The latest on #NE02 for 2016

BetterCallSaul01Remember back in November when you voted on whether or not to give one guy in Washington D.C. to have power over the internet?


Oh ok, how about back in 2012, when the big question in Obama vs Romney was whether the President should decide how the internet will be governed?

Not so much?

Well surprise, surprise voters and non-voters! The Chairman of the FCC is passing around a 322 page novel describing how the Federal Government — governed by that FCC — will be making decisions about everything from data rates to how you will be taxed. Because the internet is just like phones, right? Or maybe just like trains? Well, the laws (LAWS) written for those uses are now being used for the Kings of the FCC to take over the internets.

Don’t worry, you can trust the FCC and the rest of the unelected bureaucrats to govern one of the greatest technological achievements of the world (yeah, I said it) for your good.

They will get to decide what is “just and reasonable” for internet rules. And then they’ll all go to court deciding on those definitions.

But the government will just make a couple rules, then totally back off.

Hey it’s all about everyone being equal!
(Of course, some are more equal than others. And right now the FCC wants to work that out…)


A month or so ago Leavenworth St. featured who is thinking about running in #NE02 against Brad Ashford.

Of course, the one name NOT there was Scott Kleeb. We will see how that one works out, as Congressman Ashford tries to soft-shoe the tightrope.

In the mean time, the list of possibles has waned and waxed.

Chip Maxwell is still in, apparently. (By the way, Chip and I are both Boston College grads, but he was 4 years ahead of me, and our paths never crossed there.) Dan Frei? Geez if everyone who voted for him in the 2014 primary kept with him, he would have a great chance in a very crowded 2016 primary. (But that is a pretty big “if”.)

Some names we have heard are NOT running (particularly from our last list):
Jean Stothert. Dave Kramer. Bryan Slone. Dan Welch. Bart McLeay. Jordan McGrain. Beau McCoy.

Some names that we have heard…well…we have at least heard that they’re NOT-NOT-running:
Shane Osborn. Bits Bacon. Bryan Slone. Pat Borchers. Brian Buescher. John Murante.

Those lists are not conclusive — not by a long shot. And they will certainly change.

But you should know that candidates are already “consulting-up”.
Most are still doing the dance of the “listening tour” and are giving things a serious thought. Few dive in these days — especially when looking at challenging an incumbent — without giving very serious thought to the endeavor that will consume them for the next 15 months or so.

We will keep you updated.


Hey and speaking of Congressman Brad Ashford, he wants all of his constituents to know that he doesn’t really need that Congressional salary to pay for his own nice house.

Ashford recently said he was forgoing 10% of his Congressional pay to show that he’s “one of us”, or something.

And what did Ashford do with that $17,000 he doesn’t need/want/deserve? He is donating it to charity! Oh isn’t that nice. A scholarship fund!

But then…doesn’t that do the exact opposite of what Ashford intended?

Because now not only did he take his salary — and specifically NOT give it back to you and me in the U.S. Treasury — and then get a newspaper hit about how he’s giving back “to the kids”. He ALSO gets to make a tax write-off with his donation! So now there will be LESS money going into the general fund because of his gimmick. That’s what you call a win-win…for Rep. Ashford.

(Scott Kleeb would have totally put it back into the Treasury…)


Hopefully you enjoyed The Wheels Down Politics Show interview with Senator Deb Fischer. She is a genuine person and is a perfect representative of Nebraska.

But lest you think that maybe she’s too nice, don’t worry. She can give out a dig with the best of them.

When asked about the differences between outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and new Secretary-designate Ash Carter, Senator Fischer noted:

(Carter) has a strong understanding of the budget that the Pentagon has to run on. He has a very, very strong understanding of sequestration and the impact that that will have. I think Secretary Hagel probably didn’t have as solid a base on those issues and had some problems then as secretary of defense.

But then the final dig…

We heard reports that Secretary Hagel didn’t speak up at the Cabinet meetings. I have no doubt that Dr. Carter will speak up and speak forcefully at Cabinet meetings in expressing his opinions to the president. I think that’s a difference.

Did we mention that Hagel endorsed Bob Kerrey in 2012?


And Senator Fischer, an Armed Services Subcommittee Chair, was on FOXNews talking about ISIS as well.

See it here:

Fischer on FOX 020815


Nebraska’s Junior Senator, Ben Sasse has been busy as well, ICYMI.

He took a tour of the U.S. Southern border to observe first-hand the deficiencies there, and live-Tweeted much of it.

For instance, he notes where anyone can pretty much walk across the Rio Grande:

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.27.30 AM

You can see his Tweets and interview on FOX here.


I hope you have been enjoying our new podcasts at

The most recent interview with Hal Daub is only Part 1!

Part 2 will be up on, cross-posted here at Leavenworth St. and available on iTunes (by searching Wheels Down Politics).

Hal talks about, among other things, the future of Omaha, his views on the University of Nebraska Presidential search — particularly in regard to Governor Heineman — and his thoughts on former Nebraska head football coach, Bo Pelini.

Thanks for reading and listening!


  1. Bits O' Bacon? says:

    Isn’t Bits Bacon what I put on salad?

    Anyhoo, I find it interesting that the Obamacare guru is out looking at borders instead of addressing the failure of an Obamacare product called Cooportunity. I guess a few hundred folks crossing a creek is not as important as a perfect example of Obamacare failing in his home state affecting thousands of Nebraskans.

  2. Hesdeadjim says:

    I’ll say it again:
    Ashford will hold office as NE-2 rep. as long as he chooses. He’ll get the (I)’s and he’ll get the 20-25% (R)’s that he needs to keep that seat until he retires on his own accord.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Patrick Borchers is good friends with former DCRP chairman and Paulista Scott Petersen. I do not trust Scott P. or Borchers. I would not vote for Pat for any office.

  4. anony says:

    It would be awesome if we had a member of congress representing us that has, not only seniority, but a direct line of communication with the fcc via more than a decade of working with them to improve internet and wireless access to everyone in the Country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper says “It’s all about everyone being equal.”


  6. Patrick J. Borchers says:

    In the “for what’s it’s worth column,” I’m not going to use my role as a contributing author on this blog to promote my candidacy for any office. If I become a candidate for any office ( a big “if”) I will stand down from contributions to this blog. I am friends with Mike Kennedy, Andrew Northwall, Matt Butler, Jon Tucker, Bryan Baumgart, Scott Petersen and dozens of other people in the DCRP and beyond. I know that there are some on this list who have had differences with each other. Some of that’s natural in any relatively small community. Frankly, I’d rather worry about the real threat, which is an Obama II administration and Congress that will lead us to the end of the road where the destination is Euro-style socialism. Do you realize that 42% of our GDP is spend on government? That figure is not far from France’s where the Prime Minister at least owns up to being a socialist. I’m 1000 times more concerned about having a government that will push back on this than whether my name ever appears on a TV screen with the most votes on it.

  7. To 2:32 (if that's your real name) says:

    Seriously, it’s probably okay to have Republicans and Democrats be friends. It’s called civility and, here’s a novel concept, the ability to talk about things without escalation into hatred is kinda neat. Or put another way, it doesn’t have to be MSNBC v. Fox. It could be more like the Food Network v. the Cooking Channel.

  8. @2:32 says:

    Yes it is a good idea to be best friends with someone who is opposed to everything you stand for and will fight tooth and nail to move their agenda ahead. You two should have a picnic together. You bring a butter knife to spread the jam while they bring a butcher’s knife to end you.

  9. To 2:32 (if that's your real name) says:

    So, do you have a checklist of when you meet a person of the opposite sex? Nice smile. Check. Funny person. Check. Drives a Prius. Eject! Eject! Eject!

    Seriously 2:32, didn’t the Bible and Rodney King teach us all of us to just get along? We may have differences in philosophy and how where we go as a country, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t have a beer with someone or let your children play with their children.

    The world isn’t black and white 2:32. It is shades of gray. Maybe around 50 or so, but who’s counting.

  10. @2:32 says:

    You might want to read the Old Testament again. Not much getting along. As far as taking a crackhead’s advice, not so much. My check list is more like opposite sex, nice smile, check, funny person, check, wants to expand Medicaid, raise taxes, destroy everything this country was founded on, piss on the constitution, expand government then yes I would look for the eject button. The problem is the eject feature is extra on the Prius and I do not have the money for it because your BFF is always in my pocket.

  11. Pete says:

    @ February 11, 2015 at 8:56 am:
    I had a checklist much like the one you described.
    I managed to get past her driving a Toyota (because it’s a Camry, not a Prius) to go on a second date. Now we’re engaged. To your point, if I hadn’t looked past the whole Toyota thing my world would be a lot different.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Pat Borchers and his pitbulls sure do have a long defense for who he pals around with. Pat you did not help yourself with the best buds list. They are all clowns. Pat is amusingly sensitive for someone that is a big (if) on any candidacy.

  13. To all says:

    The unicameral is not partisan. If Murante wants to hang with Krist, Howard, and Campbell and read the Communist Manifesto he should be able to. It is nonpartisan!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I bet it was a nail biter for Borchers to figure out who to vote for Douglas Co chairman. His bestie Rand Pauler Jon Tucker or real conservative Brandon Petersen.

  15. Shallow says:

    It is sad how many on here are falling directly into the conservative stereotype. Much like BTO and Texas Annie and, Ricky fall into the liberal slots very neatly.

    So your folks standards is this: Only hang out with people who share each and every single idea that you have. Do not befriend anyone who has any opposing view, including but not limited to, how to cut one’s toenails to Obamacare (which may be covered or at least subsidized by the taxpayers, who can tell nowadays).

    It must be a sad, sad life you folks lead. Because, to me at least, it seems that one should engage in the arena of ideas. To listen, maybe not always agree, but listen to what others say. Cocktail parties would be fairly boring if this is the case.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ethics and character should be more important than issues. Befriending Scott Petersen, Jon Tucker and others of their like does not fall under the good ethics rule. Sad when someone will support a candidate (despite their ethics) just because they think they will win because they may need them for their own future candidacy.

  17. To Shallow says:

    Yes I think it is wrong to horse trade I mean exchange in the arena of ideas. The sad thing is when Republicans actually believe that Dems will break ranks because they “like” you. They use words like non partisan and working together while they reach around their belt looking for a knife. But keep playing nice as I am sure they will eventually see it your way LOL

  18. Ethics says:

    Oh you mean the time Murante tried to have an amendment to seat Jerry Andersen and his minions to overthrow dally elected Levi for chairman. Those ethics???

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