Mr Lozier gave for buying the company, that he wants to save jobs. Rich people do not get rich by making dumb moves like buying into companies like Omaha Steel Castings.
    Then at the same time as this announcement UNMC says they are buying the land OSC sits at now, land they have long coveted near their campus. (where does UNMC get the millions anyway? From the Nebraska Foundation?)
    Something is really really fishy about all this and don’t blame Jim Suttle for the Omaha Steel Castings debacle.

    Ricky From Omaha

  45. TexasAnnie says:

    You didn’t ask me either, but I give the Slone ad a C+.

    I believe the youth of rural Nebraska who are fleeing for better “education” and “opportunity” are not likely to remain in rural Nebraska even with enhanced technology. Slone’s idea that technology will equalize access to city resources for country folk is a bogus argument. But at least Slone is not promising to stymy the Affordable Care Act!!!

    Slone should be talking about tax rates and tax injustice.

  46. Which war did the Koch Bros. sponsor, now? Charles and David Koch sponsor the Cato Institute, which opposes foreign intervention, including the Iraq War.

    56 seems to be another mindless, thoughtless leftist.

  47. Macdaddy: ah, but they intended to help people.

    Liberals are like the kids in my class who come to my office to argue for partial credit, because they really wanted to answer the question correctly, and that’s what counts.

  48. Macdaddy says:

    Which war did Halliburton sponsor? I recall Hillary Clinton and John Kerry sponsoring both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, but I don’t recall Halliburton doing anything other than fulfilling a legal, US government contract. BTW, you do realize the point of a war is to kill people and break things. The point of Obamacare was to save lives. So far, it has failed miserably. It’s chance for future success looks grim.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Liberals are like the kids in my class who come to my office to argue for partial credit, because they really wanted to answer the question correctly, and that’s what counts.

    If you really believe that, then you need to go back to school.

  50. YoungVoter says:

    OWH reports that Sarah Palin is goivng to endorse Pete Ricketts for governor. Does anyone think that her endorsement will do much to help Ricketts in the primary

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