Updating the updates

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.08.42 AMAn interesting time here over the last few days regarding some candidate news.

Let’s cover a few things…


In case you’re some sort of caveman (or cave-person) and didn’t listen to the most recent edition of The Wheels Down Politics Show, Patrick Borchers gave some news.

Borchers, Creighton University Law Professor, former Law School Dean, County and State Central Committee member, annnnnnd contributing writer here on Leavenworth St., announced that he will NOT be running for Congress, and that he WILL run for the District 39 Legislature seat, which will be vacated by the term-limited Senator Beau McCoy.

Borchers had been weighing these seats for a while, and as he stated on the show, had to take family considerations to heart regarding a House race.

He had been thinking about the Unicameral seat for awhile, and he has pulled the trigger on that, forming a committee and like.


The mistaken early news regarding attorney Josh Weir certainly got the commenters into a tizzy, nonetheless.

For the record, I never had info that Weir was thinking about running for Congress. I misread a text message — where the responses were going back and forth before the other person had a chance to answer — and, like any good Three’s Company episode, it was all a big misunderstanding.

(Frankly, Weir is just lucky that I didn’t put his announcement party at the Regal Beagle with Larry Dallas running the campaign…)

And yes, yes, I have seen the info that Weir MAY run for the aforementioned Disrict 39 seat as well.

But at this point, I think the polite thing to do would be to wait for Weir to roll out any announcement that he may have, on his own time.

(I’m not saying the appropriate place would be on The Wheels Down Politics Show — but it would.)


Oh, and for those theorists who have claimed that Borchers only decided to run for 39 after he learned on Friday that it looked like Weir would run for 39, please note that we recorded the show last Thursday.


So with Borchers out of the #NE02 race, how are things shaping up?

Well, Shane Osborn has been the one whom many are waiting on. But we have seen Borchers drop, and have heard many hints that Bryan Slone is leaning against running as well.

That MIGHT indicate that Shane is firming up his decision. But he may be holding back for a while anyway.

But, as we have noted before, state Senator John Murante sent some white smoke up the Big Fred’s chimney indicating that he is giving it some hard thought.

And Brigadier General Bits Bacon seems to be almost there as well. (Some are just waiting on an official announcment.)

We haven’t heard from Chip Maxwell in awhile.

Dan Frei?

(And at some point there has gotta be an apt headline, or at least a pun for Bacon, Chip, Frei, and a pizza maker walking into a bar…)


We are not sure what’s in the water at the AG’s office, but our thoughts and prayers go out to Attorney General Doug Peterson on his recent surgery.


  1. Troglodyte says:

    While all Americans wish that all state legislatures were like a thoroughbred race horse, and all Americans are disappointed to find most of legislatures are more like a dumb workhorse, the Nebraska version of lawmaking is like a dog’s head sewed onto a cat’s body.

    That Prof Borchers prefers to run for the NP Unicam says he’s a real Nebraskan. Meow woof.

  2. Omaha Voter says:

    Pat Borchers would make a great State Senator. The man is well accomplished and is widely known in the business and legal community. The Judiciary needs a conservative legal mind. I plan to support you Pat!

  3. Anon says:

    Is anyone else sick and tired of this Ken Larsonbaugh character? He’s really just childish and not funny or clever. And I think our state legislators should show some level of professionalism — when they participate in his stupidity, it just ends up making them look dumb. I can take a joke as much as the next person, but this is nowhere near humorous.

  4. Come on Sweeps says:

    “For the record, I never had info that Weir was thinking about running for Congress. I misread a text message — where the responses were going back and forth before the other person had a chance to answer”

    So you wrote a post on non information that you did not have and let Weir get ripped to shreads??? Your excuse does not even make sense

  5. Anon @ 8:15 says:

    He doesn’t. This from his blog: “I practiced law in California, then got into academics, becoming Dean of the Creighton Law School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Creighton University, and now as a Professor of Law (with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Philosophy) and directing the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton.”

  6. Come on......... says:

    I think Blaine should run for CD2. He would fit right in with all the other backstabbers and liars………

  7. SMH says:

    Why should we support winner take all?? Still trying to find why we should support that. Also, why does Tyler Larson keep supporting NPV?? He acts like a liberal on this issue and a conservative on gun issues and charter schools. He keeps our head spinning like Ken Larsonbaugh….

  8. Creighton Guy says:

    The Werner Institute has now become a top ranked program under Pat Borcher’s leadership. It’s rated higher than Georgetown Law’s program.

  9. Anon @ 11:07 says:

    The district method would be fine if everyone or most states did it that way, but states like California, New York and Illinois are never going to give up some of their certain Democratic electoral votes (huge swaths of those states vote red, but there are votes in the cities), nor is Texas going to give up its certain GOP electoral votes. The problem is that by putting the Second District in play, it allows the Democrats to double dip (Presidential and Congressional races) and drive turnout. The Democrats benefit from higher turnout because there are more marginally motivated Democratic voters. Republicans as a group are more motivated. The District method will probably give Ashford a 3 point or so bump. Competitive down ballot races could also be affected. As Sweeper pointed out, it’s not as though Nebraska has used the District method for 100 years. It was changed in the 1990’s for purely partisan reasons to help the Democrats and it has done exactly that will keep doing exactly that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh WOW! comment at 10:03AM….like this is THE most important issue facing Nebraskans…winner take all. Quick, get out those partisan witch hunts shoes and get tracking. Time is wasting for reindeer games.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Partisan witch hunt shoes”? That’s really the best you can come up with?

    And when did partisanship become such a horrible thing?

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    What about this chatter about Sen. Beau McCoy resigning soon to work for Herbster and Gov. Ricketts apparent plan to appoint Josh Weir to the seat?
    Seems rather controversial to blow past Patrick Borchers, a man who most people universally agree would be a great state senator……

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well, most people, but not all people. Borchers was passed over for Provost’s job at Creighton. Getting kicked to the curb to run the Center for Dispute Resolution is not a step up from a corner office position.

    If he can’t handle internal politics on the Hilltop, how can he handle real politics in Lincoln?

    That, coupled with Borchers membership in the cabal of complainers behind the “Deliberatio” blog, makes some alums wonder if he shouldn’t just retire.

  14. Anonymous says:

    @ 1:08pm I don’t care for either Weir or Borchers. If there were any truth to the above, Borchers wouldn’t have started raising money last week. Senator McCoy, who has represented dist 39 very well, will finish his term.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The state GOP recruits and will meet with candidates interested in running for the legislature. It is highly possible that Patrick Borchers did meet with the state GOP.

    The state GOP would have mentioned a possible appointment by the Gov to fill the seat if Sen. McCoy was not completing his term. Appointed senators usually will run for election. Borchers would not take the risk of running against a Ricketts appointed person. It does not make sense. It is another false rumor.

  16. Anonymous says:

    For the record I am looking for an alternative candidate in LD 39. But I do think it is interesting that Josh Weir has not publicly stated on this blog or elsewhere of his non interest in the race. He and his family abruptly denied the congressional candidacy. So why not shoot down this legislative run stuff? He must be interested. I have heard for several years about his district 39 interest.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that Senator McCoy cares who fills his seat whether it’s appointed or during an election at the end of his term. I don’t see him stepping down early to allow Gov Ricketts to decide. Letting the voters decide would be best.

  18. Creighton Law Student says:

    Pretty funny to read that Prof. Borchers was kicked to the curb. I go to class every day in a classroom they renamed for him and now he has our Dispute Resolution program nationally ranked.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Weir family has long been supporters of Senator McCoy and his staff. Although they may differ on immigration policy and supported Pete Ricketts for Governor (not Sen. McCoy). I can see Senator McCoy being content with Josh Weir taking his place in an appointment situation or winning the 2016 election.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be naive, Creighton Law Student. Glad to see the DR program is nationally rated. What happened to the guy Borchers hired to start that program? Some kind of academic (dis)honesty issue as I recall. Plagiarism?

    As for naming a classroom after somebody, there are plenty of batshit-crazy faculty memorialized by a plaque. Don’t be fooled.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Weir?………. Weir?………. Weir?…………… All of this “classroom” talk. It’s like the famous scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The older Borchers (as the teacher/professor played by the great Ben Stein) calling on the younger Josh Weir (played by the great Matthew Broderick). Will Mr. Weir respond soon to his legislative interests?

  22. Creighton Law Student @2:22 says:

    I had him for a class last year and he was a great teacher, so if he’s crazy he does a really good job of hiding it. He’s got us ranked in Dispute Resolution which is helping my degree.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper – I appreciate the background on how the Weir mixup came to be. Clever job tying in “The Regal Beagle” analogy. Jack Tripp, Chrissy Snow & Janet Wood would have been fun campaign staffers! We all know staffers usually have their “campaign” hangout bar to frequent after a long day.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “It has come to our attention that an article appearing in Volume 22, number 3 (2007) of the Journal, entitled The Justice Bazaar: Dispute Resolution Though Emergent Private Ordering as a Superior Alternative to Authoritarian Court Bureaucracy” by Arthur B. Pearlstein, contained significant passages taken without attribution or written authorization, from a work by Scott A. Landers, “Rules and the Concept of a Rule in Law and Legal Theory,” a doctoral dissertation submitted and copyrighted in 1991 (available through UMI Dissertation Publishing).

    Accordingly, the Journal hereby retracts (i) the third paragraph on page 740 in the introduction, (ii) Parts II. A §§1-4 (pages 742-51), and (iii) Part II.A §6 (pages 753-54) of The Justice Bazaar: Dispute Resolution Through Emergent Private Ordering as a Superior Alternative to Authoritarian Court Bureaucracy, 22 Ohio St. J on Disp. Resol. 739 (2007).

    The Journal regrets this unfortunate incident and extends Mr. Landers an apology on the unauthorized use of his work by Mr. Pearlstein. In addition, Mr. Pearlstein also expresses his deep regrets over the matter and apologized to all concerned.”

    If Borchers cleaned up after Pearlstein, good for him. If Borchers exercised insufficient oversight over Pearlstein, either as a Dean or a VP for Academic Affairs, what is one to say?

  25. Appointment? What Appointment? says:

    “Anon’s” post AT 2:02PM would suggest Sen. McCoy is not going to finish out the session? The Governor’s street cred would take a hit if he appointed someone with whom his philosophy is not aligned which would make Borchers the ideal appointment. There is however no rumor of Sen. McCoy wrapping up his term early.

  26. In the Know says:

    Word on the street is Borchers has already raised over $20,000. That is less than 7 days. Who is the Werner Institute named after?

  27. @ 4:44 says:

    Bad move by Ebke and McCollister. They said they’d allow it to come to a vote and then bailed. I almost puked watching Chambers talking about his “good friend Laura Ebke” and how “wise” she was and watching her yeild her time too him. Those 2 can forget about getting any bills passed now. One thing to say your against it and stand your ground and something different to just have people count on you and then bail.

  28. repentinglawyer says:

    As a retired bat shit crazy academic I never got a room named after me so Borchers’s room should not be discounted, we do not all get rooms. As a survivor of many years at CU I doubt that trying to penetrate the mysteries of its institutional politics has anything to do with a Legislative election. Academic politics are vicious because they are over nothing.

  29. Anonymous says:

    As an alum many years before you and Creighton ever heard of each other, politics is over nothing other than the allocation of scarce resources – the money I donate – to create women and men for others. If I can’t trust you in such a small matter, why would I trust you in greater ones. We’re both glad you’re retired.

    As for Pat, he has no where else to go at Creighton and nothing else to do except show up and get paid. Why not run for office as a hobby? Surely a Unicameral seat is a more pleasant waste of time than cleaning up after the unfortunate Mr. Pearlman, who could have the Law Library reconfigured at a whim. Just a quick chat with Fr. President or ones friends on the Board. Why with power like that why worry about a Dean? Unless you’re a liar. Don’t you hate when that happens?

    Some of us have much longer memories than retired faculty “survivors.” And we hate seeing our money wasted.

  30. repentinglawyer says:

    Doubt that Anonymous predates my at Creighton by all that much. For the rest, he clearly has a grudge against Borchers that renders his remarks impenetrable. I have no doubt failed many times in my efforts to aid the Ignation mission of Creighton, but perhaps I can find forgiveness in the the Holy Year of Mercy.

  31. repentinglawyer says:

    I should have added that Perstein was the chap at Creighton, Pearlman was at UNL. An odd mistake for such a devoted alum.

  32. Creighton Grad says:

    Glad to see Pat Borchers run for office. It’s about time we had someone of his caliber in the Unicameral.

  33. Anonymous says:

    It’ll be interesting to see Borchers square off against Creighton’s most famous alum in the Unicameral, Ernie Chambers.

  34. Unicameral Watcher says:

    The problem the Republicans have had is having good Conservative Republican legal minds on Judiciary. That’s where Borchers could be highly effective.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The problem Republicans have had is having good conservatives in the legislature who don’t worship at the alter of George Norris and non-partisanship.

  36. Go Amber!!! says:

    We need a true conservative in LD 39. Amber does not represent criminal Illegals or Sex offenders. She also doesn’t sit in a classroom all day pontificating about the law. Amber has been very active in the Unicameral fighting for us. That is what we need!!!

  37. We need qualified people says:

    Borchers is very smart . I know Josh– he’s very well-informed as well, even if you disagree with him on one issue. Is it a war-on-women thing to point out that because Amber has been, umm, “speaking her mind” quite a bit lately in front of various Legislative Committees, it has become apparent that, well, Borchers is very smart, and Josh is well-informed . . . . especially in a relative way?

  38. Charles Garman says:

    Prof. Borchers is a true conservative and a stellar legal mind. I have known him as a teacher, as a dean and as a scholar. He will be an amazing state senator.

  39. Anonymous says:

    If you just start showing up at legislative hearings in an effort to build your political cred, how does that make you an expert on issues? Seems like an odd way to gain visibility when time would be better spent going to every neighborhood and community meeting in the district and getting to know your potential voters. Have never heard of someone using legislative hearings as a way to gain visibility. Interesting.

  40. ADRLawProf says:

    To the Anonymous who wrote, “If Borchers cleaned up after Pearlstein, good for him. If Borchers exercised insufficient oversight over Pearlstein, either as a Dean or a VP for Academic Affairs, what is one to say?” This is what I’d say: I never understood how Creighton hired Arthur Pearlstein to run the Werner Institute at Creighton Law to begin with–that guy came out of nowhere. I’ve been specializing in alternative dispute resolution for my whole career as a law professor and I had never heard of Pearlstein before Creighton hired him as Director of the Werner Institute, and apparently as a FULL professor of law, no less! Pearlstein completely lacked an appropriate background or academic credentials for that position: no law teaching experience, no academic conference presentations, and no academic publications–none. So what if he was a lawyer for FMCS? So I think that whatever involvement Borchers had in hiring or supervising Pearlstein is a real strike against Borchers. And the publication Pearlstein plagiarized is not plagiarized just from the doctoral dissertation you pointed to. It isn’t even difficult (using Google or a plagiarism checker) to see that the whole damned article is plagiarized, much of it from an UNDERGRADUATE paper written by Bryan Caplan (now a Professor of Economics at George Mason U). So either Borchers wasn’t doing his job, no one in charge at Creighton was doing their job, or Pearlstein is a very, very good con artist! I’d love to hear Borchers respond to how that scandal played out under his watch, if it was under his watch.

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