I am Street Sweeper

Jerry Kratochvil 02My name is Jerry Kratochvil.
And for the past nine years, I have gone by the moniker/pen name/nom de plume, Street Sweeper.

I am the ONLY Street Sweeper.
There has not been another Street Sweeper.
And, aside from the few guest posts that noted the author, I am the only writer Leavenworth St. has ever had.

I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. I am a 1986 graduate of Creighton Prep, a 1990 graduate of Boston College and a 1998 graduate of the Creighton University School of Law. (The Jesuits tell me that makes me “a Lifer”, in terms of Jesuit education…)

I was a summer intern for Congressman Hal Daub back in 1988 (back when Hal had a young-ish Chief of Staff named Dave Heineman). I was Hal’s driver in his 1990 campaign for U.S. Senate, crisscrossing the state many times. And I was P.J. Morgan’s Mayoral re-election campaign manager in 1993.

I also worked for Senator Chuck Grassley’s reelection campaign in Iowa in 1992 and was a communications director for Senator Larry Pressler in Washington, D.C. around 1995.

Now for a little shocking news:
I moved from Nebraska to the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. in 2000 with my new wife.
I started the Leavenworth St. blog in 2006.
I moved with my family to the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City in 2008.
If you do the math here, you will note that I have not lived in Nebraska for the past fifteen years — including the last nine that I have written Leavenworth St.

When asked about not living in Nebraska, yet writing about Nebraska politics, I note a few things:
I have been a Nebraska football fan for as long as I can remember.

When I moved to Virginia, I did not become a Virginia football fan. I remained a Nebraska football fan — often meeting with other Nebraskans to watch televised games around D.C., following them on the online newspapers and blogs, and generally continuing my love of Husker football.

I have been a Creighton basketball fan since before I was born (my pregnant mother went to games). Tom Shatel posted one of my stories about memories of Creighton games at the Civic Auditorium a few years back. But when I moved to Kansas, the Jayhawks did not replace the Jays as my team of choice. I remained a Creighton basketball fan (and now get to watch pretty much every game on FS1 as well).

So much like my love of Nebraska football and Creighton basketball, when I decided I wanted to write about politics, I knew I wanted to write about Nebraska politics. Those are the players I know. Those are the staffers I know. Those are the pols I know. (Hey that doesn’t mean I can’t learn about other states. It’s just that for pols, Nebraska is first.)

I have enjoyed watching Nebraska pols and writing about them, giving my opinions, and occasionally breaking news. (And of course creating successful Separated at Birth images.)

You readers know that Leavenworth St. is the talk of Nebraska politics. It will continue being that, and I will continue writing about Nebraska politics.

Because I love it.

Now 2 other new items…


Why come out from behind the cloak of “Street Sweeper”? Isn’t there a mystique associated with it after all these years?


But I was never really into the parlor game of “who is Street Sweeper?” as much as others were. For me it was more of a convenience so my jobs weren’t interrupted by nosy managers asking if I wrote a “web log”.

But I have been on my own for a while now, and I realized that I wanted to expand Leavenworth St., and it would be very difficult to do while trying to be “anonymous”.

I have wanted, for some time, to host a podcast, and am doing it now. I have recorded two podcasts to start, and am putting them in this post — but you can also see them by going to WheelsDownPolitics.com.

I wanted the podcasts to have their own home and to hopefully grow that home as well. So now we have the Wheels Down Politics web page that will be the hub of the new political network, of which Leavenworth St. will be the original spoke.

I will post all of the podcasts on WheelsDownPolitics.com, but will always cross post them on Leavenworth St. as long as Leavenworth St. readers have an interest in them — if the podcast is a Nebraska person or a national one etc. At some point there may be podcasts with someone who you are not really into, and if that’s the case, you won’t find it on Leavenworth St., but can always see it at Wheels Down Politics.

Why the name “Wheels Down Politics”?
You’re gonna have to listen to the podcasts to find out.

The first is a solo introduction from me:

(You can directly download it by clicking here.)

The second is an interview with United State Senator Deb Fischer, that was recorded last Thursday. (You may note that Senator Fischer does not do many interviews.) I had a great time talking with her and think you’ll dig our chat:

(You can directly download it by clicking here.)

The podcasts will always be available to listen by clicking the link, and you can use the RSS feed to add it to your podcast app (if you understand how to use it). The podcasts should also be up and available on iTunes very soon, and we will keep you abreast of that as well.

In general, they will be about 30 minutes long — long enough for your commute or workout, but short enough for you to want more! (Giddeyup.)


And the third surprise?

There will be new writers on Leavenworth St!

I asked a number of individuals if they would contribute to Leavenworth St. on a regular basis. Some said no. But five (or six) said yes, and we will be rolling out their posts Wednesday through Friday of this week.

Their posts will be identified as specifically by them — but some will be going the “Street Sweeper” route, and will use their own Pen Names. (How could I have turned down such a request, right?) But each will have a description enough to let you know, generally, where they are from and a little about their background.

One of my goals was to make this site just a little more about ALL of Nebraska, and with our new writers we look forward to accomplishing that. (And we look to forward to adding even more writers in the future.) This should provide much more content for you, the reader, and should keep things even more fresh on Leavenworth St.

The writers will eventually have their names on the “Writers” tab up top as we roll things out this week.


Thank you for taking a tour of the new Leavenworth St.
Please be sure to check out Wheels Down Politics as well.

We hope to have some info from the press rollout soon as well.

And come back on Wednesday for our new writers!


  1. Jerry says:

    At the moment, I may have to moderate all comments for awhile until we get the bugs out.
    I’ll do my best to get them up asap.

  2. Ricky says:

    It’s the end of an era I guess. I don’t do podcasts. My Son in Law works for ESPN and podcasts is his work and I don’t listen to that.
    And my son is a law school grad of U Nebraska and we really don’t care for Creighton law.
    And I don’t care to read guests columns from rightys like Borchers. We already know what the right thinks in Nebraska.
    So have a nice life Mr Street Sweeper and L Street readers.

    Ricky From Omaha

  3. Heather Vogler-Fischer says:

    Thank you, Jerry, for your many years of providing a venue for all of us political enthusiasts. Congratulations and best of luck on your new exciting platform! I look forward to seeing your continued passion for Nebraska politics!

  4. Pete Botkin says:

    I wish I could believe just for a second that RIcky is actually done commenting on LStreet.

    Oh, and congrats on your new venture Jerry. I listened to your 1st podcast during my drive to Fremont and the second one while on the stairmaster. Can we expect weekly podcasts?

  5. Mert says:

    I think I speak for everybody when I say that this feels a little like finding out Heisenberg is a high school chemistry teacher.

  6. Heather Vogler-Fischer says:

    Je ne suis pas Le Street Sweeper. It has been very entertaining that some thought (or still think) it was either myself or Sam. Your podcast interview with Senator Fischer and your personal unveiling podcast were fantastic!

  7. Carpetblogger!!! says:

    Great to meet ya Street err…Jerry. If I had known that you outing yourself would rid us of Ricky, I would’ve pushed for it a long time ago!

  8. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Glad to finally meet you “face-to-face” Jerry. While there were some aspects of Sweeper’s anonymity that were intriguing, owning up to your words with your own name is an honorable thing for you to do.
    Thank you for always allowing every point of view to find a home on your blog. I hope that LS contines to be THE voice of Nebraska politics.

  9. RightFielder says:

    So does this mean that BTO will come clean now and out himself as Sammy the Bull Gravano? Right Wing Professor is actually Ward Churchill? Jane Kleeb will finally admit to being involved in all this for her own personal glory and financial gain who is a hypocrite who says she will get arrested protesting and never does? Scott Lautenabugh is actually Dude Lebowski? Ricky is actually Newman from Seinfeld?

  10. A little disappointed says:

    I am rather upset that this blog is written by a ginger. There is hard science that shows gingers do not have souls.

  11. Oh the Science says:

    Probably the kind of Science that the anti-vax crowd uses to back up their claims. So ridiculous, they look really stupid in the middle of the various measles out breaks throughout the nation.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well Mike ( the commenter above), is it only a coincidence that we have an outbreak of a disease that was completely eradicated in this country right after a summer when hundreds of thousands of obviously sick children poured over our southern border?

    For the record: this was my thought hours before Rush Limbaugh just said it on air.

  13. Molly Walsh Ennis says:

    Congrats, Jerry! I love Nebraska politics, too, even though I’ve lived in Colorado for over twenty years. Great stuff.

  14. For me, the more interesting question is how many people actually knew who Street Sweeper was? My guess is, none or very few. (And for the record, though I’ve guest-blogged here once, I didn’t know).

  15. Jaysker says:

    In all fairness, he did go to Creighton. Maybe he’s a Creighton fan and roots for NE Football because Creighton doesnt have a football team?

  16. Chris Scott says:

    What is it with Gingers? They are running school boards, writing for blogs, losing races for Auditor. What too soon?

  17. Anonymous says:

    “My son is a law school grad of U Nebraska and we really don’t care for Creighton law.”

    That’s like being a graduate of Metro Tech and not caring for Harvard.

  18. Macdaddy says:

    Congrats on carrying out the mystery for so long, JK. That was geekily impressive. It has been a pleasure these last few years finding kindred spirits to indulge my love of political minutiae. My friends and family greatly appreciated the outlet and I appreciate the effort you put into it. You must have some good spies to be able to give the impression you were really involved in Nebraska politics. That plus you’re a pretty good writer. Yes, you can use that as an endorsement on your cv or in an ad. (“You’re a pretty good writer.” – Macdaddy). BTW, does this mean we can quit going through LS to get to Amazon? I’m sure I was good for at least $3 in your pocket this last Christmas.

  19. Patrick J. Borchers says:

    Even as someone who posted a guess blog post I had no idea as to SS’s identity. I did enjoy the speculation in the last couple of days. Good on you.

  20. You should run Jerry, I’d love to make fun of your outdated conservative views.

    Street Sweeper for Noxious Weed Board 2016 !!!!

    Maybe he’ll breathe in the chemicals and get sick and leave us all alone for good.

  21. Don "Bits" Bacon says:

    Great to meet you Jerry, aka Street Sweeper! This recently retired AF guy thinks the Leavenworth St Blog is must reading!

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