The Wheels Down Politics Show – Mark Fahleson

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.49.07 PMJerry Kratochvil talks with former Nebraska GOP Chairman Mark Fahleson.

Jerry and Mark, a resident of Lincoln, talk about Tuesday’s elections, including the race between Democrat incumbent Mayor Chris Beutler and Republican Lancaster County Treasurer Andy Stebbing.

They also talk about the City Council races between Republican Jon Camp and Democrat Patte Newman, and Republican Cyndi Lamm and Democrat Meg Mikolajczyk.

They discuss the state of the Republican party and the new “moderate” Republican wing in the Legislature. They finish up with the potential combination of the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts, and the story behind the photo on Mark’s Twitter page with Senator Marco Rubio.

Fahleson and Rubio


On the web: Rembolt Ludtke Law Firm
Twitter: @Fahleson


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.


  1. Stop the Eunuch’s Carnival says:

    Good interview, with valid observations about NE’s unaccountable and intimately inept lawmaking body. You can see that ineptitude, for example, in how blindly Nebraska deals with gay and incest marriages.

    As you know, your federal and state tax dollars subsidize and thus sanction marriages via joint tax deductions. However, what you may not know is that, federally, your tax dollars subsidize uncles who marry their nieces and also uncles who marry their nephews in NY and RI, where both gay and consanguineous marriages are legal.

    Homosexuality and incest may be odd apples and creepy oranges. If anything, heterosexual incest offers a greater risk of genetically diseased offspring that gayness doesn’t. And the entire subject of marriage confuses people. For despite all of its supposed “holy” aspects, marriage is and has always been a government sanctioned and licensed contract. Your orgasms may be your business but your marriage is the government’s business. Doubt that? Try to get a divorce without a court decree.

    This is NEBRASKA, where all things are sifted through the worst lawmaking body on earth!

    According to NE law, it is illegal for an uncle to marry his niece (banned consanguinity) and it is also illegal for a man to marry a man (required heterosexuality), if those couples are married in Nebraska. However, when a gay couple who were married outside of NE move here, although they file jointly to the IRS, they must file NE state tax as “single” taxpayers. Yet when an incest couple is married elsewhere and moves to NE, they may file both federal and NE state tax as a “joint” married couple.

    In Nebraska, a married uncle and niece pay less state tax than do a married uncle and nephew.

    This is exactly the sort of real dollar inequity that courts cannot ignore. But don’t expect NE lawmakers to grasp that. Lacking a mirror second body to force NE senators to behave responsibly, Nebraska’s Unicameral members show up unarmed in every battle of wits.

    Its either that or they are victims of inbreeding. “All in favor, raise your webbed hand and drool.”

  2. Hesdeadjim says:

    To the above:
    I get your point…but that was also one of the stupidest ramblings in the history of internet ramblings.

  3. KHDS says:


    Your legal analysis is wrong. To the extent NY and RI allows incestous marriages, they are validly married in NE if they move here.

    But all state’s marriage laws will be finished come June. Get ready for Muslim polygamy. It will be legal in five years. What can stop it? First Amendment?

  4. TexasAnnie says:

    I wasn’t going to listen to the Fahleson interview but when I read the first reply above, I had to listen to ascertain in what context Fahleson/Street Sweeper were discussing incest!!!

    I still lived in Nebraska in 2000 when the state became the first in the nation to constitutionally prohibit same-sex marriage; I was offended when that happened. But it did not bother me nearly as much as the mid-to-late 1990’s, when the unicameral defied it’s constitutional duty with regard to the education of ALL PERSONS BETWEEN THE AGES OF FIVE AND TWENTY-ONE. (Art. VII, Sec. 1, Neb. Const.)

    After witnessing and experiencing that travesty, I lost faith in the unicameral system and have never regained it. Indeed, I left Nebraska because of the unicameral system and more specifically tax injustice. I’m not sure exactly what distinction Fahleson was trying to make regarding “conservative” and “moderate” Republicans. From my vantage point, all Republicans want tax injustice…

  5. Outsider says:

    I agree with 8:21 – the incoherent statements and bills are probably the worst I have seen. I do not think it can all be blamed on term limits, but that in combination with the low pay and small number (49) of the “privileged” few is leading to a dumbing down of the body. I certainly now believe that two houses is needed and that the unicameral experiment has failed.

  6. 10 Dollar word says:

    Ben Sasse used the word “Metastasized” to describe the spread of ISIS. I’m so glad he went to the Ivy League

  7. The Grundle King says:

    I didn’t go to an ivy league school, but even I can recognize that ‘metastasized’ is the perfect word to describe the spread of ISIS. They are a cancer, growing and spreading their version of Islam. But since big words appear to anger you, what would you have preferred?

  8. Don’t knock it if you don’t need it says:

    Metastasized political jihadists??? If you want to talk medical, lets talk Nebraska medical.

    The NE Bill LB 643 “Cannabis Compassion and Care Act” is out of committee. Some otherwise wise citizens here tell us that cannabis does no medical good. Thank you for your opinion. But here is what Mayo’s says about Behcet’s Disease:

    “Painful mouth sores, lesions that turn into painful ulcers… skin lesions… genital sores, ulcerated lesions on scrotum/vulva… uveitis and retinal disease that lead to blindness… joint swelling and pain in extremities… vascular inflammation in large arteries causing pain, aneurysms or blockage)… digestive abdominal pain, diarrhea or bleeding… brain and nervous system inflammation that leads to headache, fever, poor balance or stroke.”

    So tell me again why you have heartburn with this bill? And please describe your medical degree because I want to compare it to my open lesions on places where you cannot imagine the pain.

  9. Annie,
    Just to clarify to readers, Fahleson and I did NOT discuss incest or pretty much any other of the topics suggested above. We did talk, very generally, about the current legislature.
    But if it made you listen to the podcast, mazel tov.
    JK (aka SS)

  10. Anonymous says:

    We assume you are chiding TA for fudging on listening to the interview. We assume you are not obliquely asking that we all stick only to commenting only about that interview. This is a blog for discussing NE politics and discussions will meander. Everything said here so far is about NE politics. Especially if an interview is a yawner, discussions will “metastasize”. This was a nice interview but nothing particularly new was said.

  11. 10:41am
    No, my point was specifically noting what was and was not said in the interview — i.e. making clear that we did not discuss “incest”.

    And I think it is very clear that I generally allow off-topic comments, though I would prefer that they stay tangentially to those addressed.

    However, a number of “new” things were touched on in my interview with Mark Fahleson. Everyone should listen.

    Unless you hate puppies and/or are ignorant of politics. Then specifically don’t listen.

  12. Pete says:

    To don’t knock it:
    I’m not so sure that anyone is saying cannabis does no good. I think we’ve pretty well address this topic in the comments section but I’ll revisit for your benefit. If some drug derived of the marijuana plant, whether it is an oil or a pill, can help sick people then it ought to face the exact same clinical trials and regulation by the FDA that every other drug does. After the drug has faced the same scrutiny that every other drug sold in the good ole U.S.A. has faced, it ought to be distributed/sold in pharmacies just like other drugs. Do you see the pattern here? The major hiccup is that marijuana is currently schedule 1, so there will have to be some changes at the federal level.

    As others have stated in these comments previously, if this is about the drug’s benefits, then make it a legitimate drug and treat it like every other drug. If this is just about faux legalization of pot very slowly a’la Colorado, then it’s being done the wrong way and it’s time for a ballot initiative.

  13. The Grundle King says:

    @ ‘Don’t knock it if you don’t need it’,

    I checked out Mayo’s site on Behcet’s, and it does indeed sound awful, and I extend to you my sincere sympathy.

    But I went on to see what they said about treatment of Behcet’s, and nowhere did they mention marijuana as a treatment. I understand that, at least for you, marijuana is the preferred method of coping with the disease, but it does not appear to be Mayo’s recommended method of treatment.

  14. Bob Loblaw says:

    Very good podcast. Fahleson gave some good insight and opinion into Nebraska and local Lincoln politics. He’s actually a pretty good interview and gives you his honest opinion on things. I hope you have him on again. Thanks!

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