Promises, promises

First a little Separated at Birth for your weekend…

Fiorina-Craighead-SAB 01

(Likely) Republican Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina and Republican state Senator Joni Craighead!


On April 10th, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued a press release saying,

I remain strongly opposed to extending state benefits to individuals who have entered our country illegally, and remain opposed to this legislation.

On April 23rd, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley was reported saying…

Foley also said Ricketts is unhappy that legislation is advancing to allow about 2,700 children of illegal immigrants to have Nebraska driver’s licenses, but the governor hasn’t decided if he’ll veto the bill.

Wait, what?
What are we missing here?

“Strongly opposed” has turned into “unhappy”.
“Remain opposed” has turned into “maybe I’ll veto, maybe I won’t.”

Nothing has changed in the bill itself. Or how the people it would affect got into that situation.  Or how they will or will not be affected if the bill were to become law (or not).

And many of the supporters haven’t changed their positions either.
For instance, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert reiterated her support of the bill a few weeks ago — but hasn’t changed her position since letting it be known in the 2013 Mayoral primary.

The Chambers of Commerce who support it aren’t submitting any new info. There are certainly reasons why one would support the bill, but it is not as if they are different than they were 9 months ago.

And Ricketts was firmly on this issue during the 2014 campaign as well.

The OWH wrote:

The Omaha businessman says he “empathizes” with the children’s plight, but believes the nation has to take a “principled approach” to immigration. That means, he said, no one should be rewarded for illegal activity — not even the children.

“Our taxpayer benefits are generated by our citizens in the state for people who are here legally, and that’s who they ought to be preserved for,” Ricketts said.

Nebraska is one of only two states that deny driver’s licenses to children who were brought into this country illegally, even though they have been granted temporary leave to stay in this country by President Barack Obama.

Ricketts said he would work to keep Nebraska as one of the holdouts, but Hassebrook said he would work to change the state’s policy.

So where is the uncertainty coming from?

And would GOP primary voters have given Ricketts the 2,175 vote edge, had he wavered on this issue back then?

It’s not certain if Ricketts is getting weak-kneed on this issue, but many would certainly be surprised to hear, at this point, that the veto threat isn’t official.


FWIW, a surprising comment hit the Leavenworth St. message boards this morning.

The last Leavenworth St. post noted endorsements by Nebraska Right to Life in the Lincoln Mayor’s race, and also mentioned Ben Sasse (unrelatedly). Some commenters were then hassling Senator Sasse for not responding to his constituent mail (something we can neither confirm nor deny).

But then Julie Schmit-Albin from Nebraska Right to Life made this comment:

As to Senator Sasse, how about a campaign meme/pledge that was made regarding pro-life issues that we knew was unachievable but it was touted among pro-life voters anyway.

Here it is:
The First 100 Days, Ben Sasse Pro-Life:
1. Pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
2. Pass the Parental Non-Discrimination Act.
3. Stop forced taxpayer funding of abortion.
4. Stop the assault on religious liberty.
5. Stop government donations to Planned Parenthood.
6. Promote adoption by loving families.

What, if any of this (except #6.) could be achieved in the first 100 days of his term? Why do campaigns insist on hyperbole? How could Senator Sasse look back on this now and think that issuing this kind of exaggerated promise was a good idea?

I have yet to hear from him or his office as to what on this list he has accomplished or is working on. That’s the problem with grandiose claims made in the heat of a campaign. Most voters will forget but there are some who will call you on it later.

Yowch! Well that’s a punch to the nuts.
You can’t blame Albin, who is laser focused on her issues, for being a bit peeved when an endorsement from her organization is so (arguably) pivotal in an election.

Campaign promises are tricky — I asked Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert very specifically about them from her election  — and it is certainly worth the time to check them AFTER an election.


Sasse was on FOXNews yesterday discussing the Iran issue.
See it here:


ICYMI, an interesting story in the LJS regarding general civic involvement in Nebraska, particularly in comparison to other states.

One stat that jumped out:

Nebraska ranks in the middle or lower when it comes to voter registration (36th), voting (32nd) and talking with public officials (27th). The numbers are worst for young people, ages 18 to 24. Only 47 percent registered to vote in the 2012 election, and only 40.3 percent actually cast a ballot. The index found that the younger the person the least likely they were to contact public official.

It’s no big shock that younger people don’t vote, etc.
But Nebraska, as a whole, 36th in voter registration and 32nd in voting?

Heck, when the football team was that low, the coach was shipped cursing off to Ohio.
Are Nebraskans really going to stand for that kind of ranking?

“Through these gates pass…the greatest voters in the nation“?

How about a bipartisan PSA on that issue? (For a start…)


  1. Omaha Native says:

    The Governor cannot politically afford for three of his vetoes to be overridden by this moderate Legislature. He is setting the stage to be “firm” on the Dreamers bill, but not veto it. He will be overridden on capital punishment and the gas tax. That’s what is going on here. Governor: do I veto this and look weak when the Legislature overrides me for a third time??

    Separation at Birth isn’t even close.

  2. Ben who? says:

    Sasse is an empty suit that will only care about Nebraska voters and organizations when he needs us again for reelection. Anyone who followed his campaign and more importantly, his resume during the campaign is not shocked by his behavior.

    Just like no one is shocked that Dana College hasnt reopened as Sasse promised in his last job.

  3. Hesdeadjim says:

    Weird, another clip of Sasse jumping in front of a camera. Compared with other Senators, Sasse doesn’t know jack squat about foreign policy but boy howdy someone in his office got him in front of the fox news camera.

    I love the anti-DC that Sasse spews even though he epitomizes “DC insider”.

  4. The Eye Ball says:

    Don’t fall for the BS. Albin is part of nation wide effort attacking Republicans for not being able to get pro-life legislation put forward. Most of the blame goes to McConnel and Bohner. Don’t blame Sasse for having expectations.

    Sounds like the Shane Osborn supporters will hold a grudge forever or maybe someone else has a stich on this matter?

  5. What staff? says:

    Does Sen. Sasse even have a staff yet? If so, does he know who they are?

    P.S. Cameras and a National Review writer does not count as staff

  6. @ the eye ball says:

    Maybe it’s Dinsdale supporters who are angry that Sasse attacked SID on talking about raising the debt limit and then within nanosecond of Sasse getting back to his home in DC he flip flopped on the issue?

    God forbid Sasse’s constituents want to keep him accountable for his lofty campaign promises. Is that so horrible?

    I wonder how Ted Cruz feels about all of this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Too bad Ben Sasse continues to ignore his constituent’s concerns by answering their emails/letters. It’s been nearly three months. Should I wait until election time next? Yet. Amazing, he can find time to talk on camera. Again.

  8. TexasAnnie says:

    Yep! I googled the NRL 2013 voters guide and sure enough Sasse was endorsed in both the primary and general elections. You seem to be striking out with your endorsed Ben’s.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sasse had more years as a top foreign policy advisor before he ran for office than some Senators have while in office. It is okay that you dislike Sasse. But spouting nonsense about him hurts your reputation not his.

    Two things stood out in the interview.

    First, Sasses mentions “Nebraskans” five times. That made him seem more grounded than the usual Senator who speaks as if he knows what’s best for all “Americans”. Humility is hard to project but necessary. People want to vote for politicians who have power yet seem not to want it. (We cannot blame politicians for that kind of voter stupidity.)

    Secondly, he distilled complex matters ala the Iran nuke deal into chunks people can understand. If you hate Sasse it doesn’t matter what he says. But for most Fox viewers, which includes those who do more than just vote, they saw a savvy distillation of complexities delivered with a rabbity toothed smile. That’s the job description of every modern politician.

    We have a Republic not a Democracy because as voters we cannot deal with complexities. We elect people to do that for us. As pundits we need them to distill the issues for us. As voters we need to like how they look on television. That last part is, sadly, key. Such is human nature.

    Obama is a likable clod; elected and reelected over what voters saw as the unlikable barbwire bitch, cranky dwarf and wooden calculator. At this point, I don’t see Sasse as being so likable as to become Prez. Those teeth! He’s cute but lack gravitas onscreen. Yes, voters are that shallow. Yet today, in terms of grasp and distillation, he’s doing well enough as a green Senator to give donkey’s an itchy case of the hives.

  10. Hesdeadjim says:

    false. Any of Sasse’s experience that could have involved any foreign policy took place from January, 2004 to September, 2005 and that’s being generous. For a good portion of that time he was COS to Fortenberry, and I’m sure 60% of that job is just trying to keep a lid of how weird Fortenberry is. This he does not have “more years as a top foreign policy advisor before he ran for office than some Senators have while in office.” so put your knee pads away.

    Additionally, even Ray Charles can see that every time Sasse says “Nebraskans” in an interview it is shameless pandering.

  11. Osborn Supporter says:

    Election is over. I expect Ben to do his job. I knew he wasn’t going to get anything passed in his first 100 days. Just vote conservative and beat the tar out of the dems so we can win in 2016. That’s all I can ask for. Lighten up posters. We will know if he is another Chuck Hagel here in a year or two. Give him a chance. Shane has!

  12. Julie Schmidt Albin is an idiot. says:

    I’m a McLeay guy myself, but I care a lot about the pro life movement. Give me a break.

    A cursory internet search shows Sasse intro’d/co sponsored the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2015, the Title X Abortion Provider Act, and the adoption tax credit.

    I’m not sure if Julie Schmidt Albin knows how to work the Google machine or not, but before taking a shot at a pro-life Senator, she should at least know what the guy introduced. She’s hitting him for not doing something he actually DID.

    That said, Sasse needs to do a better job of trumpeting this stuff if he’s doing it. This is stupid on his part too.

  13. McGinnis Suppoter says:

    Abortion is unconstitutional. The internet is unconstitutional. The Senate is unconstitutional. This blog is unconstitutional. John Seiler’s sweaters are unconstitutional. Hitting snowplows while loaded is uncontitutional. Former young democrat leader Matt Hansen is unconstituional and a weirdo. Cell phones are unconstitutional. Mcollister’s voting record is unconscionable.

  14. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    9:53 p.m. Yes I do know how to use Google. My post regarded what the Sasse campaign put out in meme form on social media and in a press release on 2/25/14. The meme says: “The First 100 Days Ben Sasse Pro-Life”. Under that are the bullet points with action verbs in front of each one: PASS the PCUCPA, PASS the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act, STOP forced taxpayer funding of abortion, STOP the assault on religious liberty, STOP government donations to Planned Plannedhood, PROMOTE adoption by loving families. (I noted the last one was the only one he could have possibly achieved on his own.) It was the Sasse campaign that used the phrase, THE FIRST 100 DAYS implying that the tasks behind the action verbs would be accomplished. And it was the Sasse campaign that used STOP, PASS, etc. Signing on as a co-sponsor of pro-life legislation is what we want them to do and what is expected of them. His campaign could have simply stated that he would sign on to all pro-life legislation but they chose to tout a much different scenario for the first 100 days. This was all launched at a Pro-Life Rally attended by 85 people held on 2/25/14 near the PP abortion facility in Lincoln. I was not present and only saw the press release and meme later. I never re-posted the meme or press release, knowing it was campaign hyperbole intended to set him apart from the other pro-lifers in the GOP Primary. Apparently it accomplished what it intended. Now that we hold him to a campaign promise he willingly made in front of 85 pro-lifers, we’re insensitive? It’s not our job to circle the wagon around these guys, they have plenty of people already doing that. It is our job to hold them accountable and when you make outlandish promises, you just might get asked about it in the same medium in which you made those promises.

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