Crucial campaign issue finally addressed

New ads up over the weekend.

First from Sid Dinsdale for Senate, entitled “In Your Face“.
See it here:

Is this the first original ad of the season that didn’t focus on ObamaCare? We like this ad on Dinsdale’s theme of government overreach, but we sort of figured he was stamping his face on an ad that was nationally produced, and would be seen in any or every state.

We found out instead that this was produced in Nebraska, and the Dinsdale team has the outtakes — with them throwing the “regulation” papers in front of a fan — to prove it.

Will something need to “happen” for Dinsdale to slip in there between Osborn and Sasse? Dinsdale continues to point out that 80% of his cash comes from Nebraska, and that he has only looked for Nebraska endorsements (such as Tom Osborn).

At this point we doubt that Dinsdale will be outspent on TV anyway. Expect to hear Dinsdale’s voice and the flapping of government regs over and over of the next few weeks.


Pete Ricketts has a new ad up called, “Real World Conservative“.
See it here:

The big takeaway from this spot is Ricketts’ declaration in the middle:

“I’m not behind any negative attack ads.
And I don’t support amnesty. Never have, never will.”

Well then.

This gets back to what it means for “him” to be behind the avalanche of ads attacking Jon Bruning.

Someone figured out that Pete’s dad, gazillionaire Joe Ricketts, did not specifically pay for the attack ads put out by the Independent Expenditure group.

But Politico also pointed out the Billionaire’s Club which is buying attack ads for each other, so as to keep plausible deniability.

So is Pete himself walking down to the TV station and cutting a check for the ads?

But is that all it takes for not being “behind” an ad?

Look, you can criticize Bruning and McCoy and Osborn for having IE spots, or their own negative ads up. But at least they are owning up to them.

Turning around and having an IE on your behalf, while you claim a “clean” campaign, is a joke.

We aren’t sure how much people buy this.


Then there’s Pete’s amnesty statement.

This must be a nuanced thing, because Ricketts has clearly stated he supports some sort of illegal alien residency proposal.

The easiest on this we found was when we explored the issue back in January, and pointed out this from the 2006 Governor’s campaign:

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]

Is this just pure nuance for Ricketts, much like the negative ad denial?

We don’t know any other way to look at it.

But, when you bombard this ad across Nebraska a few $100,000 times, it may just stick.


The local fishwrap had an interesting Sunday FRONT PAGE story about Charles Herbster, addressing the aforementioned CRUCIAL campaign issues:

  • a Nebraskan who has a number of speeding tickets, yet has the gall to support a candidate for Governor.
  • no wait, it was  a guy who was behind on his taxes, got 100% up to date on them 2 years ago, and THEN decided to support someone for Governor.
  • hold on, it was how unseemly it is to pour millions of dollars into one candidate who isn’t you — but only if you don’t have your company’s name on a local baseball stadium.

As Don Walton points out in the other newspaper, the undecideds are rapidly reviewing other options in the Governor’s race. So expect the other campaigns — say, one which has massive, massive spending all based on ONE man’s billions of dollars — to start attacking the Beau McCoys and Bryan Slones and Mike Foleys.

Because you assumed the Governor’s race is all based on how many speeding tickets one campaign’s donor has.


(You want to know why we started a political blog? To respond to stuff like this.)


Speaking of McCoy, it seems that Democrats are fired up about his recent anti ObamaCare ad.

They are offended that McCoy would not show greater respect to a plastic toy that represents ObamaCare.

They also noted that if the plastic toy likes it’s fence post, it can keep it’s fence post.

McCoy flicked away that idea.


BTW, we have heard that Texas Senator Ted Cruz is coming in for the Pete Ricketts campaign.

No details.


We saw a couple of new Tom Carlson for Governor ads while watching Forrest Gump over and over this weekend.
See “Making the good life even betterhere:

And if this one doesn’t electrify you, there is another that is also running, that’s not on the YouTube, so we can’t show you.

Just keep watching Forrest and you might catch it.


For your interest, Jay Nordinger of National Review is crossing Nebraska for a story on the Keystone XL pipeline, and begins by giving his assessment of flatness, small towns and the pronunciation of Beatrice.

With all the rest of the “gee Nebraska is nice” stuff, he adds that the opponent of his guy, Ben Sasse, ran a commercial that was “dirty, low and dishonest”.

Is he referring to the one where Osborn says Sasse worked in DC?

We get that the camps disagree about the “honesty” of the “decade” part, but that makes it dirty and low? And Nordinger comes from a political magazine??

We await the Cheese Runza assessment.


  1. Anonymous says:

    For the record, Herbster has indicated that he has donated money to a third-party group. American Future Fund spent $370,000 on television ads that extol McCoy’s virtues. Herbster hinted he was behind the ads.

    When he was asked last month whether he was involved, Herbster replied: “That’s one of the questions I’m going to take the Fifth Amendment on, OK?” -OWH-

    That defiantly makes Herbster and McCoy free of those attack ads right???? Right???

  2. Anonymous says:

    Herbster said he gave the money to AFF (read the World-Herald article)
    And they are PRO-McCoy ads, not attack ads.

  3. thanks, jordan says:

    for that enlightening, entirely objective commentary. one thing – you forgot the direct link to the Bruning for Governor website. We would also note for the record Jordan McGrain, campaign manager for Bruning for Governor, is the only known contributor ever to this blog. Does that mean Jordan is “behind” Leavenworth Street? You be the judge.

  4. Ricky says:

    Somebody ought to tell Lee Terry and McCoy and all the Repubs running that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are not on the ballot in Nebraska.
    McCoy knocking a bubble-head of the President off a fence post is deeply offensive to anybody not in the Tea Party, and if McCoy was referring to his vote in the Unicam for filibustering the Medicaid expansion bill, we should remind him that bill had nothing to do with Obamacare, as the Legislature tried to explain in floor debate.
    Running such a shallow campaign shows you how dumb Terry et al think the GOP primary voters are.
    They should try explaining what good they could do for Nebraskans not just complain about Reid Pelosi and our great President Obama.


  5. Anonymous says:

    That Dinsdale vid is solid and will get a lot of play. Nice to see someone doing a commercial that isn’t about ObamaCare for once.


  6. Anonymous says:

    The same AFF that is running the attack ads on Bruning? Look when it comes down to it we will never know who paid for these ads, it’s the post Citizens United world we live in. What I don’t get is we have a multi millionaire that has stepped up and said: “I have given money to this group” and yet we we rule him out for the attack ads because McCoy contacted Bruning right when the ads started to run? Look it doesn’t take a mastermind to figure out something is fishy there.

  7. I think Joe Ricketts is a successful American who loves his country, loves his son and hates Jon Bruning.
    It would be nice if the local media was even handed on how they treated him and others who donate to campaigns.

  8. Votertoter says:

    You mention “plausible deniability” and that to “claim a ‘clean’ campaign, is a joke.” You say, “We aren’t sure how much people buy this.”

    Buy what? Will voters be shocked, SHOCKED, to find politiking going on in politics? What do they want in a leader? Indeed what do any of us want in a leader?

    Nebraska’s governor must battle successfully against 49 other states and the Federal who would advantage themselves at our expense. Do Nebraska voters really expect our governor who is leading that battle to instead dive headfirst into the trenches and wrestle matters personally? Do voters really want the apparent honesty of a muddied frontal assault minded governor? Or do they expect political acumen and the apparent dignity of a leader who delegates and so stands above the fray to see ahead and strategize?

    Hollywood social conditioning forces us to say we want our generals to walk point, to be the first one to catch a bullet. However, we all live in the real world.

    Do voters in Nebraska want to hire a chief executive to run the slaughterhouse of politics by how much he is covered with blood and guts?

    In the struggle between our Governor and 49 others and Obama for our wellbeing as Nebraskans, do voters want a bruised face in mud slugger or a dignified leader apparently above it all? It is hard to tell what NE voters want. They often vote against logic and their own best interests. We shall see.

  9. Kay Orr's legacy says:

    Raising out taxes, giving us Bob Kerrey and losing to Ben Nelson by a vote of 292,771 to 288,741. Why would anybody want her endorsement???

  10. Macdaddy says:

    I’ve seen that Dinsdale ad before and really liked it. They may have shot this one themselves but they got the idea from elsewhere.

    I liked the Carlson ad as well. Throw the water-skiing in there and Bruning and Ricketts have an uphill battle. Carlson is very believable. I’m not saying I’m voting for him, but I sure like him. I get the feeling he will neither embarrass nor anger us. Disappointment is always on the table, though.

  11. Not to be out done says:

    After the recent surge in McCoy’s numbers for knocking over an Obama bobblehead, Rumor has it that Hassebrooks new spot will have him banging a Dick Cheney blow up doll.

    Sweeper can you verify this?

  12. @@@@@@ says:

    I like Dinsdale as person but I think has had no political strategy. If he caved on Dodd Frank, what else will he cave to? Seriously. he may be right on the issues but what is the point if he has a record of surrendering?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Only a Tea Party bandit would even attempt labeling Sid Dinsdale as pro-DF or as someone who ‘caves’ (I mean, seriously?). Look, if you think it’s productive to dig in your heels and pound your chest as to all the brilliant idealistic theories you have while sitting as a US Senator, then you’re right, Dinsdale isn’t the guy for you. For continued stalemate, years of ineffectiveness, pointing fingers at one another, voting to get re-elected, etc. etc.; look toward Sasse/Osborn for that song and dance.

    If you want someone who’s going to reach across the isle and find compromise with other Senators like, you know, what they’re SUPPOSED to do, then he IS your man.

    Sasse/Osborn are grossly overestimating their perceived view of Nebraskans as ‘Tea Partiers’.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Whoever is telling the truth about Bruning should be applauded. They haven’t hit him hard enough. Bruning is in the running with Chuck Hagel for having the highest opinion of himself of any politician I’ve ever met. His blind ambition continues to shoot himself in the foot as he will say stupid things to try and appease whatever audience he is addressing. He has lined his pockets while in office and who knows what scandal may be waiting in the closet.

  15. Dinsdale Insider says:

    To MacDaddy #12; glad you enjoyed the ad. If you have seen it before, we would love to see it. The was an original concept that was written and produced in state.

    To #16: Sid never supported Dodd Frank. If you don’t believe me, ask Sid. The man doesn’t have a dishonest bone in his body.

  16. Fort Street Fury says:

    It is well documented that sid supported dodd frank.

    I for one, do not judge my Senators by how many bills they pass into law. I judge on quality, and quantity of bills repealed. We have too many damned laws and regulations and I appreciate a guy who will bring congress to a screeching hault until the bill is of good quality. Like Ernie chambers, except not a moonbat.

  17. To Dinsdale Insider says:

    Ask the Nebraska Bankers Association why Sid left the organization. Sid is a good buddy of Ben Nelson. Dodd-Frank-Dinsdale

  18. Macdaddy says:

    So far I can’t find it but I know I’ve seen it. I think in one scene the paper blows into the car and sticks to the guy’s face. He pulls it off and it won’t come off his hand. I think it was an independent advocacy group that produced it or it was an ad for a female candidate. Somebody linked it on a website and it was the last election cycle.

  19. What Planet Is Sasse's Campaign Manager From? says:

    Got an email request for gas money for Sasse from his campaign manager. It said that Sasse has been traveling “on Route 80” all across the state. Has any true Nebraskan in the history of our state ever said “Route 80” instead of “I-80”??? Carpetbaggers! It scares me when they don’t even try to fake it.

  20. Not Ben says:

    I drive Route 80 all the time across this great state. From the Banks of the Mississippi in Omaha all the way to the Western Stovehandle.

  21. Sasse is a wuss says:

    He hides behind his D.C. buddies like the Club, and then Mike Foley call BS on their attacks on Osborn’s record as Treasurer. Oh, by the way, here are the result of the Sarpy women’s GOP straw vote tonight: Osborn 84, Dinsdale 40, McLeay 37, Sasse 22, Johnson 2. Osborn also won the DCRP straw vote. The real grassroots in Nebraska know what’s up. Sasse may carry the Arlington, Virginia precinct. Don’t worry Ben, you can run home to momma and she’ll tell you how unfair it is that those mean boys are picking on you.

  22. To #21 says:

    Do you care venture a guess as to how many times Ben Sasse met with Ben Nelson while they were both inside the beltway? How many times were they in meetings together?

  23. Some Thoughts says:

    I like this Dinsdale ad. Is he this year’s come-from-behind Deb Fischer winner? I like that he’s not simply “reacting” negatively. Instead, he has a guiding, unified vision and values about what government should be like. That tells me he could be a good legislator, not just someone trying to score points on tv to advance his own career. He knows how to run a business extremely successfully. He’s not a big-ego guy, it’s not all about him. He’s substance and not just talk. Very impressed so far and if this continues he’ll have my vote for sure.

  24. @ 29 says:

    You clearly understand Dinsdale and his vision very well. Substance over rhetoric. The proof is in the pudding. His resume is far and away the most impressive. Oh and by the way he’s bought by no one…especially not DC insiders..

  25. Stuck on Route 80... says:

    If you stuck on ‘Route 80’, you’ve missed a lot of Nebraska.

    I sense that’s a good metaphor for Sasse.

  26. Bob Loblaw says:


    I know you work hard as hell at this site. Any chance you’ll be going over any of the Auditor, Attorney General, or any legislative races? Or does anybody here have much to say about any of the candidates?

  27. To #32 says:

    On the AG’s race, I think they’d all make good AG’s. I think the race is likely to come down to Hilgers vs. Buescher. Fwiw, I like Hilgers a little better. He is smart enough that he could have gone the “big law firm” route, but decided to build something on his own, which takes the sort of guts you need to do a good job in that sort of position. But I don’t have a bad word to say about any of the other candidates.

    On auditor, I’m voting for Charlie Janssen. I know he has an opponent who has been in the Auditor’s office, but really these are more political positions than anything else. Charlie has been effective in the unicameral. He’s the clear call here.

    I won’t pretend to know all of the candidates here, but I’ll comment on the ones I know:

    LD 4: Matt Butler is the best candidate. He has the business experience and leadership skills to do well. Bob Hiilkemann is a retired physician who’d probably be OK, but doesn’t really have the force of personality to be a leader. Stacy Ryan is a largely self-funded candidate with a heavy focus on family law issues. I have no idea about the others.

    LD 6: Joni Craighead is the best choice here imo. She has business experience and is no shrinking violet.

    LD 8: Gwenn Aspen is mounting a spirited challenge to Burke Harr. It’s a Democratic district and Aspen is a Republican, but she’ll make it competitive. She had a fundraiser that attracted Lee Terry, Hall Daub and J.L. Spray. She could make this one very interesting.

    LD 32: Laura Ebke is from the libertarian wing of the GOP. She’s bright and thoughtful. Her challenger is (I believe) a Democratic veterarian.

    LD 36: Matt Williams is a guy we need in the legislature. He was president of a major banking association and is CEO of a community bank in Gothenburg, Nebraska. If anyone can speak about the evils of federal regulation, he can.

    That’s what I know.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I heard Bruning’s ad on the radio this morning where he keeps whining about “billionaire Pete.” Seriously, that’s all I could think — “Quit your whining you baby!” This is politics, not kindergarten. Either grow up or grow home. Sheesh.

  29. who knew says:

    Dan Frei supports amnesty. He won’t say the word amnesty, but what he describes when asked about his strategy for dealing with illegal immigrants is exactly amnesty.

  30. 34 and 35... says:

    Come on Taylor…get it right man! The Ricketts campaign is in a tailspin. The least you can do is get a simple blog post right!

  31. Mike Hilgers print ad says:

    Isn’t this Hilgers guy the young man who moved to Lincoln and was given a bunch of money by the right to run for the state legislature? And who thankfully lost?
    Well I think Hilgers is running for Attorney General, but this ad we got in the mail does not mention Hilgers office but was Paid for by Judicial Crisis Network. It has Hilgers picture on the bottom and the guy looks about 18 years old.
    And after reading this flyer I realize that OUR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS ARE UNDER ATTACK BY WASHINGTON!
    Mike Hilgers is a CONSERVATIVE LEADER standing up to Obamacare and other FEDERAL POWER GRABS. I didn’t know Hilgers was a leader of anything.
    When people get this garbage in the mail are they really believing all this BS?
    Where did this Hilgers guy come from and will he please go back?

    ricky from omaha

  32. Anonymous says:

    Well this is what I hate about the silly season. I came home to the big, colorful mailer that Ricky mentions above. Looks like it’s from Mike Hilgers for AG as his face is plastered on both sides but upon closer inspection, it came from The Judicial Crisis Network in DC. Who are they are why do they care who Nebraska’s AG is? More importantly, on both sides of the piece it says “Led by Mike Hilgers” and the rest of it is about standing up for our constitutional freedoms. The problem is, no where does it illustrate exactly how or what Hilgers has done to “lead” the fight against “Washington’s assault on our Constitutional Freedoms.” What? I thought he was a patent attorney. Why do candidates have to use hyperbole to get their message across? Why can’t he just say he personally thinks the country is going to Hell and our constitutional freedoms with it and then try to draw some correlation between that thought and what he could do in the AG’s job to staunch that. How can someone who has lived in Nebraska about five years suddenly be the self-appointed leader of all Nebraskans in the fight to restore our constitutional freedoms? Can we keep it real people?

  33. Ghosts of Campaigns Past says:

    They announce a big endorsement and then hold a press conference on a different subject hours later. Next, the Bruning team steals the story and makes Pete look like a fool. Zero for two so far today.

    This is looking to be a re-Pete of 2006 when many called the Rickett’s Senate run the worst campaign of the year.

    I like Pete but hidding from the fact someone supporting him is running ads against Bruning makes him look clueless and weak. Is he really the only guy in Nebraska who doesn’t know?

  34. Interested Observer says:

    Is Charles W. Herbster the “Jim DeMinted” of this election by throwing Beau-bombs (or is it Baux-bombs) at Bruning, while hiding behind Ricketts, making Ricketts look like the bad guy?

  35. Are Osborn Supporters on Prozac yet? says:

    First there was the “I stood up to the Chinese” remark which lead Vietnam Vets to say “So what, we stood up to the Viet Cong.”
    Secondly, there was the bogus navy memo which took 4 days for the campaign to realize they had to address the issue.
    Third, the loss of the FreedomWorks endorsement and seeing it turned over to Sasse.
    Fourth, just when you wanted to say endorsements don’t matter, a bunch of “tea party” activists lead by elected RINO Republican Bonnett make media waves decrying the change of endorsement and attack Ben Sasse. Oh and so much for Reagan’s 11th commandment.

  36. Smoke Monster says:

    You LOST souls looking for Herbster conspiracies at the bottom of the hatch can stop. Citizens for a sound government is the group spending money to attack Bruning. The group is run by Koch Brothers employees. The Koch Brothers gave to Ricketts. This isn’t complicated.

  37. Sasse Camp Meltdown says:

    The Sasse camp is now trashing Foley around the state over Foley telling the truth about Shane Osborn’s record as Treasurer. It was the Sasse camp and their FORMER Gop chairman that created this mess by trashing Shane. Give Foley credit for calling BS on Sasse and being an honorable person by setting the record straight.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Ricketts is kicking ass no matter how much the Bruning bunch whine, snivel and lie. Ricketts doesn’t need to attack Bruning. Bruning’s own record brought him down in the 2012 Senate race and it is going to do him again in this race. Bruning must really be dumb if he thought his failings wouldn’t be brought up again if he ran for Governor.

  39. Anonymous says:

    We can eliminate all the robocalls, TV ads and Super PAC mailers right now. I propose all Senate and Governor candidates do a dance-off to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in Memorial Stadium. The ones with the best moves win the Primary. Done.

  40. Shake N Boots says:

    OMG! I had to throw away an extra piece of junk mail last night! It was very, very heavy. And seeing words printed on a glossy flyer was very upsetting to me. And then the phone rang! I didn’t pick up but I just knew it was from a candidate. By this time I was almost in tears and had to lay down and watch some tv to calm my nerves. But then a commercial came on. And it was a political ad! My wife had to bring me a Valium and a rum and coke before the flashbacks from Nam started up. I barely got the channel changed in time! Phew! What Hell this is. Has anybody figured out how to predict when this place gets like that? I just can’t quite figure out the pattern but I’d like to be able to go on vacation next time and get away from it all.

  41. To 50 says:

    FYI Patrick Bonnett is the only reason the Tea Party is so strong in this state. He has personally registered thousands of voters is this county and works tirelessly to limit government and lower taxes.

    What have you done?

  42. 50 says:

    No, he has not. He has done some seriously underhanded things to prop himself up and I think we all know just how committed he is to lower gov’t and lower taxes…. After all, he sits on the NRD that never takes out new bonds that we’re on the hook for. o wait….

  43. To 52 says:

    If Patrick Bonnett stuck to what he is good at (like registering voters) instead of doing things he is bad at (such as writing a poorly written petition to grab media attention) perhaps fewer people would be mad at him.

  44. 50 says:

    No excuses for ignorance here.

    Natural Resources District. They have taxing authority and the best part is: nobody pays attention to them so their gross incompetence goes largely unchecked.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Bonnet was elected to Papillion’s NRD board of directors and collects $2,800 for doing so, which is right around the average for the board (that’s public information and can be viewed via OWH). 50 is correct, the NRD’s do have taxing authority, but it doesn’t amount to much per household per year…something along the lines of $50 per year. But the Papio NRD hasn’t levied a tax increase in 8 years. However, I think to 50’s point, all of this doesn’t take into account voting records and what the board aims to do with those tax payer dollars.

  46. Drew to 27 and 47 says:

    Straw polls don’t count for much when Osborn has been speaking to Douglas and Sarpy county groups for years. You are going to get skewed results on that.

    As for 47, the Club ads were correct. The Lincoln Journal Star took issue with the ads in an editorial today but got their own information wrong so had to pull the editorial. However, while the ad brings new information to light, I don’t think it will sway many people one way or the other.

    Finally, while Osborn has long been my second choice, the way his campaign has run, I hope he loses big time. His campaign is making numerous mistakes and seems to be captive to a handful of inexperience people.

  47. To Drew says:

    Straw polls don’t amount to jack. Ever. They never have enough votes to be statistically significant and are easily gamed.

    The only thing worse is Internet based polls that you can easily spam. The only reason for Internet based polls is to drive up traffic to a site.

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