Lincoln Election Wrap

Lincoln Flag“Cross of Corn” is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.

Some thoughts on yesterday’s Lincoln elections…

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Andy Stebbing did better than many expected.  A six-point margin (less than 3,000 votes) is nothing to be ashamed of.

What was missing was sufficient resources to consistently pound Beutler on his greatest liabilities–Lincoln’s streets and roads and spending scare resources on public art and green projects.

If Lincoln wants public art, there are plenty of art benefactors (hello?  Duncan family?) who can fund it with private dollars.

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Yes, Democrat Chris Beutler was elected to his third term as Lincoln’s Mayor.  At his age, it is most certainly his last.

So, let the games begin for Lincoln Mayor 2019!

On the Democrat side:

  • Leirion Gaylor Baird
  • Jane Raybould.

On the Republican side:

  • Andy Stebbing
  • Roy Christensen
  • County Commissioner Deb Schorr
  • UN Regent Tim Clare
  • and…a likely wild-card…

…Someone under the age of 50, from Lincoln’s business community who has been a part of the development of Lincoln’s Haymarket.  But who understands that Lincoln’s basic needs (roads, law enforcement) are not being met.  And can put Lincoln’s financial house in order (the bill for Beutler’s development has yet to come).

Expect Sen. Sasse to start searching for and grooming a candidate that mirrors his philosophy of constructive conservatism.

***

Even Democratic leaders acknowledge that their only avenue to success-even in our budding “Portland-on-the-Plains”–is to move to the center.

As noted in the Omaha World-Herald, Lancaster County Democratic Party Chair John Yoakum said that the “game is played in the middle” and he  highlighted Beutler’s “pro-growth” agenda.  Not exactly the agenda Nebraska Democrats have run on as of late.

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Roads ain’t goin’ away.  Beutler acknowledged in a post-election interview on Lincoln’s KLIN radio that he has work to do and the focus must be on Lincoln’s streets and roads.

The question is whether he’ll seek more tax revenue to accomplish that, or whether he’ll have the courage to take a knife to the city’s bloated budget.

***

While Republicans may have lost the mayoral battle, they captured a majority on the City Council.  The new Council will hopefully hold the line on Beutler’s free-spending and misplaced priorities.

Newcomer Cyndi Lamm simply outworked her opponent and understood that serving on City Council is about more than one social issue.

Republican Jon Camp likely took some antacids throughout the night given he started the night down, but eventually prevailed.  The lesson for Councilman Camp and others running for office:  if you want to win, even as an incumbent, be prepared to work and campaign for it.

***

Democrat Jane Raybould ran unopposed (the under-vote appears to be significant) and was elected to the Lincoln City Council, giving her another platform after she chose to run unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor rather than re-election of the Lancaster County Board.

While on the County Board, Raybould successfully got to the right of the Republican commissioners on spending issues.  While Raybould will attempt to cast herself as a budget hawk on the City Council, she’s not likely to be as successful as she was on the County Board.

Why?

First, the Republicans–in particular Roy Christensen and Jon Camp–won’t let her get away with it (the Republicans on the County Board during her tenure tend to act like Republicans in the Nebraska Legislature).

Second, as one of the 3 Democrats on the Council, she’ll be forced to carry more of Mayor Beutler’s water.

Third, as county board members began to learn with time, her schtick is ungenuine and tends to wear on people after time.

All that being said, look for her to continue to position herself as the strongest challenger Rep. Jeff Fortenberry has faced to date.  Whether the Republicans on the Council will force her to cast a few tough votes remains to be seen.

***

Kudos to Mairead Safranek for stepping up to run a decent campaign in a very difficult district.  Party leaders should look for opportunities to use Ms. Safranek as the face of the future of the party.

***

Lincolnites are willing to challenge the myth that “LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE THE BEST EVER!”

Sorry folks, we don’t have the best public schools in the nation–there is A LOT that can be done to improve them and to focus on educating our future leaders and workforce in a cost-effective manner.

***

Newcomer Matt Schulte overcame an onslaught of spending by the teacher’s unions and was elected to District 6 of the Lincoln Public Schools Board.

Matt is badly outnumbered on the Board–time will tell whether he can be effective given the hand he was dealt.

16 comments

  1. The Vault says:

    Surprised to see Mark Fahleson’s name not on the short list for LNK Mayor. Would certainly know where to find the $ to run a significant campaign for mayor.

    Dems have backed off Leirion – It will be Raybould’s to lose in 2019.

  2. Typical GOP says:

    Taking credit for a republican majority when Innis wasted all his resources trying to take down unbeatable Duncan. Time for the county party to clean house.

  3. Political Malpractice says:

    If political malpractice was a crime it is something Brendan Evans would be guilty of and could be sued over. The Meg Mikolajczyk campaign only raised $20K and Brendan’s brilliant idea was to spend it all on television and billboards. Let’s break this down, there are 400,000 in the Lincoln media market that they were be paying to advertise to and only 10,000 people in Meg’s district who will vote. We have a good knowledge of who these 10,000 are from voting history, so why wouldn’t you pay to mail these people multiple times instead of blasting everyone and hoping the 2.5% of people targeted who voted in this election see the commercial?

  4. Lincoln Democrat says:

    We are all trying to figure out whether or not Brendan Evans got a hefty commission for those television commercials or if it was just his ego, wanting to be the big man producing a commercial and doing a tv buy. Either way he’s going to be run out of the Democratic party the same way he was the NEGOP.

  5. Venus says:

    Schulte did not overcome “an onslaught of spending by the teacher’s unions” to beat McLeese Stephenson. He was elected because he had more than three times as much funding as she did. He certainly didn’t beat her with eloquence or experience or good ideas, because he has none. He received more than $18,000 in donations compared to McLeese Stephenson’s less than $5,000. He raised more money than all but one of the school board candidates, that’s how he won.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to Ernie Chambers for killing the mountain lion hunting season. Today a lion was shot at 120th and Q St trying to eat the contents of an orphanage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Painting Lincoln Red” says a NRP Email.

    Lincoln NE’s Democrat mayor won reelection Lincoln is still blue, maybe from holding its breath.

  8. With you on LPS. Worse yet, the general smugness and self-satisfaction that pervades the school system means it’s not getting better any time soon.

    In part, I blame our own CEHS. Trainee teachers get infused with every wacky innovation, fad, and leftist dogma imaginable. Then they get sent out to the school system.

  9. Thunderlips the Ultimate Male says:

    Beutler is going to have a whole bunch of fun fixing the roads in Lincoln after the floods last night, which will continue into today. Roads are underwater, some buckled and the floating cars are blocking up dedicated bike lanes, which is truly upsetting to the Beutler administration.

  10. Under Water says:

    Soooo, we spent how much on the Antelope Valley flood control project? Something like $300 million? Or more? For the one time we get enough water that some flood control is needed? And it performs like a champ. A flooded champ.

    He diverted money from the street improvement fund to pay for this stupid project, too. Just in case people didn’t know that. Street improvement funds come from the wheel taxes we pay and the County Treasurer (Stebbing) collects about $30 million/year that, by law, he’s required to turn over to the City of Lincoln so that Mayor Beutler can fritter it away on a flood control project that doesn’t control floods.

    How the eff did this guy get re-elected? Yeah, that MIT Professor was right: The electorate are stupid.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Under Water, how stupid can you be? Do you understand water flow in the city of Lincoln? Salt Creek flows from the south of town and has nothing to do with the Antelope Valley project. In fact flooding would have been many times worse if the flood control projects in the Salt Creek valley were not built in the ’60s (courtesy of big government). Today with the irresponsibility and short-sightedness of one of the major parties, a project of this scope would much harder to approve.

    Now look at the flooding at Holmes Lake. It’s performing as it’s supposed to, holding back water from the city center. The new Antelope Valley system is also working as designed. Considering that we had 7 – 8 inches of rain over this drainage system, I’d say it passed with flying colors.

  12. The Grundle King says:

    I’m as keen to point out Beutler’s shortfalls as anyone, but didn’t the Antelope Valley project start long before Beutler took office?

    Considering the fact that around 7 inches of rain fell in about 8-10 hours, I’d say the flood control project did it’s job. The only flooding in the Antelope Creek area was the result of water backing up from Salt Creek and Oak Creek. I can remember times in the not too distant past when far less rain would have flooded homes and businesses.

    Considering Salt Creek was running at about 250,000 gallons per SECOND yesterday, I’m not sure what else a person could ask for.

  13. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Kudos to NDP Chair, Vince Powers, for continuing his highly successful program of “Continuity!” At the rate he is racking up “victories” there shouldn’t be very much left of the Nebraska Democratic Party by the time 2016 rolls around. I suppose he’ll run for a third term using the same slogan, seeing as how it has been working out so well for him.

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