I don’t want to talk about that

Lincoln Sample Ballott 040515
Lincoln Sample ballot. Another thing you won’t find in today’s LJS.

Did you know that there is an election TOMORROW for the Mayor, City Council and and a couple others in Lincoln, Nebraska?

Of course YOU know. You read Leavenworth St.

But how about the rest of the schlubs (that’s right, SCHLUBS!) who don’t? How will THEY know?

Just read their local paper, the Lincoln Journal Star, right?


Here are all (not kidding) of the stories covering the election in the LJS’s Sunday paper:

(crickets hopping around on blank sheets of paper)


But maybe they were just saving all of their main reporting for the day BEFORE the election, when all of the peeps will finally, FINALLY pay attention, right?

So here are all of the LJS articles covering the Mayor and City Council races and ballot issues today:

(larger group of crickets hopping, more blank pages rustling in wind)

“Wait, so you mean there were ZERO stories in the Lincoln newspaper about Tuesday’s election on the Sunday and Monday before the Tuesday election?”

Yes. Z-E-R-O.


Well how about some general city news in the LJS?

Hey, here is a headline that came in via the Google news-alerts:

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.11.51 AM

Well, just click on that link and…

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.13.01 AM


Well, using the Google machine, here is line from the story — which was apparently written, and published at some point within the last 24 hours, yet can’t be accessed right before the election:

Gang-related crime ticked up last year after dipping in 2012 and 2013.

My oh my! Hasn’t Mayor Beutler been bragging about how crime is down?
Doesn’t this contradict that?

Come to think of it, there was this from the Lincoln Police Chief just a year ago:

Police Chief Jim Peschong said the City has seen an 18 percent increase in documented gang membership in the last seven months. “This past year we’ve connected several patterns of convenience store robberies to organized gang activity,” Peschong said. “In addition to the three gang-related murders, a fourth was committed by a gang member carrying a gun.

Wouldn’t this be something to talk about THE DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION?


Back in March, the LJS gave this brief tutorial on just what the Mayor and City Council do:

The City Council has the power to pass, amend and repeal ordinances, which regulate city life. They also confirm appointments of department directors, commission and board members.

The mayor develops the two-year city budget, but a majority of the council can change the mayor’s plan. The council is responsible for adopting a city budget and the property tax levy that helps support that budget.

Seems rather important, no?

Seems like there are SOME issues to cover, right?
At least some in the Mayor’s race, yeah?
Gotta be some issues in the FOUR City Council races, yeah?

Not according to your Lincoln Journal Star.

On Sunday, your LJS found the gathering in Omaha of the Warren Buffett Cult (more cowbell!), to be their front page story.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.25.26 AMToday’s (Monday) front page?

One story on the Marathon and TWO stories about the Baltimore riots.

That’s two FRONT PAGE stories about a city 1,200 miles away and ZERO about the city’s elections tomorrow.



Oh, whoops! Don Walton, the LJS’s political reporter dove into the Lincoln elections! Whew!

Here is what “The Don” had to say about tomorrow’s race for Mayor, four City Council races, three LPS Board of Education seats:

Time for Lincolnites to decide what kind of city they want Lincoln to be during the next four years. Tuesday is city election day.

That’s it. There’s your coverage.

By the way, this is item #6 of 7 “bullet points” he put at the END of his column — which included a longer initial item about the 2nd District Congressional races. (For those of you from Belgium reading this, that would be the OMAHA area Congressional district, of which Lincoln is not a part.)

Don is primarily covering the legislature these days, sure. But he’s not on the sports page either, yet still finds space to note…

Baseball is looking good: Both the Yankees and the Cubs would make the post-season today and neither has won the World Series in way too long.

Nice job Journal Star.
Proud of the work you do?

**UPDATE at 6:15pm**

Apparently, the Lincoln Journal Star now operates under a policy of “election blackout” for the weekend and day before the election.

This is a profoundly dopey policy.

This is exactly the time when otherwise disengaged voters are looking for information on candidates. Too bad they can’t find it in their local paper.

Deena Winter of Nebraska Watchdog — formerly of the LJS — Tweeted that when she was there, their policy was simply not to publish “gotcha” stories.


And as long as we’re talking about a lack of news, did you catch Governor Pete Ricketts “press conference” on Friday?

The Gov’s Public Relations Director, Taylor Gage, opened by saying the Governor is only taking questions on May Beef Month and LB89 (aid to dependent children).


Then as presser ended, one pushy reporter, the OWH’s Martha Stoddard, had the temerity to ask an off-topic question. Here’s how it went down:

(Here’s your transcript, lazybones…)

MS: Um, on another topic…

PR: Well, we’re sticking to LB89!

MS: Uh…no.
(more laughter)

MS: There’s…um…

PR: Seriously Martha, if we’ve got questions on…I, I said I’d answer questions about the Beef or LB89. I do have other meetings to go to, so let’s keep it to LB89, if there’s no more questions I’ve gotta get going. I’m sure Taylor can arrange another time for us to talk.

MS: I just have one question.

PR: If it’s about LB89 I’ll answer it.

PR: Any other questions?

PR: Great folks, thank you very much. Martha, you just talk to Taylor, he’ll arrange a time to get your question answered, OK? Thanks.


What’s going on? The Governor doesn’t have a scheduled weekly press conference, has questions randomly thrown to him in the hallways, then this?

No open questions? Guess why Martha’s asking this. Because there are no OTHER press conferences to ask questions.

And there’s time for all the questions you want on Beef and LB89 — but none for anything else…because of meetings? The Gov did note he was eating beef for lunch soon…

So is this a strategy? Is the Governor afraid he will misspeak on his own policies? Is he not up to speed on his own issues? Did some other state’s Governor’s office tell him that’s the way things are done?


Oh wait, we did get some Ricketts coverage earlier.
The Cubs might make the post-season.


  1. Governor Moenning says:

    I didn’t authorize Pete to talk about anything else….Get it! As far as Stoddard, one more time buddy and I’ll have our Chicago associates weigh in. No one makes me look bad

  2. Elections, schmelections. With a large number of city, county and state employees, plus the university, Lincoln is nearly a one-party city, like Madison, WI. Maybe the Socialist Workers could give the Dems a run for their money, but the GOP sure won’t, any time soon. And all good one-party states need a Pravda; that’s why we have the LJS.

    They still keep around a bunch of country-club RINOs to write ‘As a lifelong Republican…’ letters to the LJS, and support the Dem, so he can claim to be bipartisan. Kathy and Dick Campbell, Charles Wilson, etc.. They’re all ‘Republicans’, but haven’t actually voted for a Republican in the last couple of decades.

    Thank God I’m a country boy.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    I sure hope people are keeping track of all these missteps by the Governor so somebody can primary him. Of course, who in Lincoln will complain about the lack of transparency?

  4. Edward R says:

    At what point does the lazy Nebraska media start to ask around the building and eventually write the story about the total incompetence of this Governor and his team?

  5. Macdaddy says:

    Sweeper, why are you complaining about the lack of reporting in the LJS? It’s all just going to be lies, misrepresentations, and poorly constructed propaganda. Hopefully Stebbing has a good GOTV effort.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Amen to 2:11….why is it that Ms. Moenning can work for the governor as she does and keep her clients as well. Sounds like if she was named Hillary it would be called…..scandal. Where are the media? I agree 2:11PM.

  7. Watchful Citizen says:

    PR stays on topic, on message, and that means he doesn’t talk about what Gov. Moenning doesn’t allow him to talk about. Martha better watch it. She might get her next set of press credentials made with disappearing ink.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “So is this a strategy?” YES. “Is the Governor afraid he will misspeak on his own policies?” SURE. “Is he not up to speed on his own issues?” MAYBE. “Did some other state’s Governor’s office tell him that’s the way things are done?” NO, this is exactly how Ricketts wants it done. He’s not handing out ammunition to be used on himself. He assumes he can act this way because he can act this way.

    This discussion started with Sweeper noting the media and most voters don’t care about tomorrow’s election. If they don’t care about that, they care even less about what the governor doesn’t say.

    Most Nebraskans don’t want answers from Ricketts they want action. Most want Ricketts to take care of things and at the end of four years they will look to see if Nebraska is still breathing.

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