Independent Announcements

The NRCC put up a new ad today, hitting the 5 year anniversary of ObamaCare.
See it here:

You will note at the end, they included Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressman on their hit list:

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 10.01.17 AM

Maybe not the last time.


ICYMI, there will be a “Special Announcement” from retired Brigadier General Don “Bits” Bacon tomorrow (Tuesday):

Omaha Marriott Regency
10220 Regency Circle
Omaha, NE
10:00 a.m.
For more information contact Mark Dreiling 402.290.3188 or email

If this is anything less “special” than his announcement for Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressional seat, it will be a surprise.

More to come!


The OWH wrote an “interesting” editorial the other day — and of course that’s “interesting” if you find “bias” to be “interesting”.

And it is an “editorial” so that means “reporting” goes by the “way-side” because “they” can “write” whatever “they” want.
(OK, enough with quotation marks, but you get the point…)

The OWH wrote up this elegent thing about how independent Brad Ashford is in Congress, because he doesn’t vote party line…just like their other favorite Nebraska Senators!

Let’s see their list of “non-party-line” Senators:

Chuck Hagel, a Republican, did it. So did Ben Nelson, a Democrat. As did Democrats Bob Kerrey and Jim Exon.

Well, how about a little detail, right?
These are votes. How about some percentages?

Chuck Hagel, 110th Congress…79% party line voting.
Ooooh! Pretty independent!

Uh… well, let’s look at the rest of his voting:
109th: 90%
108th: 95%
107th: 93%
106th: 92%
105th: 90%

Hmm. Not so “independent”, huh?
How about that?

Well, then how about Ben “Cornhusker Kickback” Nelson?
He was known for being super conservative, and non-party, right?
Depends on the term.

112th Congress, sort of indepedent of the Dems at 85%.
But go back to the 111th Congress, and he’s right up there at 93%.
(Must have made Brad Ashford and the rest of the OWH Ed board weep.)

The next 3 he was at 81%, 63% and 72%. Pretty low.
Ah, but when he came right out of the box in the 107th Congress he was at…90% party-line!

(Oh, and coincidentally, that 63% up there you see for Nelson just happened to be Nelson’s re-election year, against Pete Ricketts. How about that!)

Well, let’s look at the OWH’s paragon of virtue, Rockin’ Bob Kerrey.
90% party-line in his last 106th Congress.

Then, going backwards, he was 87%, 84%, 93%, 87%.

Wait a minute!…Saint Bob Kerrey voted 93% party-line!?!?


Hmm. So maybe we should compare him, to…I don’t known the MOST CURRENT SENATORS — whom the OWH conveniently left out of their little list of supers:

Mike Johanns went (going backwards): 89%, 87%, 92%.
Seems to be right “up there” with Kerrey.

And then Deb Fischer was, in the last Congress, 94%.
If we do the math, we see that Deb Fischer’s 94 is…1% higher than Kerrey’s 93%.

Now of course the Nebraska Dems HAVE to vote more conservatively than their couterparts from Massachusetts and California, because (take a minute to ponder this) Nebraskans are more conservative.

But how about the fact that Johanns’ average party-line voting was 89% and Hagel’s was 90%. And take out Hagel’s last Congress voting of 79%, and he’s at a whopping 92%. My, my, my.

Yes, yes, “Big surprise! The OWH is biased!”

But if they aren’t called out here, then where?


A frequent reader threw out an interesting scenario for Congressman Brad Ashford: Run for re-election as…an Independent.

The aforementioned OWH would practically melt with enthusiasm, yeah?

And it would be a total Ashford move — and one he has made before. And it would match his current voting and lack of campaign activity as well.


We have asked around a bit, and it isn’t on anyone else’s radar (yet).

And, it would take away the ONE advantage Ashford has — money from the DCCC and the rest of the Democrat party.

Is there an upside in that scenario?

In theory, let’s say in the 2nd, 1/3 goes to the Dem (let’s say a Pete Festersen), 1/3 to the Republican (let’s say…well, let’s not say) and then Ashford could come up with 1/3rd of Independents. And then peel off some from either side.

Again, that’s an interesting way to go — if Ashford really thought he was going to lose, and there was no other way. But if he can still get the Dems and the I’s (in theory), why not go that way?

Well, in any case, no one will really be surprised at what Ashford does next.
(Because he’s so independent, you see!)


Some interesting conversations from the GOP Central Committee meeting. Some say Senator Ebke got lots of in-her-face lobbying on WTA.

Ebke herself says, reportedly, “nobody ever talked to me about it.

In any case, as we’ve heard, If Ricketts had done a better job of communicating with Murante he could have bottled it up longer in the Government committee and seen whether some trading could be done, or avoided the embarrassment.

Well, at least the Gov and his staff should be cactus-tanned, rested and ready for votes to come…


Hey you Creighton College-Republicans, former Terry and Hagel staffers, and anyone interested in how how things work on Capitol Hill, be sure to listen to our most recent podcast on The Wheels Down Politics Show featuring Dan Archer.

This is a really interesting episode, and I think you will find it interesting and enjoyable. Download it now!


  1. Guy Patterson says:

    I like Ebke, but her “nobody talked to me” routine is a cop-out of the first order. She’d also previously mentioned that “based on her emails” nobody in her district cared about winner-take-all.

    Now all of that may be true, but it reminds me of the Edmund Burke quote: “Your representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment. And he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

    What am I saying? I’m saying that Ebke did not want to vote for winner-take-all and is using the lack of communication with the Governor and supposed ambivalence from her constituents as cover. I’m certain Ebke views winner-take-all as an establishment ploy meant to silence the vocal minority in Presidential contests (a view shared by many of her Liberty Caucus brethren) and that with the district method in place, a Ron-Paul-or-Ted-Cruz-type candidate can make a (meaningless and possibly harmful) statement in future elections.

    A person of conscience should not require lobbying from the Governor or constituents to do the right thing. Just that, in this case, Ebke’s version of the right thing differs greatly from the rest of the NEGOP. I would respect her greatly if she would simply say so.

  2. Lil Mac says:

    The OWH’s factual stupidity trumps its bias. A journalist being ignorant isn’t worse or better if that ignorance is caused by bias. Stupidity seems a rather concrete stand-alone flaw.

    Anyway. Let’s talk Pete.

    The OWH reports the newly elected leadership of the NEGOP yet it sees nothing special about Ricketts engineering a unanimous approval of the politically experienced Chairman Welch and Natnl Cmtyman Spray, in a state party that not long ago was being ripped apart from the inside. The paper blithely mentions that Spray inherited a $100K party debt that Spray eliminated; something every candidate and chairman promises but too few accomplish. The OWH also mentions that Welch is an attorney but it glosses over the fact that few Chairmen like Welch have run for executive office and have been elected and reelected to legislative office, where Welch presided over the lawmaking process for four years.

    Political candidates and party chairmen are usually different types of people. Yet now Ricketts has Welch chairing the NEGOP and has Spray bringing his proven talents to a national GOP that only has so much cash and influence to divide among 50 state GOPs. That seems rather brilliant.

    And don’t forget that these leaders are elected by unanimous party delegate acclaim. That makes it difficult to impossible for those NE Republicans who may have hoped to once again irritate the NEGOP from within.

    Since I don’t believe in coincidences, Ricketts did this. Among other things, it puts GOP firebrands on notice that there won’t be any range fires lit by Republicans on Pete’s prairie. And it does that in an uplifting way via a display of party unity.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Every party chairman inherits debt following a federal election year. It’s well documented that Fahleson had to pay some very large bills leftover from the Quandahl tenure, including a rumored $60K legal bill stemming from the 2008 McCoy/Moats race and subsequent lawsuit. Spray payed down the debt by spending almost no (non-Ricketts) money on candidates, part of the reason we now have four federal electeds and not five. Paying down debt at the risk of ANY early vote plan in CD2, especially when its obvious the minimum wage drive was going to increase turnout in Omaha, does not seem like an admirable accomplishment. Most previous chairs and directors get that, which is why there is always debt.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s congratulate Ricketts for the unanimous election of Welch, meanwhile his signature tax cut for agriculture can’t get out of committee. Maybe focus is in the wrong place?

    Can you name last GOP chairman not elected unanimously? Chair serves at pleasure of the Governor and its done. Not sure this is a huge deal.

  5. The Eye Ball says:

    Voting on legislation is too much of a game of the political parties. Voting party line really tells you nothing. What is telling is Democrats being upset over Ashford’s vote for the Keystone pipeline. That is where the real grist and independence is at.

    As for Ashford going independent, it is a real possibility because it would lower the threshold for winning. It will really depend on who Democrats nominate for candidate. Also, keep in mind, as an incumbent, historically speaking, he has the best chance of winning the seat back but right now he is under 50 percent.

    As for the winner-take-all, Republicans are too heavily invested in this effort. It only impacts the electoral college in the most minimal of ways. On top of it, Nebraska is getting closer and closer to losing a congressional district so what difference will it make?

  6. McCoy/Moats: What a waste says:

    What a shame the NEGOP had to pay the legal tab on Rex Moats’ BS legal claim against McCoy. The good thing is that the Moats case clears up some big questions about what people way and do in political campaigns in Nebraska. Congrats to the NEGOP on fighting that one, in spite of the expense.

  7. Lil Mac says:

    The one thing that no one can name is an anonymous blogger. Of course penning a pseudonym isn’t any great effort, but, come on, leaving it blank?

    The OWH accuses, praises, or states that Ricketts was behind the GOP nominations and selections. He engineered it, it suggests, and then it leaves that out to dry on its own.

    Ricketts went to all that effort to what end? He has power over you and me, life and death power over some. If you want to assume anyone like that is in office by sheer luck and has no aim or purpose and has zero strategy, which by definition is impossible to see coming, go right ahead. I was just trying to dig into it more than the OWH did. But if you see different, what then is the alternative? Why pick a hesitant Welch and keep Spray on the job? Ideas?

  8. Poor Roscoe ate Kibbles 'n Bits says:

    “A statement from Kibbles ‘n Bits did not specifically address the claims of pets getting sick while eating their product, saying that if pet owners had concerns about their pet’s health relating to their diet they should discuss it with their veterinarian…Roscoe’s skin itched constantly and he’d scratch and they had to give him steroid pills and once they got off the dyes he has gotten a lot better.” -March 27, 2013

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